You'll find below advice and tips for you and your new cat on
Resting Areas ~ Feeding Time ~ Litter Trays and Cat Litter ~
~ Scratching Posts ~ Cat Carrier Happiness ~ Keeping Toys Fresh ~
~ Cat Flap Intruders
If you would like more advice or tips or have questions on other cat related topics do pop into the shop for a chat with Martina
Cats need ‘time out’ from both owners and other members of the household!
They will benefit from having a number of places in the home where they can hide away without fear of being disturbed. Favourite places will include under beds, inside cupboards or wardrobes, behind the sofa or high up on shelves.
Cats never should be disturbed or acknowledged whilst they are in one of their secret hideaways.
Whilst your cat will likely develop a favourite resting spot, many cats want to sleep in different places around the home dependent on their mood or time of the day.
If that includes your bed or the sofa simply cover the area with a vet bed or a blanket to contain all the fur and muddy paw prints. Otherwise put their bed in their favourite resting place.
In the wild cats naturally hunt for food and eat as many as a dozen small rodents spread through the day.
Can you imagine then how boring it is for our cats to find their meals twice a day in a food bowl in the same location? No wonder they have the reputation of being fussy eaters!
Here are a few suggestions how to make your cat’s feeding time more exciting...
The above games are ideal for dry food. Similar games can be used for wet food.
For further information on dry food versus wet diets see ‘Nutrition’.
Did you know that cats naturally hunt for food and search for water on separate occasions?
Having the water bowl next to the food bowl can deter some cats from drinking sufficient water. It's not a natural arrangement for them. We thus recommend to place water bowls completely away from the food.
Litter Trays and Cat Litter
The ideal number of litter trays in a multicat household is the number of cats plus one, each placed in different, discreet, locations. Cats shouldn’t be expected to share litter trays - some cats even need a different tray for pee and poo!
Trays should always be located well away from feeding areas or water bowls - who would want to eat right next to their toilet?
Even if your cat is allowed outside it is generally a good idea to provide at least one litter tray indoors.
There are plenty of reasons why an outdoor cat will sometimes want to use a litter tray indoors....
Not giving your cat the option of an indoor toilet in the above situations may lead to stress and other problem behaviour.
The trays should be cleaned regularly.
Locating scratching posts
Cats need to scratch to maintain their claws and to mark their territory.
If your cat hasn’t got a scratching post she’ll find an alternative scratching area. Often the sofa or carpet!
Scratching posts should be as tall as possible to allow your cat to scratch vertically at full stretch.
Though some cats prefer scratching horizontal surfaces. In order to safe-guard your carpet - it can be a very good idea to provide some scratching 'mats' wherever carpet scratching occurs.
The best spot for scratching posts is spots your cat regularly frequents. Placing them somewhere convenient for you but in a spot not visited by your cat will guarantee that it is ignored.
Cat Carrier Happiness
Does your cat hate trips to the vets or to the cattery? Does she make a disappearing act when you need to get to your appointment?
Well, the most likely trigger for your cat to make herself invisible is the appearance of the cat carrier!
In most cats’ lives carrier equals bad news.
We suggest to leave the cat carrier out at all times. Make it a cosy resting place for your cat to curl up in. Put a comfy cat bed inside the carrier and occasionally, a tasty food treat. In this way your cat learns to enjoy being in the carrier and a trip to the vets or cattery becomes less stressful.
Keeping Toys Fresh
If left out all the time toys will become predictable and boring for your cat. Put them away at the end of each day and introduce a different toy the next day.
If your cat loves catnip, a great idea is to put her toys away in a sealed polythene bag with a pinch of catnip inside.
Cats really like toys made of natural fur or feathers of a similar size to prey animals. No worries - many commercially available toys are made from fur that is a by-product of a food source.
Cat Flap Intruders
Cat flaps are a great invention. They give your cat the freedom of choice to be inside or outside whenever you want.
However, cat flaps also have a major disadvantage. They can provide a point of entry for the local 'tom cat' to invade your cat’s core den (i.e. your home!).
This can create all sorts of problems for you and your cat. Including indoor soiling and other stress related behaviours.
Whenever you notice your cat becoming somewhat nervous and jumpy indoors, or starting to 'spray' indoors, check if it may be caused by intruders. Indeed, it's worth keeping a constant eye on what’s happening at the cat flap. Any intruders should be discouraged from coming in as quickly as possible. You might even consider blocking the cat flap temporarily in order to provide your cat with a renewed sense of security in her own home.
Our favourite type of cat flap is one that reads the cat's microchip. By reading the microchip it allows entry only to your cat. As well as guaranteeing no intruders it also ensures there's no chance of your cat getting 'stuck' outside should it, for instance, lose it's collar and tag - which is a small risk with electronic flaps.