With the shift to safe cat containment across Australia, it’s important to be aware that this makes every cat owner completely responsible for the health, wellbeing and environment of their cat. If a cat can’t go outside to roam freely and make its own choices, then the owner must provide the necessary distractions and proper environment or it will lead to an unhappy, misbehaving pet cat.
What Does My Cat Need to Be Happy?
The short answer is choice! Cats can be fussy, and it may surprise you to know that giving your cat choices will make them happier and less stressed. The basic needs of your cat are food, water, litter trays and places to scratch, rest, hide and play.
Food and Water
Cats thrive when they are given frequent, small amounts to eat in varying textures and flavours. You can make feeding fun by using cat feeder toys. Where you position food is just as important as what you feed them. Be sure to keep food bowls away from litter trays and water bowls. Cats dislike the smell of food when they are drinking and there is a danger of contamination of food from litter trays due to the way a cat will cover their droppings. Keep water in a quiet place away from food and foot traffic in a ceramic, glass or stainless steel bowl rather than plastic.
Litter Trays and Toileting
It is especially important when cats are contained to provide them with a space for toileting that they feel comfortable using. Each cat needs two litter trays, located in quiet spaces away from food, water and foot traffic. It may also surprise readers to know that many of the commercially available litter trays are too small. The tray should be 1.5 times longer than the length of the cat so that they can turn around in it, dig and squat. Kitty litter should be at least 6cm deep so that they can dig. Litter trays should be spot cleaned every day and fully cleaned once every week.
Behavioural Needs – Scratching, Resting, Hiding and Playing
Contained cats will also need spaces that allow for their natural instincts and behaviours to be given full range. It’s important to provide both vertical and horizontal scratching posts. Cats need to scratch, as it spreads their scent and keeps their claws healthy. They love to hide and rest, so lots of different hidey-holes and elevated platforms in the sunshine will give them plenty of choices and help keep them active. Playing will allow them to indulge in natural behaviours such as stalking, chasing and pouncing. There is a myriad of cat toys on the market to choose from.
Have fun finding kitty’s favourite.
Cat Space Enclosures is the local expert in designing and building customised outdoor cat enclosures, cat runs and catios that are all guaranteed to keep your cat fully stimulated, happy, healthy and safe.
Talk to us today about creating the perfect space for your cat.