If you want your cat to be happier & less pissy, experts swear by these genius things

It’s easier than you think.

ByLauren Moison
Originally Published: 
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If you’re wondering how to curb your cat’s sassy behavior and make them a little happier, it turns out, there are several expert-approved ways to fulfill your kitty’s underlying needs and promote a calmer disposition. From herb-infused treats to cozy lounging spaces and fun toys, you’ll find plenty of genius items to pick from, and they’ve all received high ratings from fellow cat owners.

Scroll on to see all the easy ways you can help your cat be a little less pissy.

Expert tip: Use interactive play to keep cats tired & happy

1. This set of durable yet plush catnip-filled mice

If your kitty loves catnip, give them a set of these cute catnip-filled mice that are durable against chewing and scratching. The five plush mice all feature different facial expressions, and reviewers appreciate the small size that’s easy for their cats to wrestle. One fan wrote, “My kitty loves to hug onto them and kick with her back feet. They are just the right size.”

2. A challenging puzzle feeder with hidden treat compartments

Dr. Waisburd notes, “Puzzle toys and feeders can help combine play with the satisfaction of a food reward,” and this cute puzzle toy features swiveling leaves and sliding ladybugs for varying levels of difficulty. There are 16 hidden treat compartments to hold up to 0.25 cups of food, and it’s made out of food-safe, BPA-free free materials.

3. A colorful ball-rolling cat toy with 29,000+ 5-star ratings

Featuring colorful balls that spin when swiped, this tiered cat toy helps keep your feline friend entertained. Three out of six balls have bells on the inside for extra excitement and there are viewing holes built into each tier so your cat can watch the balls whizzing by. The toy comes in over 10 bright colors and styles, including blue, orange, and green.

4. A cat wand set with interchangeable feathers

Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado, a cat behavior expert with Rover, tells Mic, “Tired cats are happy cats and interactive play is a great way to exercise your cat." To promote more movement, Delgado suggests a toy with "life-like feathers and flying movement," like this cat wand set that comes with eight dye-free feather attachments and two wands with comfy foam handles. The set is also cat owner-approved, having earned a 4.5-star overall rating from Amazon reviewers.

5. This rechargeable mouse that rolls across the floor

If your cat’s not a fan of jumping after flying feathers, consider this interactive mouse toy that helps encourage physical activity by giving kitties something fun to chase. Colorful LED lights in the tail add extra visual interest, and the battery lasts for up to 160 minutes before it needs to be recharged. This little mouse can run on both hard floors and low-pile carpets.

6. A collection of cat toys to keep them interested & entertained

It might take some trial and error to figure out which activities your cat likes. As Dr. Beth Waisburd, senior veterinarian at Small Door Veterinary, explains, “Rotating different types of interactive toys can help to determine your cat’s preferred play style.” This 28-piece cat toy set includes a variety of options to explore, like fuzzy mice, a fun tunnel, and several bell-filled balls. It even comes with a storage bag to keep everything contained.

Expert tip: Help your cat feel calm

7. A cozy cat toy with a touch-activated purr

This soft and cuddly cat toy features a comforting purr sound that may help reduce stress, with one reviewer writing, “This little purple cat was the first item which really made our nervous kitty relax.” The purring feature will turn on automatically when touched and stay on for two minutes before shutting off. The purr mechanism can also be removed so you can wash the toy if needed.

8. This plug-in pheromone diffuser to help your cat chill

To deter unwanted behaviors and help your cat relax, Waisburd recommends using a Feliway diffuser to emit calming pheromones throughout the room, adding, “We use them in every room of our clinic and even spray them on our clothes before exams!” The diffuser covers up to 700 square feet and plugs easily into an outlet, and a 30-day supply of pheromone spray is included.

9. These cat treats with melatonin & other calming ingredients

Another way to promote relaxation in your cat is by giving them these calming chews that are infused with ashwagandha, melatonin, and chamomile for soothing benefits. They’re great to use before stressful events such as thunderstorms, fireworks, or vet trips and feature a bacon flavor that many cats enjoy, according to reviewers.

Expert tip: Satisfy your cat’s scratching instinct

10. A scratching pad made from natural fibers

For cats who prefer horizontal scratching surfaces, this scratching mat is a great pick thanks to its natural sisal fibers that may last longer, according to Waisburd. The pad has a nonslip backing to help keep it in place and it can even be attached to the wall if desired. It comes in three colors and sizes, and when it’s time to replace it, the material is biodegradable so you can throw it away without worry.

11. This cactus-shaped scratching post with a plush base

Waisburd explains that when it comes to scratching, “some cats prefer a good stretch while scratching (think kitty yoga!) and do best with a tall scratching post.” This fun cactus scratching post provides 25.6 inches of vertical scratching surface, has a wide base for stability, and features a soft covering on the top and bottom for comfort. It’s also available in 21.7 and 33.9-inch sizes.

12. This multi-tasking scratch pad & toy

This two-in-one scratching pad and toy combo not only gives your kitty something other than your furniture to scratch, but it also provides plenty of entertainment with a weighted ball that rolls lightning-fast around the outside, according to reviewers. Many fans note that it’s one of their cat’s favorite toys, and it even includes a packet of catnip to sprinkle on the scratching surface.

