A safe space for your cat
Cats are unique companions in our lives – they have specific needs which need to be fulfilled not only because they are important for their health and comfort, but also for building relationships with people. Preparing to accept a cat should start with looking at the space around us and answering the question: Is our house or apartment safe for a cat? This includes plants that are poisonous to cats. These include:
- common laurel,
- star of Bethlehem,
- philodendrons, including monstera,
- lily of the valley.
Do you have any of these in your home? Unfortunately, you have to remove it, because moving it – even to the highest shelf – will still be risky. Cats love climbing, jumping on seemingly inaccessible places and playing with anything that sticks out, sticks out or dangles. Remember, if you plan to buy new plants in the following years, make sure they won’t be toxic for your kitty.
If your house has many shelves, cupboards and other nooks and crannies, your cat will be happy! Make sure that there are no valuable things standing on them that could be damaged by your cat’s climbing. Also pay attention to whether they will be dangerous for your cat, e.g. are not sharp.
If you plan to have more than one cat at home, remember that each of them should have at least 7-10 m2 to himself. This will considerably increase the comfort of living for the two cats, but it will also allow them to remain separate and find a place to retreat to if necessary.
Cat equipment – cat furniture
Before the cat enters your home, prepare such accessories for it as a bed and a scratching post. You won’t do without them, and the choice should be well thought over. So what is worth knowing about them?
- Elevated beds are a great choice. You can buy models that you can hang on a hook or attach to a piece of furniture, for example.
- Cats love warmth, so you can also find hammocks or beds to hook up to radiators. This will keep your kitty at a comfortable temperature.
- Purrs love all kinds of hiding places. Special kennels or cottages work well as beds – there is a really big choice of them.
- Another absolute must have in the kit for a cat is a scratcher. These animals have a natural need to scratch and sharpen their claws, which cannot be forbidden.
- Sharp claws for feline ancestors were often a guarantee of survival. What’s more, scratching also allows purrs to mark their territory, so they need to have a place in the house where they can satisfy these needs. This way, you will be calmer as well. A proper scratching post means less risk of scratching the furniture or floors.
- Which scraper to choose? There are many available on the market, because cats can be choosy also in this respect. Vertical, horizontal, small, big – at the beginning, test the one which may work in your shared space. If the cat doesn’t accept it, try moving it to another place and see if the new location suits your cat.
- Sometimes it turns out that you don’t have to invest in a new scraper at once, and the change of the place is enough to make the cat like the proposed attraction.
It is important, that the cat’s scratching post is of such size, that the cat could stretch on it on the whole length of its body (scratching is also the cat’s gymnastics).
- Why do we mention the bed and the scraper in the context of the cat’s layette at the same time? More and more pet stores offer a combination of those two pieces of cat furniture. These are usually high “trees”, made of various, multi-level shelves, houses and ladders. If you have the opportunity, it is worth investing in this type of equipment. Your cat will be delighted!
Cat toys – what gadgets to buy?
These large multi-level scratchers are often equipped with various toys, such as feathers hanging on strings. They are very useful accessories. Playing for cats is one of the key needs, the realization of which we have to remember also in the context of the cat’s layette. It is mainly related to the strong hunting instinct of the mutt. Its unsatisfied often ends in frustration and behavioral or emotional problems of our protégé. Let’s complete the layette with cat toys, such as feathers or mice, which will imitate natural cat prey. What’s more, when playing with cat, we have to remember about so called hunting chain: hunting, eating (reward for catching the prey), sleeping.
Do such toys have to be expensive and fancy? Definitely not. Many of them can be made at no cost, by yourself, according to the idea of zero waste. Let’s try to use, for example, string, bottle corks, toilet paper rolls, etc. You can find a lot of ideas for creating similar accessories on the Internet. Besides, it will be fun not only for your cat, but also for you, because preparing them is great fun!
