No matter the size of your home or your budget, you can create a special place for your cat to eat, sleep, and play. Here are some tips for keeping your cat happy and healthy inside your house.
Scratching Post: Scratching is a huge part of cat behavior. Your cat needs a place to scratch and stretch out her limbs. You may find that your cat prefers either vertical or horizontal scratching. There are scratchers available for both. There are also a variety of materials available for scratchers. Your cat may enjoy carpeting (but not looped, to avoid catching claws) or something harder like sisal. Cardboard scratchers are a great choice because you’ll be able to replace the scratching material when your cat shreds it. Adding a bit of catnip and encouraging play time near the new post should have your cat scratching in no time.
Climbing: Your cat should also have some vertical space to call his or her own – otherwise you might end up with a cat hangout above your fridge! Kitty condos or cat trees will often incorporate the vertical needs and scratching needs to create a multipurpose play, nap, and scratch area. You may want to position your tree near a window for an ideal outdoor gazing perch. If you have limited floor space, consider installing pet shelves that allow your cat to climb up the walls, literally!
Toys: And finally, you’ll want to have some toys available for your cat to use when you’re out of the home. These should be items without things like strings or feathers than your pet can pull off and ingest or choke on. Save those for playtime with you. Balls on tracks to bat around or even a crinkly paper bag are good options. Rotate out these toys every so often to avoid boredom from repetition.
Your cat should always have access to fresh water. A pet fountain is a low maintenance way to keep fresh water available for your cat. Otherwise, you should replace the water in your cat’s dish daily and clean it regularly to avoid mildew or bacteria from forming. If you cat is a little skittish, he or she will prefer having food and water away from well-trafficked areas. Although some common houseplants are poisonous to cats, keeping a small planter of pet grass available for noshing will let your cat graze a little inside.
Litterbox placement is important. Although it can be tempting to hide away the litter, be sure it’s in an area comfortable and accessible to your cat. That means not on cold basement floors or next to noisy heaters or washing machines. If it’s in a very high traffic or noisy area, a nervous pet might be uncomfortable and start to avoid the box. The litter also shouldn’t be right next to your cat’s feeding area because it could interfere with smelling the food and eating properly.
Daily scooping and regular cleaning will keep your home smelling fresh and keep your cat content. If you’re having problems with litter tracking through your home, a top-entry or high walled litter box, in conjunction with a litter mat, should solve the problem.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.
More on Making Your Cat "At Home"
Fitting Your Pet Care Needs into Your Budget
How to Clean Your Cat's Scratching Post
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