When one hears the word “zen” you imagine a sense of peace, balance and tranquility. Many of us in today’s society are missing out on this zen feeling in our everyday routine. Our lifestyles have become hectic with being too busy the norm. So how can we create a little more zen in our life?
According to Eckhart Tolle, we just need to mirror our feline companions. He quoted, “I have lived with several Zen masters—all of them cats.” However, not every feline household has mastered zen. We are recognizing more health problems and behavior conditions that are related to the stress they are experiencing in their environment. Whether you have one cat or a multi-cat household, following these guidelines can help you keep their inner peace and maybe a little of yours, too!
Be sure there are plenty of resources to go around depending on the number of cats in your household. Resources can include food, water, litter boxes, toys, beds, perches and private space.
Cats love space! When planning their indoor living, think vertically. They enjoy keeping an eye on their world perched from above. Visual stimulation is great enrichment, too, so offer them some window seats.
Cats also need to be able to tuck away and have some quiet time. They love taking cat naps…don’t we all! So give them some comfy, private space. Nothing fancy necessary, a simple cardboard box with a blanket will slumber trap them.
Engaging in positive interaction builds the human-animal bond and helps create more zen for both of you. Avoid any scolding or punishing as this will negatively impact your relationship creating stress and avoidance of you.
Exercise is a healthy component to anyone’s lifestyle. Cats need daily, consistent interaction and playtime. Rotate a variety of toys for play to heighten their interest. Be sure to harness their natural behaviors of stalking, pouncing, chasing and capturing. Some playtime ideas include food puzzle toys, sending your cat on a treasure hunt by hiding treats around the house, feather teasers and laser pointers.
Wind down with some good ole snuggle time, if your cat allows. Every personality is different so gauge their needs.
Feline pheromones are a natural chemical produced by different areas on their body and are used in social communication. Cats commonly emit pheromones through facial rubbing and scratching leaving a message to other cats.
Some pheromones help decrease stress and anxiety. Feliway is a synthetic version of the feline facial pheromone and can be used in a variety of ways in the environment to create a more soothing and calming ambiance.