Self-care lessons my cats have taught me *

self-care-lessons-my-cats-have-taught-me

Self-care is probably one of the most talked about concepts nowadays.  There’s even a whole month dedicated to it on social media – #SelfCareSeptember.  But what does it actually mean, why are many of us so bad at it, and what lessons can we learn from cats?  Quite a lot as it turns out, so here are five self-care lessons my cats have taught me.

Sleep

We have three cats: Jester, my beloved old boy, Spooky, Flora’s three-year-old, and Ginger, Alan’s hobo that came to stay.  The one thing they all have in common is how much they sleep – as a rule, most cats will sleep for 16-18 hours a day.  Whether that’s on a sunny chair, on (or sometimes in) our beds, or even in the laundry basket.  They know what they need and are experts at getting their rest

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While sleeping 16-18 hours a day isn’t practical or possible for most of us, taking time out to recharge, without feeling shame or guilt, should be.  I’m very bad at this, and I know the cumulative effect of never switching off does impact on my quality of sleep.  The first self-care lesson I’ve learned from my cats is to conserve energy for the important things such as…

Food

Cats are not omnivores, vegetarians, or vegans.  They need the protein in an-all meat diet so feeding the correct food is very important.  Recently, I’ve been treating them with some gourmet Whiskas cat casseroles pouches * which were very kindly sent for their review, including a 7+ years box, just for Jester, whose elderly taste buds are apparently more discerning <3  Whiskas has over 60 years of experience making cat food for every stage of a cat’s life.  The company works hard to develop great quality, nutritious products to help keep cats of all breeds and ages happy and healthy.

Verdict: our three loved the casseroles, even Spooky, whose preferred diet is usually something he’s caught himself.  Based on this reception, I think the new casseroles are a brilliant daily treat 🙂

Taking my cues from our cats, switching up our meals is something that I want us to implement as a family.  With an ultra-fussy eight year old to feed too, this is a challenge but I think we deserve a break from the usually bland weeknight fare.  Time to blow the dust off some of my recipe book collection and cook us up some treats too.

Grooming

Cats are adept at keeping themselves clean and groomed.  While bathing in your own spit might not seem very hygienic, their barbed tongues keep their fur knot-free and waterproof (to a point).  And if they get the odd minor injury, the enzymes in their saliva are a very effective infection control.  I can’t think of any other animal that takes as much time and care over their appearance as a cat, to such stunning effect.  Am I biased? Yes.  Am I right?  Yes.

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And this is another self-care lesson for me: time spent on my appearance (clothes, hair, make up, nails) is not an indulgence if it makes me feel good.  I was sent some beautiful nail polishes recently in some blogger self-care box swaps, which I need to start using.  In the meantime, time spent brushing and stroking our cats is a calming treat for them as well as for me.

Play

Cats love to play, it’s how kittens hone their stalking, hunting, fighting, and catching prey skills, as well as cementing their family connections.  Adult cats enjoy playing too, albeit not as frequently.  Sometimes with their owners, sometimes with each other, like Ginger and Spooky who love a bit of rough and tumble.  I used to play with Jester and Spooky when they were kittens and the joyful interaction was something I always enjoyed.  Reflected sunlight from a watch face used to drive them wild!

self-care-lessons-my-cats-have-taught-me

Playing shouldn’t just be for children and cats though.  On the – rare – occasions that Alan, Flora and I play together, we always have so much fun.  Whether that’s a card game, Eye Spy, or just a water fight, it’s all about being close and enjoying our reactions to each other.  And, on the simplest level, reinforcing our family bonds.

Healthy living

Although cats are meat eaters, they do sometimes eat grass.  It’s generally thought to help move food or hairballs through the digestive tract (either up or down as grass eating often results in vomiting).  When we lived in a flat, I used to grow cat grass in a tub for our cats for this reason.  And Flora’s sown some cat grass in a patch in her little garden now too.  My point is, cats know what they need and when they need it.  Including how to beg for – and get – the occasional life-enhancing treat or three.

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We’re probably all guilty of over indulging and eating or drinking to excess at one time or another.  But living a healthier lifestyle is no longer a fad, it’s a necessity.  And something that Alan and I are very keen to set an example for where Flora’s concerned.  Although the odd treat does slip through 🙂

Lessons learned?

Cats are living much longer now than was the case 20 years ago, thanks to better nutrition, veterinary and home care, according to the International Cat Care charity.  I think it’s probably also due to the fact that they are unabashed experts at self-care, with much more to teach us than we realise.  Our cats have certainly shown me the value of putting myself first every once in a while, and for that alone I think they deserve ALL the treats, every day!

What lessons do you think your pets have taught you?

* This post is in conjunction with WHISKAS® but all thoughts are my own.

