Cats are notoriously complicated, equal parts loving cuddle-bug and mischievous imp. One minute they’re purring on your lap, and then the next minute your hand has been swatted and they’re running for the hills. While cats can seem difficult to please, there are some ways to ensure they happily coexist in your human world.
Here are five ways you can make your home more feline friendly.
1. Perfect the litter box. Cats are notoriously picky about their litter box, take the time to figure out what your cat likes. Does she prefer a covered box, or open? Hidden in a closet, or out in the open? Clumping litter, scented litter? One very important rule of thumb is to have at least one box per cat the household, plus an extra one.
2. Provide a ‘safe spot.’ Some cats are ‘bush cats,’ they like hiding under things and watching. These cats are typically found under the couch or the bed when stressed. Some cats are ‘tree cats,’ these cats like to be up high and can be found on the top of the refrigerator or the bookshelf when stressed. Figure out which one your cat is, and provide a safe spot for them to retreat.
3. Environmental enrichment. While it is true cats sleep the majority of the time, they still need to be stimulated and entertained! Be sure to provide playtime with appropriate play toys and scratching posts.
4. Consider feline pheromones. Cats are notoriously solitary animals and often prefer to be alone. If you have more than one cat, consider using a calming feline pheromone product. It sounds hokey, but these synthetic pheromones mimic those made by cats when in a safe and comforting environment. They have been shown clinically to help alleviate stress-driven behaviors such as urine marking.
5. Cat-proof your home. Make sure there are no hidden dangers that could pose a risk. Cats love to nibble the leaves of plants, many houseplants can be harmful or even fatal if eaten, especially those in the lily family. Keep screens on the windows, cats are often braver than they should be and will jump from dangerously high places.
As they say, it’s a cat’s world, we just live in it!