Cats can feel stress due to a change, explains Ericka Basile, vice president and general
manager of the pet division of Green Roads. This can be attributed to changes in the
human’s work schedule, the home itself or the introduction of a new cat.
It’s becoming more common to modify the environment around a cat’s natural instincts,
as many behaviors can be solved by enriching the cat’s surroundings and engaging them in
active play, explains Kate Benjamin, founder of Hauspanther.
Contrary to popular belief, cats can actually live happily with a purely indoor lifestyle
as long as they’re provided with plenty of enrichment toys, play and feeding that brings
them back to their wild roots, explains Paul DiBrito, president of Paw CBD, part of
cbdMD in Charlotte, N.C.
For example, to alleviate behavior problems related to food, cat owners should consider
a no-bowl feeding system or hunt-simulating toys, so that cats can pounce, prowl and
hunt for their food.
They should also have access to proper scratching surfaces, Benjamin explains, because
when cats scratch, they are grooming their nails, exercising their muscles and marking their
territory. Their claws leave a visual and scent mark from the glands located in their paws.
“This marking gives the cats a sense of territorial ownership, something that is important for
making a cat feel comfortable in his or her environment,” she continues. “If cats have appropriate
scratching surfaces they will not scratch in unwanted places, like on furniture or walls.”
Also, DiBrito adds, cats benefit from having a window perch, or “catio,” where they can
safely watch the outside world.
Consumers should try different options, such
as vertical or horizontal surfaces and different
materials, including sisal or jute rope and
cardboard or carpet. Several cat scratchers should
be scattered throughout the home, and humans
should spend time playing with their feline friends
of all ages, not just kittens.
“Everything from improper elimination to
aggressive behavior can be attributed to a bored
cat with no way to express its natural instincts,”
says DiBrito.“Cats need to scratch. Cats are
hunters. Cats are curious and want to play.”
EDUCATION IS KEY
More pet parents are making an effort to
educate themselves about their cats’ needs, Smith
says, because they see their pets as an extension of
the family. This shift is making shoppers look for
products that feature CBD, hemp or pheromones.
CBD, in particular, has been getting a lot of
attention lately, but there has not been much
research supporting its efficacy for mitigating
behavior problems or other issues. In fact, the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes on its
website that it is actively working to learn more
about the safety of CBD products, including for
pets. The FDA also notes that it has not approved
CBD for use in pet products, and recommends
pet owners do some research and consult with
professionals before introducing a new treatment
plan for their cats.
“Cats are extremely finicky, which is why it’s
important to do regular check-ups and consult
with your professional if you sense something
might not be going well,” says Chelsea
Gennings, vice president and co-founder of Pet
Releaf in Littleton, Colo.
She notes that retailers have an opportunity
P.L.A. Y. Pet Lifestyle and You’s
to educate pet owners about CBD and natural
products, but, in doing so, retailers should let
consumers know that CBD is not a magic
potion or a cure-all, as “transparency—not just
“Cats are not small dogs,” says DiBrito. “Once
this really sunk into the collective consciousness,
supported by cat behavior research and
specialists, feline-friendly products have really
started to take off.” PB
( petplay.com) Arty is a two-in-one
cat scratcher featuring multiple
surfaces and angles and a curved
design that separates into two
pieces, which can be used together
Treatibles ( treatibles.com) Soft
Chews for Cats feature organic, full
spectrum hemp oil with naturally-occurring CBD, supporting
cannabinoids, terpenes and several
other beneficial compounds,
along with turmeric, two digestive
enzymes and catnip leaf powder.
Each chew contains 1.5 mg. of CBD.
Leather Brothers (leatherbrothers
.com) ULTRAstretch Cat Collars
stretch from buckle to tip, offer
unlimited adjustment and feature
a matching bell. The cat collars
are available in seven bright and
ADDRESSING THE ISSUES