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Cora @ Tea Party Princess
Guest

Yeah, I think your cats have this whole self care thing down, they’re definitely living their best lives.
Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

Bexa
Guest

Aww, I love this post Lisa! Cats are most definitely the experts in self-care, as I type this I have one cat on the bed fast asleep, another in the lounge watching birds out the window and another in the kitchen having some food. I love the photo of all three of yours sleeping, mine would never stay still for that long, ha ha. The Whiskas casserole pouches sound like a lovely treat for them and a good reminder that we should treat ourselves too. My cats are super fussy, and only like the food pouches in gravy but I… Read more »

Lydia
Guest

I loved this post. We really all should act more like cats in this area. 🙂

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty
Guest

My basset hound is all about the “self” and not necessarily the “care” part. I enjoyed this post. Your cats are so cute.

Jennifer | Mrs Q Beauty

what corinne did
Guest

I’ve got a cat too and he is a psychocat… so much energy and bites everything ahah! But they are the best at self-care! Sleep is indeed essential!

Amie
Guest

I’ve always said I’d love to be a cat and cats have really got the whole self care situation down!

Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan

Joanne
Guest

This is genius!!! I wanna be a cat!! 🐈 having said that this weekend I had plenty of sleep, got my hair done for the first time in ages (and went for a completely new look) and had a gorgeous roast dinner – feel much better for it all! So great advice!

Cathy Ulrickson
Guest

This has got to be the most creative and true blog post I’ve seen in awhile. Thoroughly enjoyed this one. Will definitely promote/retweet. ❤️

Bethany Jane
Guest

This is such a cute post Lisa, any excuse to look at pictures of kitties is good with me! You’re right though, cats really do have some good lessons to teach us about how to enjoy life. My older cat knows what she likes, and that’s mainly sitting on my husband – she literally forces him to sit down so she can curl up on his lap but it does remind him he doesn’t always have to be busy-busy! Also my cats would absolutely LOVE those Whiskas pouches!
Beth x http://www.adventureandanxiety.com

Hazel @ Places & Peonies
Guest

Cats are literally the best! And despite what people think, they have so much to teach us!

Creative Nails
Guest

Such lovely pictures you took of your cats – they are SO cute! As I said on the instagram picture too, the way you have shaped the food is amazing haha. I love the way you have written this post – it’s a really interesting way to look at it, pets really do teach and show you so many things without evening realising it. I don’t think Casper is as elegant as your cats may be, but he has his ways 😂

Amy,
https://creativenails.uk

Sophie Wentworth
Guest

I really wondered where this was going when I read the title 😂. I think your cats are my dog. He sleeps a solid 18 hours a day, he drops his lead at my feet when he’s ready for a walk so he clearly wants to exercise. I’ve never known a dog to clean themselves as much as he does. Poor little guy is sick whenever he eats meat but some of his favourite human snacks include apple, kale and peppers??? I didn’t realise how weird he is until I started writing this… Anyway, my takeaway here – be more… Read more »

Nicola
Guest

This is such a great idea for a post. Cats definitely know how to look after themselves and I have to say I love doing all these things!

Nicola
http://nicshealthylife.co.uk

Louisa
Guest

I absolutely loved reading this post Lisa. Cats are great teachers, we can definitely learn a lot from them.

Louisa

Amy
Guest

Your cats sound excellent at self-care, and I absolutely love getting to see photos of them in your posts; they’re all gorgeous. My dogs definitely think they’re queens; they love sitting on pillows and cushions, and one thing the way they live their lives has instilled in me is that if you CAN do something to cheer up your day, you almost certainly should.
Amy xx

Rebecca
Guest

Love this post Lisa! Great self-care tips and I love the cat inspiration too, such a great idea. Your cats look super cute and definitely look like they live a life of luxury! My dog has taught me that no matter what shit happens, a snuggle makes everything better!! xx

Rebecca | http://www.rebeccasreviews.com

Merkitty
Guest

I love this post! Cats really have harnessed self care.. I guess that’s one of the reason that I like them, they’re just so independent and set a good example for me! I do get jealous of how much my cats sleep, I would love to be able to sleep that long… but like you say, it’s just not practical. Although, sometimes I do get a cheeky 12 hours!

I loved seeing all the photos of your cats. Thanks for sharing ♥

merkitty.co.uk

Ruth
Guest

Yesssssss for cats! 😍 I love this post so much. They’re definitely living the best life. Juno is always my constant reminder to slow down, and that it’s fine to have a nap here and there! I completely agree making time for play is really important to relax and unwind. It’s one of my favourite things about spending time with my nieces. Your pictures are gorgeous, too, by the way. ❤️

Cordelia Moor
Guest

Ah man, I wish I was a cat and could sleep for 16-18 hours a day. The recommended 8 hours just never seems quite enough! What a fun post though, I never thought of looking at my darling cat and learning good self care from her. Although I think I’ll skip the bird catching.

Cordelia || cordeliamoor.com

Melissa Kacar
Guest

Your cats are so cute! This was such a fun post to read, thanks for sharing! 🙂

melissakacar.blogspot.com

Kate
Guest

oh Lisa your cats are just absolutely adorable! I have been thinking about getting a cat for so long, I love the description of ‘Hobo who came to stay’ – so cute! Cats definitely have the right idea when it comes to self-care, we can definitely take a leaf out of their book!
Kate x
http://www.findingkate.co