What Do Cats Need To Be Happy? [ Here’s A Full Checklist ]

Cats are susceptible to various emotional needs that are beneficial to their mental health. You must match those needs with love, affection, and the utmost care.

If not, there can be several effects on the cat which are best to avoid. So, you might be wondering what you can do to make cats happy in general.

Apart from attending to their daily needs, you need to provide attention, love, a playing environment, safety, and clean living conditions.

If you see those needs, they are quite self-explanatory. However, there is a need to talk about these as they are imperative to keep your cat content.

In this article, we will list out quite a few of those things that might need your attention.

Apart from that, we will also go over some of the ways you can keep the indoor cats happy. So, let us see the necessities of a happy cat.

What Do Cats Need To Be Happy?

Cats can be quite needy at times. While it is important to ensure that we fulfill their needs, we can always make mistakes.

Some of these things can even slip our minds easily. So, this list will help you remember some of the ways you can keep your cat happy at all times.

1. Love And Attention

Love and attention are absolute musts when you have a cat. It is a common belief that cats are just fine with themselves.

While that is true to some extent, they have needs as well. It is also a fact that all cats have their different extents of need. So, one cat might require an immense amount of love and attention.

At the same time, others require the bare minimum. The best way to judge is by their reaction to your attention or love. However, there must be some amount of loving attention towards them at all times.

2. Play Time

Cats need quite a bit of playtime, and there is no way around it. If you do not let it stimulate itself enough, there can be quite a bit of stress and anxiety. Without enough playtime, cats can get depressed as well.

Hence, it is imperative for the cat’s mental health that you play with your cat properly. It does not mean that you have to spend all the time with your cat playing.

You can purchase various interactive toys that can keep the cat engaged for hours. Catnip toys are also great if your cat is sensitive towards catnip.


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3. Safe Environment

When you are adopting a cat, you may have already made the house safe for a cat. It is really simple to make the place safe enough for the cat. You have to restrict any cramped places where the cat can get stuck.

Although cats like to sneak into cramped places, it is best to make sure those places are safe enough for them. Otherwise, restrict access to them. A happy cat needs to be a healthy cat.

4. Scratching Post

Scratching posts are imperative to a cat household. Cats have an indomitable need for scratching because of their intuitive nature. Their ancestors used to scratch their nails on tree bark, and now domestic cats need something to scratch as well.

It is where the scratching posts come into the picture.

There are several options available online that you can check. However, having one vertical scratching post and a horizontal scratching post for your cat would surely help keep their needs in check.

5. Litter Box

There are quite a few things that you should keep when it comes to litter boxes.

First of all, litter boxes need to be clean for your cat. It does not necessarily mean that you have to clean up after your cat uses the litter box. Cleaning once or twice every day should be fine to keep the litter box clean enough.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that the litter box should be kept in a peaceful place. Litter boxes are private places for cats, and they should have a noise-free environment to do their deeds.

Also, it is best if you do not keep the litter box anywhere near the food or water bowl. Cats tend to keep things separate, and we should respect how they want their things.

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6. A Window

We cannot stress enough how much cats love to watch outside and do almost nothing while at it. However, you have to make sure that they are comfortable while taking a look at the outside world.

Not only does it keep them busy and engaged when they are sitting at the window, but you also don’t have to do anything extra to satisfy them or keep them happy. You can always set up a cat tree near the window so that it can use it for playing, scratching, and a good place to look outside as well.

7. A Little Me Time

In case you have not figured it out yet, cats are quite private creatures. There is nothing wrong if the cat wants a little me time away from you. If you want to keep the cat happy, you can keep a few hiding places that are safe for cats. In that way, they can spend time there alone and be happy about it.

8. Vet Visits

Cats’ health is also a large factor when it comes to their happiness. It is very hard to determine whether the cat is sick or hurting. So, experts recommend that you should take your cat to vet visits every year at least once.

It is also a must that you always watch your cat’s behavior or daily routine changes. Often those are the indications of something wrong with their health.

9. Food and Water

These are the basic needs of having a cat, and it is often unclear how important food and water are to a cat’s living conditions.

First of all, you need to make sure that the cat has a well-balanced feeding regime.

Not only should the food be full of nutrients, but you also have to pace them as per the need.

You cannot overfeed or underfeed your cat as it can often lead to dire situations. It is best to consult the vet of your choice so that you have an idea.

The cat should also have access to fresh water at all times.

You should replace water completely at least once a day and refill it if it is low. If you invest in a small water fountain for cats, that would be amazing for the cat as well.

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How Do I Make My Indoor Cat Happy?

There are a few tricks to keep your indoor cat happy as well. Indeed, they might not get the freedom of the outdoors, but they are safer inside. However, you must ensure that you fulfill their needs even though they are inside the four walls.

Whatever we have mentioned beforehand must be there for indoor cats.

If you can manage to put up with these conditions properly, you do not need to worry about their well-being. They might need it more as you are keeping them inside.


When we are taking responsibility for a pet, we need to make sure that they are happy, healthy, and safe at all times.

Although the basic needs are enough to have a happy life for the cat, we still sometimes need a recap of those. So, I hope you have understood how you can keep a happy cat by reading this article.

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