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Your newly adopted orange tabby Amber thinks she’s the luckiest cat around. Yesterday, you brought this feisty four-year-old girl home from your town’s animal shelter. Your new feline companion has already become acclimated to her plush bed and toys. Tomorrow, you’ll take Amber to your Leesburg vet, who will give her a complete physical exam. The vet will prescribe an appropriate diet, and will provide recommendations on making your housemate a low-stress cat.
Although your fortunate feline will enjoy quality food, she also needs abundant clean water. If her body doesn’t take in enough of this life-essential nutrient, she could become dehydrated and experience stress. Even slight dehydration contributes to certain medical problems.
Although Amber will drink from her bowl, consider giving her a moving water source, such as a flowing faucet. Canned food contains water; however, check with your vet before adding anything else to her menu.
Following a nationwide poll of opinionated cats, they overwhelmingly agreed that an elevated perch was an essential piece of feline furniture. Fortunately, you had already bought Amber a plush carpeted cat tower with two roomy observation platforms and a cozy sleeping cubby. If she seems to enjoy indoor birdwatching, place her cat tree adjacent to her favorite window.
The poll results also indicated that most cats consider claw workouts their favorite activity, followed closely by territory marking. Give your pampered feline housemate her own personal scratching post or similarly textured surface. Ideally, she’ll have both horizontal and vertical scratching spots. If your home contains multiple cats, each feline would prefer a dedicated scratching location.
If you ignore your cat’s scratching instinct, she could experience stress. She might decide to relieve her frustration by digging into your carpet, curtains, and/or furniture.
Regular exercise should help to reduce Amber’s stress. Provide her with twice-daily playtime sessions of 20-30 minutes each (or longer). If she becomes too wound-up, lead her to a cardboard “hide box” in which she can relax for awhile. Give her regular cuddling time, too. While you stroke your blissful feline companion, watch for small physical or behavioral changes that could indicate a developing medical condition.
Finally, keep Amber’s lifestyle disruptions to a minimum. If she shows symptoms of stress or anxiety, contact your Leesburg vet for expert assistance.