We’ve got the feline you’re going to need this…Cats in the wild lead an active, interesting life. They sleep in spurts, hunt small prey to feed themselves and hide skillfully to avoid their own predators. When necessary, they defend their home territories with arched backs, purposeful hissing, bared claws and sharp teeth.
House cats share the same instincts as their wilder feline cousins, but inside your house, there are limits to what you can allow your kitty to do. Here are some ways that you can allow your cat to do what comes naturally within practical parameters:
1. Act Wild. A cat left to her devices will catnap throughout a 24-hour period rather than sleep for a long stretch like humans do. Here are a few ideas to keep your catnapper awake longer in the daytime so she may sleep longer (and prowl around your house less) at night:
a. Fetch for cats: Attach a small toy to a line, throw the toy and pull it back to entice your cat to pursue.
b. Follow the toy: Attach a toy to a long shoelace and drag it through the house. Does he have a perch or high place where he’s allowed? Pull the toy to the high perch and off again. Keep your kitty hopping!
c. Doorknob drop: Attach a small toy to a long sturdy string and attach the string to a doorknob. Shake the line to get your cat’s attention.
d. Treat chaser: Toss a small cat treat or even a piece of dry cat food ahead of your cat and watch her scurry.
2. Bring the Outside In. With a few key pieces, you can create an environment that mimics the wild, but provides your cat with a much safer home.
a. Scratching posts. You can provide an attractive alternative to your cat scratching your carpet, drapes or furniture. Does she seem to target wood or fabrics? Notice what texture your cat prefers and purchase accordingly. Consider also that a cat depends heavily on his sense of smell and may mark objects, like a scratching post. When the cat rubs against it, he releases scents called pheromones from glands in his forehead, cheeks, tail base and paws.
b. Pick Perches. Cats like a room with a view too. A window perch can provide your cat with a place to gaze into your garden. A spot on a shelf in your closet can suffice as an out-of-the-way nook to nap. Or you might want to look into commercial cat trees.
3. Think “litter”ally. You cannot be too fastidious with a litter box. A cat in the wild picks a new spot to defecate every time he goes, and then he covers it up with clean dirt. If you want your cat to faithfully use one litter box in your house, keep it very clean. For multiple cats, you need one litter box per cat. Choose your spot carefully. Your bashful cat will want a private place away from noise and folks.
With a few thoughtful additions to your home, you and your pet cat can reach a cheerful compromise between wild and tame. To read more about your cat’s nature and how to better understand her, take a look here.
And if you’ve added a new kitten or cat to your household, give us a call. At Town N Country, we always love meeting the newest member of your family.