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The past week I got really, really sick. The hardest part is that I live alone with my cat, so on top of feeling like dying with temperature and all, I have to take care of her too. But I also have to say that without the comfort of my sweet furbaby, it would have been even harder to go through the pain of the sickness.
Normally for cats, there is a rule that they can sense your energy levels and act accordingly. My cat must be an exception to this, as she seems completely ignorant of my physical state when I am sick. She doesn’t seem to be aware at all that I am sick.
Luckily she always wants to sleep near me so this has been a huge comfort for me. My cat is not a cuddly cat, to my great disappointment, but she has this need to be around me all the time.
It was very relieving just reaching out my hand and touching her warm and soft body, when everything hurts you even small things that support you are of great help.
And the company itself was immensely helpful. Being sick is hard enough but being sick and alone really triples the bad feelings. Knowing that at all times my faithful furbaby is beside me is such an emotional support.
And this is when the differences between humans and animals really hit: animals are so loyal and so loving and they would never leave you when you are sick – so unlike humans which, most of the time, tend to run away with the first signs of problems. When an animal loves, it truly loves you till your death – no oaths and big words.
But having such a wonderful companion also means that you have to make an extra effort in your life, and this is especially felt when you are sick. Although taking care of your pet doesn’t seem very hard when you are all well and healthy, this may seem extremely hard when all your body is aching and you have a fever, and when even the air feels too cold on your skin.
Basic Cat Care Tips for When You’re Feeling Unwell
Our pets are extremely dependent on us, and for indoor pets only, this is 100% true. So you really can’t take a day off and just think that your cat will manage it without you. This is so similar to being a parent, moms can’t have a day break from their baby. Although many people find it inappropriate that is the exact reason why we look at our cats as our babies and refer to ourselves as cat moms/dads – because in a way we truly are!
So no matter how you are feeling your cat still needs to eat, drink water, and go to the litter box. I mean even if you wanted to escape it your cat would definitely remind you that it wants to eat, cats are obnoxious when they need food.
Below are things I’ve learned so far, that I plan to do in the future so that I can take the best care of my cat when sick.
After this illness, I have decided to always buy extra food for my Puffy. I mean you literally can be perfectly healthy one day and the next day not be able to make yourself a tea, let alone go to the store to buy cat food if you are out of it. Going to the store in such a state is mission impossible so it is a very practical thing to have extra cat food – for at least 3 or 4 days.
One time I was so unfortunate to have no cat food at all and I got sick. I will never forget how my cat meowed all the time and how unbearable it was: not being able to feed her and listening to her cries on top of being sick with a fever. I had to call my mom to come and bring groceries – which only led to more stress as my mom always buys everything but what I have asked from her.
If you can get an automatic feeder then this would be the perfect solution for such a situation:
There are really too many cat feeders out there but what I would choose is one with an app, like the automatic cat feeder above. The reason for this is that when you are sick you have your phone beside you anyway, so using it to control things in your home is a great idea.
So even when you are sick and stuck in bed, you can still effortlessly make sure that your beloved pet is well-fed and happy. This will also enable you to focus on your own recovery, knowing that your cat is taken care of regarding food.
My cat drinks water only from a glass cup, it is because when she was little she only wanted to drink from a cup like mine, just like kids imitate their parents. I change the water in this glass cup for her every day in the morning.
When you are sick this is something you must think of. Fresh water is one of the basic things you must provide for your cat. It is an easy and simple thing to do, but still, when you are sick it does require an effort.
My apartment is really small so my faucet is in the same room where I do everything basically, and my cat loves playing with tap water every day and sometimes even multiple times per day.
With this observation I highly recommend you get a water fountain for your cat: it’s endless fun for your cat and it will keep it hydrated because it is known that indoor cats often suffer from dehydration. Plus it will really be handy in times when you are feeling unwell, the hydration problem will be solved for you with a water fountain, together with giving your cat some entertainment while you are sick.
The litter box is also one of the essential cat care stuff that must be maintained. We all know how cats are clean animals and my Puffy, when I have a particularly busy schedule and I don’t catch up with changing the litter fast enough, starts scratching her head on spots, up to the point where there is blood involved. It breaks my heart and I really try to be consistent with cleaning the litter box.
This is also true when you are sick: the litter must be changed if it is time for it. Now a long-lasting litter will be the best solution here so you really don’t have to change it that often.
So, to make your life easy you need a really good litter in terms of durability and absorbing odors and what I can recommend from my own experience is crystal/silica litter, which has worked best for me. This one is good but kinda expensive so if you are on a tight budget please do your research for a high-quality litter.
Of course, having a self-cleaning litter box to minimize manual cleaning after your cat is absolutely the perfect solution in a situation when you are sick. This is of course the most expensive solution but if you have the money then this is a really very practical thing to have.
You may have noticed that what works best for taking care of your cat when you are sick is basically automating the processes as much as possible. Besides being the best option for when you are not feeling good, it will be of great help in your normal daily routine of taking care of your cat.
My cat jumping everywhere while I lay sick and my body is hurting everywhere lol
Give Your Cat Interactive Toys
While cats sleep most of the time when they are awake they need to spend all the energy piled up in them. If you don’t give them a proper way to give away that energy you may end up like me: my cat jumping all around me and even on me because she just wants to play and is not aware that my every muscle hurts. That will be a source of added pain to your already painful state.
So, if you are sick for more days and just laying in bed then your cat can easily get bored, especially if it is a younger cat. That is why you need to have interactive toys at home, for when you suddenly catch the flu. Your cat will be able to play by itself and not bother you (as much).
I must admit that when my Puffy crosses all boundaries I lock her in the hallway for 10-20 minutes. Believe me, there is no other way to calm her down, so this is also a method, not a very pleasant one but effective. It works like a charm every time although this is my last resort for calming her down.
Manage Human-Cat Interaction
In all of our life together my cat has never gotten sick from me, even though I hug her a lot and she is always glued to my feet. So if you are careful enough, it is highly unlikely that your cat will catch the flu from you.
But just to be on the safe side, it is best that you keep a distance from your cat, don’t breathe in its face and wash your hands prior to giving it food or water or petting it.
If you do want to keep a distance from your cat then you have to make sure that your cat has a comfortable and cozy place to sleep and rest like a cat bed that no cat can resist.
She gave me full support and comfort by laying quietly beside me most of the time, and it was so good knowing she was right by my side
Since I was alone I talked to her telling her I was very sick. Not sure if she understood but it felt good and I know she likes me talking to her and maybe she sensed my discomfort: you can see she looks a bit sad in this picture.
Ask for Help
Finally, if you are too weak and you know that you can’t give your cat the basic needs then you have to ask for help.
I did it once with my mom, but honestly, it was maybe worse than if I had suffered and gotten my cat what she needed. We ended up fighting and it was too exhausting. That is why I recommend you become as independent as possible by getting all those automated gadgets for your cat.
But if you must ask then let it be stronger than your pride and choose someone that you can trust. It may even be a neighbor. You can also hire a professional service if that is available in your area.
I would do this for the basic cat needs like feeding, hydration or cleaning the litter box. If it is a family member you can also ask them to get a new cat toy to keep it entertained while you recover.
As you can see it is not hard to prepare to take care of your cat when you are not feeling good. Even more so, if you use the advice given above you will make your everyday life easier and you will have peace of mind knowing that your cat will be okay during your illness. This will help you recover faster and without stressing yourself over your cat’s needs.
With all this being said I hope you will not get sick and that you will enjoy your life with your cat in perfect health!