cat stay cool and
entertained with these
easy-to-make meat broth ice cubes.
Start from scratch and cook your own
broth, because commercial broths are
flavored with sodium, garlic, spices,
and other ingredients toxic to cats. You
need only two ingredients: raw meat
and fresh water. Place your cat’s favorite meat, along with the bones, into a
large pot, cover with water, and boil.
Cooking time varies, depending on the
meat and the amount of water. Do not
add anything to the mix — just meat
After making the broth, skim the fat
off and pour the broth into ice cube
trays. Broth cubes are more enticing
when a piece of meat is added to
each cube before they are placed in
the freezer. After they are frozen, put
a couple of cubes into a wide shallow
bowl for your cat. Each kitty in the
household deserves her own bowl
with two frozen meat cubes. Cats
enjoy sampling the melting broth while
going for the meat “prize.”
2. Water toys
Water can be made more
Make sure the toys are safe — that they
appealing with toys. Float
plastic hollow balls and other
water-safe toys in bowls, fountains,
and sinks. Your cat will enjoy batting
and trying to catch the elusive objects.
can’t be swallowed or have pieces that
can be bitten off.
3. Water games
Many cats love drinking and swatting at
running water. Gift you and your feline
companions with motion-sensitive water faucets that easily attach to kitchen
and bathroom faucets. Although
designed for humans, most cats quickly
figure out how to activate them with
head movements and paw swipes.
Pet fountains are also a hit with
most kitties. You can choose from a
variety of commercial models, including expensive, decorative ceramic ones
as well as inexpensive plastic models.
All pet fountains need to be cleaned
at least once a week.
PHOTOS BYGINA CIOLI/I-5STUDIO
Marilyn Krieger, Certified
Cat Behavior Consultant,
and owner of The Cat
Coach, LLC®, thecatcoach.
com, solves cat behavior problems through
Skype, phone, and on-site consultations.
Marilyn writes bimonthly behavior articles for Catster.com and was the monthly
behavior columnist for CAT FANCY magazine. She is the author of the cat behavior
book Naughty No More! Marilyn lectures
nationally about cat behavior and is a
frequent guest on television and radio. Join
Marilyn for lively discussions about cat
behavior on her Facebook page /thecat
coach and on Twitter at @TheCatCoach.
4. Floor toys
Cats are individuals — each has her
own toy preferences. Many love
ball-and-tract toys, while others
enjoy spending time fishing toys and
treats out of puzzle boxes, feeders,
and toys. Some opt to carry favorite
toys in their mouths or chase them
around on the floor, and some prefer
stalking, pouncing, and catching toys
being dragged by their people.
5. Vertical territory
If cats could write, they’d put tall
cat trees and condos high on their
must-have lists. They would also ask
you to place them near screened
windows. These are perfect locations for watching the goings-on in
the neighborhood while enjoying
a cross breeze and napping after a
play session. Also incorporate the
vertical territory into your cat’s
play sessions by dragging pole toys,
feathers, and ribbons over them for
your kitty to chase.
6. Hiding places
Most kitties enjoy napping, playing,
and hiding under furniture and in
bags, boxes, and tunnels. Bags need
to be safe — use only paper bags
without handles. Make these places
more enjoyable by angling them to
catch a cross breeze. Encourage your
cat to use them for more than hiding
and napping by tossing favorite toys
and rolling treats into them.
WHEN IT’S COOL TO PLAY
Choose the right times to play. Avoid energetic play sessions when it’s hot — the heat can
cause serious health issues. Instead, encourage play during the mornings and evenings when
it’s cooler. You may be able to entice your cat by rubbing her favorite toys with treats and
catnip. Also, incorporate play into mealtimes by putting food and treats in puzzle boxes
Along with the hazards from overheating, know your cat’s limitations when you play with
her. Older cats and those who have impairments do not play as intensely or as long as younger adults and kittens. Even kitties who do enjoy intense play should not be pushed to the
point where they are panting and breathing hard. Tailor the play sessions to the individual
— they might consist of only batting balls around and slurping broth ice cubes, or they might
be raucous stalk-and-chasing games.