Automation is everywhere, and it's changing how we live—mostly for the better (although I'm sure some would disagree). Automated pet products are becoming more and more common, and today it seems like you can automate nearly every aspect of pet care!
For the most part, this is great news for both cats and their people. But maybe you're wondering if it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Is there a point where the automation of pet care stops benefitting our feline family members?
I suggest you ask and honestly answer the following questions about any automated pet product you are thinking about using for your cat.
Two Questions to Ask Yourself Before Purchasing an Automated Pet Product
1. How does this product make my life better?
Automation is great for busy cat parents. It can free up valuable time that could otherwise be spent on the less rewarding tasks of cat parenting (like cleaning the litter box or refilling water bowls). It can also give you peace of mind if you have to leave your kitty during the day, giving you assurance that they are safe and entertained when you can't be there to care for them.
However, if you realize that you are simply too busy to spend valuable time with your cat, automated pet products may not be the answer you need. If an automated product is allowing you to skimp on time that should be spent bonding, then it's not a good choice. You're missing out on one of the best parts of cat parenting! But if the product allows you to be a better, more consistent, or more aware cat parent given your busy schedule, then the products works in both you and your kitty's favors.
2. How does this product make my cat's life better?
Cats benefit from quality time with their people as much as (if not more than) their people do! Automated pet products should never be a substitute for quality time spent with your cat. One thing you never want to fully automate in pet care is the essential time spent with your pet playing, grooming, or bonding. No automated product can replace the benefits of one-on-one time!
You also don't want to over-automate your cat's exercise. Toys that supplement your playtime together are fine—like something that prevents boredom or destructive behavior by playing with your pet in your absence. But if Kitty enjoys romping around the living room when you get home from work, no self-propelled mouse will replace that time spent with his favorite human!
No matter which automated products you use, make sure you continue to plan plenty of time for exercise, play, grooming, outings (if your kitty enjoys them), and cuddling.
When you're considering an automated pet product, the bottom line is to be sure that you're using it to be a better cat parent. If it makes your life a little easier and Kitty's life a little better, then everyone wins!
Guest post by Kristen Levine Pet Living, the place for stories, science & advice for living happier and healthier with pets.