Essential feline resources

ESSENTIAL FELINE RESOURCES

Cats should be provided with a stimulating and safe indoor environment, whether they go outside or not.  If your cat is kept constantly indoors then this is particularly essential.  Ideally offer enough resources by providing one (litter tray) per cat, plus an extra one.

Feeding and Drinking

Cats like to eat and drink away from their litter tray, as understandably, it's more hygenic.  However, many people don't realise that cats also like to have their food and water bowls in a separate place to each other to.  Eating and drinking are quite vunerable activities.  Try placing the bowls slightly apart from the wall, so that a cat can sit with its back to the wall and is therefore able to view his surroundings, which can help him feel safer.  Cats are all individuals and therefore have different preferences for types of bowls, for example plastic, ceramic or metal bowls.  Cats in the wild spend a lot of their time on short, frequent hunting expeditions.  In comparison our domestic cats are given food bowls, which doesn't take long to eat and doesn't make use of their great senses.  You could try using feeding puzzle balls, whereby dry food falls out of the holes in the ball as the cat bats it.

Hunting, play and exercise

Keep your cat amused with toys, climbing towers or activity centres.  These can be bought or made - a cardboard box with holes cut into it or a ball of tin foil can be perfectly adequate.  Play is more fun if you get involved too - you could use fishing rod toys with feathers on a string to mimic their pray!  Older cats may love playing three or four times a day, but the type of play may need to be adapted to suit their needs and level of mobility.  Younger cats may be happy to play ten times a day or more.  Create interest at meal times by hiding biscuits around the house for your cat to search out, or make a pyramid out of cardboard toilet roll tubes and hide food in the tubes.

Somewhere to hide

It is important to always provide your cat with an easily accessible place to hide which will help to make him feel safe and secure.  There are many things that can cause a cat to feel anxious or fearful, such as fireworks, building work in the house, unfamiliar visitors or conflict with other cats and the cat's normal coping mechanism is to hide.  A hiding place can be something as simple as a cardboard box on its side (or upside down with large holes for access) or an igloo style cat bed.