Cat food – basic information about feeding your pet
Under the term “food” we should understand not only the way of feeding our protégé, but also the accessories that are necessary for this. The basis is the appropriate bowls. It is not a good idea to include in the cat’s layette two bowls connected with each other, because when the cat eats, it can spill some food into the water, and this will contaminate it. So it’s better to bet on two separate bowls that are wide and flat, much more comfortable for your cat than the tall ones (it’s related to the cat’s anatomical structure). The bowls should stand at least half a meter apart, because in nature cats never eat in the same place where they drink. Both bowls should be placed a good distance away from the litter box.
Remember that cats often drink too little water. So it is advisable to include special cat fountains in your cat’s layette. They are an excellent toy and at the same time encourage the cat to drink. However, this is not a basic product that you must have right from the start. First observe your purr, get to know him better and see if in his case such an attraction will be necessary. If you decide to get one, make sure it is equipped with special filters for water purification (e.g. to catch hair).
It’s a good idea to have several water bowls and place them in places where our cat stays most often. Then there is a chance that our protégé will notice the dish, what will encourage him to drink. Don’t forget to change water often! Its cleanliness is essential both in terms of our pet’s health and to meet its requirements. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and if they sense that there is something in the water that is undesirable or simply stale, they will not drink it. They may become discouraged from drinking even for a long time.
Speaking of hygiene, it’s worth mentioning that the bowls intended for serving cats with meals should be washed after each one. What should they contain? First of all, food adjusted to the individual needs of our charge. One of the most important elements we should remember about when choosing the right food is the age of the cat. The layette for a small cat should contain junior type food, whereas for an adult cat – adult type.
Is it enough to buy one cat food? No, a cat food layette should definitely have a healthy variety in this regard. One of your cat’s natural defenses prevents it from eating the same flavor and texture for too long. In nature, a variety of meals is supposed to protect your cat against poisoning or various deficiencies. Besides, if the cat doesn’t want to eat something, it simply doesn’t do it. So it’s better not to assume that we’ll find a food which it will like at once. It’s better to start with a few different products so that you can offer your cat something different. What’s more, variety doesn’t just refer to the composition of the meals, but also to their taste, texture and consistency. When it comes to the composition, always choose complete foods. Such meals ensure that our pets get all the necessary nutrients in the proportions their bodies need. Yes, it doesn’t exclude additional treats, but these can’t make up more than 10% of your pet’s daily energy intake.
You’re probably also wondering what form of food to choose – wet or dry? Your cat’s food supply should include both, but most meals must be in wet form, such as Whiskas® Beef Jell-O. What exactly does “most meals” mean? We’re talking about up to 90% of meals in terms of weight – wet foods are lower in calories, so they help your cat maintain a slim figure, and they also support hydration. Dry foods, such as Whiskas® with Chicken, are also worth using. This type of meal is very beneficial for your cat’s teeth, as the crunching helps to mechanically reduce bacterial plaque.
What to buy for your cat? A litter box is a must
Purrs are animals that extremely value cleanliness. They spend many hours a day cleaning their fur. It is therefore necessary to provide them with a hygienic space to settle physiological needs. You should also remember about frequent cleaning of the litter box and replacing the litter in it. What kind of litter box should a cat’s layette be equipped with?
- The litter box needs to be sized to fit your kitty. He should be able to freely turn around in it and dig, which is a natural behavior for him.
- You can choose between open and closed litter boxes. At first, let’s bet on the first one, because it corresponds more to the natural cat’s habits. Typically, cats will do their business in an open area, which allows them to have more control over their surroundings.
- The litter box should be located in a place where there is not much traffic and it is a secluded, quiet and peaceful space.
- If you have more than one cat, it is essential to get more litter boxes. The number of litter boxes should be one more than the number of cats, so if you have two mutts, you need three litter boxes.
- The best choice, when it comes to the type of litter in the cat litter kit, will be the unscented one. The sensitive sense of smell of the mutt means that they may not tolerate artificial scents and thus may not want to use the litter box. Litter should also not be too hard for the cat’s paws, so wooden and bentonite litter, as well as sand work well.
- There can’t be too little litter in the litter box. As we already mentioned, cats need to be able to bury their excrement.