Time flies when you have a kitten. And before you know it, this little furball who loved throwing and rolling on the floor of your living room has become a sofa lion. Although you love your adult cat, you may be a little sad that she grew up so quickly. Post-kitten blues are real.
“There’s nothing quite like a little kitten,” says Dr. Laura Pletz, Head of Scientific Services at Royal Canin.
But your cat’s next chapter can be just as rewarding.
“So often do kittens explore and learn what the big, wide world looks like,” says Dr. Pietz. “When they really start to mature and settle into their home and their relationships with everyone in the house, you can see the personality come out.”
Dr. Pietz shares ways to get rid of the post-kitten blues and continue to be your cat’s meow as it grows up.
Build a foundation
The best way to continue feeling comfortable as your cat ages is to develop a loving relationship when she is young.
“It’s really about putting them in touch with everyone at home,” says Dr. Pietz.
As you explore the world, pay close attention to what your cat is reacting to. Maybe they could slap a wand toy forever, or they love to chase a ball around the house. Many cats love to look out the windows and benefit from perches, others like to climb and love an environment with one or three scratching posts.
“Make sure they have that and plenty of space around them so they are comfortable at home because that’s what drives the relationship,” says Dr. Pietz. “If you don’t have this environmental enrichment, you can tell that you are the cat that goes away and hides in a certain area. That’s not so positive for the overall relationship. “
Accept your cat
Even if you’ve established a good relationship with your cat, they can change a little as they outgrow their kitten phase.
“You can find all kinds of personalities around cats,” says Dr. Pietz. “Some are lap cats. Some just want to hang out in the room. “
Connected: Which cats are lap cats?
Remember, people can be like that too – sometimes we get less playful or cuddly as we age. Dr. Pietz says it’s best to meet your cat where it is instead of forcing it to be someone they are not.
“For many, the point is to keep responding to their needs,” she says. “These can vary depending on the cat. Respect the cat who doesn’t cuddle and just likes to be around you. If you try to force them into your lap, they won’t appreciate it. “
Talk to your cat
While there aren’t really studies that say talking to your cat is good, Dr. Pietz that it’s still a fun way to connect.
“They love the answer you get when you say certain things or their names,” she says.
What if they ignore you? Hug it and laugh at it, says Dr. Pietz.
Continue playing time
Cats that remain playful are like big kittens. If your cat enjoys playing, encourage that.
“It’s really about further enriching your environment and stimulating your mind,” says Dr. Pietz. “It’s about finding out what the cat likes to fly around and hunt alone. They are all a little different. “
Crinkly balls, mice, and puzzle toys are popular options.
Create a cat den
If you’re the smart guy, consider a home improvement project or two that your cat will love. You can build things like perches and catios that will turn your home into a kitty oasis.
“The biggest benefit is that they feel happy and comfortable around the world,” says Dr. Pietz. “They offer them a space so that they can get where they need to be.”
It can also show you that your cat still needs you even after it has become more independent.
Featured photo: Delmaine Donson / Getty Images
Continue reading: 5 DIY projects you and your kids can create for your cats