Making Your Cat Feel at Home
You’ve brought home a cat or kitten to be a part of your family and you want to give her everything that will make her feel happy and well adjusted in her new environment. Your new pet may spend the first week or two in hiding, which is perfectly normal, so don’t feel dismayed. Once your pet is feeling confident and safe, here are some things you can provide to make your cat feel at home.
Survey Spots and Comfy Lounge AreasAs you’ll probably already have noticed, one of the favourite pastimes of cats is to curl up in cosy spots. If these areas are close to a heat source and raised up off the ground so that your kitty can inspect the room from all angles, even better. If cats can stay hidden from sight while being able to see everything, best of all. Cardboard boxes with the front cut out and bedding inside or a covered cat bed placed on top of a shelf or high table will make your cat quite happy. And a warm, comfy area with an outside view is the feline idea of perfection for a survey area and nap spot, so if there is some way to arrange a lounge spot close to a heat source and to a window or glass door, you will have fulfilled an aspect of kitty heaven for your pet!
Bedding AreaYour cat will sleep in a lot of different spots around the house, including your bed if you are fine with it. It’s always a good idea, however, to give your kitty a sleeping area of her own so she can have privacy, somewhere she feels safe to retreat to if things get noisy, hectic or scary. This area should be ‘cave-like’; somewhere she’s hidden but can still survey the room for danger. Under furniture and (again) near a heat source is optimal for feline satisfaction with bedding areas. The bed you choose should fit her body closely, without loads of room on all sides. Cats are most comfortable when they have a snug sleeping area. There are many different kinds of cat beds and each cat has different tastes so set something up for your kitty and see what she thinks. If she doesn’t like the sleeping area, she won’t use it so you’ll know if it doesn’t meet her approval. Sometimes simple is best, and often a blanket, soft towel or pillow in an enclosed space with a clear view of the room from the front of the area is more than enough to satisfy your cat’s sleeping requirements.
Something to ScratchCats just love to sink their claws into things, it’s a deeply ingrained part of the feline nature. There are scent glands in your cat’s paws that help to ‘mark territory’ in your home. If you provide a variety of scratching area in visible spots around the home, not only will your cat be delighted but you may save furniture and other valuables from being torn up by insistent claws. Cats really love to scratch when they wake up so be sure to put one near her sleeping area. There are many different types of scratching posts of all different shapes and sizes but one of the most popular types of posts are covered with sisal fabric or rope and are upright so your kitty can stretch up as she scratches, working muscles as well as claws. A flat scratch box with layers of cardboard inside that your kitten or cat can walk onto and shred up is another favourite of cats around the world. Sprinkling a little catnip on the scratching post can do wonders to encourage your kitty to scratch as well.
Add toys, food dishes and a litter box to this arrangement (subjects that are covered in other articles on this site) and you’ll have everything that your cat or kitten needs to feel purrfectly at ease in your home.