As cats have such specific needs, it isn’t enough just to provide some food, shelter and love. While these elements are as important as ever to your cat, it is the quality and quantity of each that is the key. A feline-friendly home takes into consideration the needs of the cat are very different than human needs. It is an environment that is safe and stimulating, but it is designed to suit both humans and cats.
Cat-friendly home features include:
- At least one water dish per cat, plus one extra if possible. Pet drinking fountains are a popular alternative.
- High resting places, as cats are natural climbers.
- An area designated as a private resting place, where the cat can have some undisturbed quiet time.
- A cat bed away from drafts. Some felines will find several places to relax that coincide to position of the sun.
- A litter tray or box located in a discreet, low-traffic corner away from feeding and watering areas.
- Scratching posts/areas, as tall as possible to allow the cat to scratch vertically at full stretch.
- Smaller windows in darker rooms, which are preferred by cats over large windows in bright rooms.
- An ample supply of fresh air that brings challenging and interesting smells from outside, creating a focus of attention for an indoor cat.
In addition, experts offer suggestions to make your home comfortable for both humans and all types of pets:
- Vacuum regularly – daily if needed.
- Groom and bathe your pet often.
- Use stain-resistant and washable fabrics, especially on beds.
- Avoid wall-to-wall carpet.
- Match colors to your pet’s fur/feathers not only to camouflage but to coordinate with your pet’s coloring. This is true for both textiles, as well as wall and floor colors.
- Think outside the box: Add shelves that double as stairs, allowing a cat to perch from above and let out its inner panther.
(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association; International Cat Care; HGTV)