Expert tip: Give your cat a comfy place to nap

13. This cat hammock that can support up to 40 pounds

In addition to creating a super comfy sleeping spot on the ground, Waisburd also notes, “Placing a bed higher up on a perch or counter may help your cat relax.” This sturdy window perch boasts a fabric hammock stretched between a durable frame and attaches to your window with four large suction cups. Plus, it can support up to 40 pounds, so it’s great for multi-cat households.

14. A sturdy cat hammock that screws into your wall

Another option for elevated relaxation is this cat hammock that screws into the wall for extra stability. It features a durable wood frame, machine-washable fabric, and a weight capacity of up to 30 pounds. All of the hardware needed for installation is included, too. One reviewer wrote: “All 3 of my cats love it so much! They use it every day, almost all day!”

15. A plush donut bed that may help soothe & calm your cat

“Most cats like to sleep up to 12 to 16 hours per day,” notes Waisburd, adding, “A soft plush bed with raised sides may help your cat feel more secure when sleeping.” This soft and fuzzy cat bed features a donut-shaped design with raised edges, a super plush filling to help cradle and support, and comes in three sizes to choose from. Color options include dark gray, light gray, beige, and pink.

Expert tip: Reward good behavior with treats

16. These creamy lickable cat treats in 6 flavor combinations

Dr. Delgado says, “One of my favorite ways to reward cats is by using "lickable" treats,” and recommends these flavorful Churu treat tubes. They’re filled with vitamin E-infused puree in a variety of flavors, such as wild-caught tuna and farm-raised chicken, and can even be squeezed over dry food for a creamy meal enhancement.

17. These human-grade, freeze-dried salmon treats

Stephen Quandt, cat expert and behavior consultant, suggests using these Whole Life one-ingredient treats to reinforce good behavior because they’re minimally processed, human-grade treats that cats seem to love. Each one is made of freeze-dried salmon to retain its flavor and nutrient profile and doesn’t include any chemicals, additives, or preservatives. Plus, you can even rehydrate them in water to create a softer, chewy treat.

Expert tip: Upgrade your cat’s food & water area

18. A cat water fountain to promote hydration & clean drinking water

When it comes to your cat's water bowl, Quandt notes that fountains may “make it easier for your cats to stay well hydrated,” which can benefit their overall health and happiness. This stainless steel cat fountain features a pump and three-stage water filter, an adjustable flow rate, and near-silent operation so you won’t even notice it’s running. Plus, it has a splashproof design that helps keep your floors dry and the bowl and lid are dishwasher-safe.

19. This elevated cat dish that may improve digestion

To promote digestive health and a more comfortable eating experience, consider this elevated food bowl that many reviewers note helps reduce tummy troubles after meals, with one fan writing, “Our cats used to vomit frequently, but rarely do now!” The tilted bowl is made out of a dishwasher-safe ceramic material and comes in two sizes and three colors: white, black, and pink.

20. A waterproof food mat that’s so easy to clean

Your cat might appreciate a clean food area (and you’ll surely enjoy cleaner floors) thanks to this waterproof splash mat that helps contain spills. It has raised edges and a nonslip surface to keep your cat's bowls in place while they eat, and it’s dishwasher-safe for super easy cleaning. The mat is available in four sizes and five colors such as gray, navy, and beige.

21. A feeding mat that slows down fast eaters

If your cat has a habit of eating too quickly and getting sick or you’re looking for a fun challenge to give them, Quandt suggests this Lickimat that “slows down feeding by letting you smoosh wet food into its lattice design.” The cute, fish-shaped silicone mat is great for use with wet cat food and lickable treats and may even help to promote healthy teeth and gums.

Expert tip: Keep the litter box clean, inviting, & odor-free

22. This litter that helps attract cats to the box

While there are many reasons why your cat may avoid the litter box, Quandt says that litter dissatisfaction is a common factor. To encourage litter box use, Quandt recommends Dr. Elsey’s Cat Attract litter which contains an herbal attractant to help cats enjoy visiting their litter box a little more. The dust-resistant and hard-clumping formula has odor-control properties and is great for single or multiple-cat households.

23. These litter box scrubbing wipes with odor control

Litter boxes are notorious for harboring stains and smells that can make you and your cat unhappy, but these scrubbing wipes may help you remove odors and stuck-on debris. They’re designed to deodorize with ingredients such as yucca extract that won’t deter cats from using the box, and each wipe has a textured surface to help lift stubborn litter particles.

24. This waterproof mat that traps excess cat litter

Once your litter box is clean and odor-free, place it on top of this litter-trapping mat to collect particles that spill out of the box and reduce tracking throughout your home. The soft padded mat has a perforated top to collect and trap litter, plus a waterproof bottom to protect your floors. It even comes in two colors and four sizes to fit your litter box area.

25. An open-top litter box with extra-high sides

For another way to keep the litter area clean, consider this high-sided litter box that helps contain messes. The open-top design makes it easy to scoop and clean the box while also giving your kitty room to move around. Plus, the box comes with a scoop that hangs easily on the lid.