Cats can be picky and not just when it comes to food. When choosing the essentials for your feline friend, you’ll need to keep in mind the amount of space you’re willing to dedicate to your cat. Listed below are things an “ideal” home for cats might include. Your cat may not need all of them, but making your house more “cat friendly” will ensure that you and your cat enjoy each other’s company for years to come.
- Climbing systems: Your house may already provide climbing opportunities on furniture, shelves or cabinets, but you may also want to have climbing areas specifically for your cat, such as a cat tree. You can buy cat trees, or make your own. Catios, patios for cats, have become all the rage and provide a great play area your cat.
- Toys: Being natural predators, it is part of a cat’s instinct to run, jump, and pounce. According to furplaytime, toys that move are fun for both cats and their owners. Watching them chase and practice their natural hunting prowess is exciting. Toys that move provide more exercise and can capture their attention even when they’re not easily interested. If your cat is resistant to play with toys, consider those that will entice them with catnip inside.
- Cat perches: Cats are natural-born sun worshippers. Giving your cat access to several windows in your house to allow them to both sunbathe and observe what is going on outside. Add a bird feeder or bird bath outside the window, and your cat will both sunbathe and enjoy nature from the safety of your home.
- Hiding places: Every cat needs a hiding place. According to PAMS, whether it’s to escape a fearful situation, or just to relax, most cats love to hide. Providing your feline friend with fun hiding places is easy and does not have to cost anything. Most cats will be thrilled to have a cardboard box or paper grocery bag to hide in. If you prefer, you can purchase a tent, condo or tunnel, or make one at home.
- Scratching posts: Cats need to scratch, so to save your furniture and curtains, you’ll want need a cat scratcher or scratching post. A scratching post can provide a form of stretching and exercise, and larger scratching posts and cat trees provide enrichment for indoor cats by giving them a place to climb, play and hide which provides them entertainment and exercise throughout the day.
- Litter box: While cats eliminate to fulfill a fundamental need. They also use it as a way to mark their territory. Indoor cats consider your home their territory. You can help ensure that your cat doesn’t feel the need to use eliminations to announce that your home is her territory by providing an attractive sifting litter box. Clean the litter box daily as they tend to avoid things that they associate with a negative experience. For example, if the litter is dirty or something startles her, the cat may avoid that box in the future.
- Cat bed: Cats are at their most vulnerable while sleeping, so they prefer to rest in an areas where they feel safe and secure. Cat beds can be purchased, but snug blankets and towels are just as appealing to cats and are easy to keep clean.
- Temperature: Generally, cats tolerate more warm temperatures than most people considering their body temperature is from 100.5 to 102.5 degrees. According to Pet Place, most cats prefer temperatures warmer than 65 degrees fahrenheit and may prefer temperatures up to 71 degrees. Long haired cats tolerate cold temperatures better than short haired cats. Ideal temperatures will vary depending on factors such as age, size and health condition. Always make sure your cat has a source of warmth during the winter and a cool spot in the summer.
- Spend time together: As indifferent as they might sometimes seem, they really do care about hanging out with us humans. The age-old belief that dogs make better companions than cats has been thrown into question thanks to new research. Researchers from Oregon State University found that felines prefer spending time with humans to eating food and playing with toys. No surprise to many cat owners. The find could help owners to train their cats using quality time as a reward, the researchers said.
While every cat is different, creating an environment that allows your cat to engage in natural behaviors, provides security and strengthens the cat/human bond, essential in keeping your cat happy and healthy.