Throughout history, cats have been worshipped, treated like royalty and commanded our attention —and is there any wonder why?
Their all-knowing eyes, physically agile bodies, and innate intelligence are certainly things to admire! Felines are also sovereign creatures – the supreme rulers of their domain – who enjoy being pampered by us commoners (aka cat servants).
Did you know that only nobility were allowed to own cats in Japan during the 10th century?
Cat Worship around the World
Egyptian cat gods
The ancient Egyptians knew the power and awe of cats. Several of their gods are represented as the magnificent feline, from the fiery, lion-headed Sekhmet to Bastet, protector goddess of the home. But it wasn’t just the Egyptians who had it right.
Temple cats in Thailand
Cultures in southeast Asia recognized the sacred embodiment of the feline. In 1350, Buddhist monks wrote a manuscript called Tamra Maew, an ancient book of cat poems celebrating their love and adoration of the many attributes of the glorious temple cats.
Royal gifts in Russia
Russia’s Catherine II the Great was so enamored by the majestic Russian Blue that she gave them as gifts! She even had them live in the upper palace at Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, while cats on the lower floor served as guards—even getting paid for their work (and sneaking in some extra food for them)!
Queen cat-selfies in Great Britain
Plenty of the Great Britain royals have been spotted with their lovely kitties. Queen Victoria’s favorite cat, White Heather, was included in several photos with her. Even after the Queen’s death, White Heather continued to live a life of luxury at Buckingham Palace.
And cats eating off gold in the White House!
While America doesn’t have royalty, per say, did you know Abraham Lincoln used a golden fork to feed his Tabby in the White House? He even had another cat, Dixie, whom he said was smarter than his cabinet!
Helping your cat feel like royalty
Our modern cats are not revered nearly as much as their ancestors, however they can feel just as much like royalty in your own home.
Here are 8 ways to pamper your feline in the New Year:
1. Expand your cat’s domain – indoors and safely outdoors. As territorial animals, over time your home environment can become stale and predictable. Consider making a few changes to spark your cat’s curiosity and provide the daily enrichment and stimulation cats crave.
Indoors: Add vertical space to explore a taste of the high life with walking shelves, bookshelves, or a new cat tree as your cat’s throne. A variety of resources are available to suit your feline’s fancy, including hauspanther. And be sure to regularly open the windows for fresh air (make sure you have secure screens!) to enjoy stimulating sounds of the outdoors.
Outdoor Catio: From small and simple to large and luxurious, a catio (outdoor enclosure) can provide enrichment and stimulation of nature, birdwatching and peace of mind knowing your precious feline is always safe.
There are endless ways to provide safe outdoor spaces for your cat. As a catio designer and the founder of Catio Spaces, I recently transformed an existing garden shed into a custom cat castle for one very deserving kitty.
Watch Princess Penne enjoy her new domain in a custom catio.
2. Rotate your cat’s toys every 2-3 weeks. That’s right, put some of your cat’s toys away and bring them back out in a month or so. This keeps the toys seeming fresh and provides an opportunity to “marinate” them again in a jar of catnip!
3. Provide a place of peace and quiet. All royals need their rest. Make sure your cat has a place to retreat to – away from other pets, kids, guests and noise. (This can be great for your cat’s yin space! Read more about feng shui for felines.)
4. Give your cat a sunny spot that’s all their own. Basking in the sun on a window ledge or in a cattree is a favorite pastime, plus it’s a great place to enjoy birdwatching.
5. Serve a fancy feast. Just like the royals, cats enjoy an occasional tasty tidbit (and of course, a nap afterwards). Your kitty deserves the best so choose a scrumptious, savory and nutritious treat. A variety of options are available.
6. Don’t forget that check-up! While not all royals are the best at submitting to check-ups, it’s necessary for us all. Don’t forget to schedule your annual or twice-annual appointment.
7. Consider an in-home spa day. These days, traveling groomers are much more common and can come for a visit for a trim, a brush, or a full bath. So, especially during the major shedding seasons, consider treating kitty to an in-home spa day with a traveling groomer.
8. Are you getting married? If you can’t imagine your special day without your beloved felines, consider including them in the wedding party! My catio clients, Cassady and Austin Kintner, created a royal wedding wagon, beautifully wrapped in toile and ribbons for their beloved Ragdolls, Sir Snuggles of Fluffington and Lady Gigi!
No matter how you choose to give your beloved feline the royal treatment this year, the rewards of a soothing purr, head bunt, and warm body will enhance your life. My tabby Serena is certainly the kitty queen of my household (who has four catios). I’m grateful for her sweet presence that graces my home and life!
While both Serena and Princess Penne are purrfectly content enjoying catio life, your cat doesn’t have to be left out. Check out my downloadable DIY catio plans for a window, porch, patio, deck or yard, or get in touch about a custom catio for your feline friends.
From our home to yours, we hope you and your royal feline have a fantastic 2020!
And, as always, life is good in a catio!