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It has been 21 months since we introduced a second child into the house, and rocked our cat’s world again. She did surprisingly well when we brought our son home over 6 years ago, but I wasn’t sure if she would have the same feelings about a second little one. So almost two years into the second child, we have to make extra efforts to help Chloe realize she’s very loved and spoil her. I’m a firm believer that a spoiled cat is a more loving cat, so on a recent trip to PetSmart, I bought several products to help brighten Chloe’s day a bit.
Cats deserve a good amount of love and attention. In fact, ours demands attention. And I know if I don’t play with her and make sure she has adequate exercise during our awake hours, she’s going to be running through my bed at 2 in the morning. Recently, she’s been dealing with a bad case of anxiety which I think is due to the fact we have a new baby boy. I’m not sure if she is dealing with this in the right way. I feel sorry for her because I don’t want her feeling this way. She needs to be as comfortable as possible. Despite her age (she’s roughly 12 or 13 years old), she loves a good stuffed toy to toss around. (In the photo below, Chloe is smothering her turtle toy I just bought her.)
Chloe also gets free run of the house when it comes to napping. Lately she prefers my daughter’s room. There have been a few times when I tried to keep the cat out of the toddler’s room at naptime, but I finally gave in. Chloe figured out how to open the door (I have no idea how) and if she can’t open it, she scratches the door until I let her in. The photo above is Chloe during naptime. She’s basically living her best life.
When we converted our extra bedroom into our son’s new bedroom, Chloe’s litter box was moved. We eventually moved her into a space in a downstairs room – she has privacy and we don’t have to worry about people shutting her out, or her stinking up the room. We’ve added TIDY CATS® Free & Clean™ Unscented Clumping Litter and now she isn’t overpowered with fragrance, yet it covers the scent of everything she’s leaving behind in the litter box. Just how we want it.
Chloe also needs something to scratch. Our old scratching post has seen better days, and my husband remembered how much the cat used to love a cardboard scratching “box”, so we picked up the Wave Cat Scratcher. Chloe must think it’s a bed because after scratching, she just lays on it.
I’ve mentioned the kids a few times. When we introduced Chloe to both kids, we went through a lot of the same steps to get everyone acclimated to one another.
- We didn’t force the baby on the cat. If she was interested, we let her get close and sniff. She was never aggressive with the babies.
- Chloe has some spaces that are off-limits to the kids. Our upstairs is gated off, so she can always go downstairs to escape a toddler. Her litter box is also downstairs where she has plenty of privacy. We are using TIDY CATS Free & Clean Unscented Clumping Litter in her box, which has no dyes, no added fragrance and is still easy to clean up as it forms really strong clumps. Easy to clean, and something that still covers the scent without having an overpowering fragrance is important to me.
- Teach the child to always be gentle. We bought a book called “Pat Them Gently” that goes through a lot of animals and teaches the child to pet an animal gently. I feel like we bought the book for a dollar, and we held onto it after my son knew how to play with Chloe.
- Keep your cat’s eating space separate and clean. Chloe’s dishes are in our dining room, and I picked up this mat to help keep the space clear (or at least make it easier to clean stray food and spilled water.) We also have a large self-water bowl, so we don’t have to fill her bowl quite as frequently.
- Spend extra time with the cat after the kids go to bed. I never wanted Chloe to feel like I couldn’t pet her or play with her, and I’d feel guilty about not catering to her after the kids were born. Also forcing myself to spend extra time with her also made me slow down – something a lot of parents struggle with. Spending 30 minutes on the couch with my cat is such a great activity at the end of a long day.
We are definitely not strangers to PetSmart. In March of 2009, we visited PetSmart for the first time to check out an adoption event. We were just going to look at cats – we had no intentions of adopting that day – and we came home with Chloe. Along with adopting her, we had to make a quick purchase to buy….well, everything. We ended up buying a carrier (to take her home), a cat bed (because we thought we weren’t going to let her sleep on our bed), food, a litter box, cat litter, a cat comb, treats and toys. We really had no idea what we were doing, but we were grateful to PetSmart for carrying everything we needed!
I love that PetSmart has really helpful signs in each section – from grooming to toys and scratching furniture, they are there to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your cat.
How do you pamper your cat?