Cats are generally clean, (fairly) low maintenance pets, however some of their more instinctive habits can cause problems in your home or to your new furnishings.
Scratching, curtain-climbing and ‘accidents’ are common but how do you limit this behaviour, save your beautiful interiors and give your fur baby the best home life possible? Here in two blogs, we share a snippet our extensive cat design knowledge and top tabby tips.
The basics when setting up your home for a cat
Food & Water
Cats do not like eating and drinking from the same location as another cat (or near their litter tray). In the wild they would not eat their prey near water (the corpse could pollute the water).
Opt for a quiet location which can be wiped clean and is accessible to your cat at all times. Kitchens work well if there is a quiet corner.
Consider whether you need an electrical point – for automatic dispensers or water fountains which encourage cats to drink.
Most cats will prefer to do their business outside – so access to the outside is important even when you’re not in. Cat flaps are great – a microchip fitting is ideal to prevent other animals entering your home. Our APM favourite is this intelligently controlled multi pet cat flap. This monitors your cats’ comings and goings on your phone and allows you to set a curfew. If you’ve got a beautiful fully glazed rear extension, cat flaps work well on the first floor as long as you provide a safe route for your cat.
If you keep your cat in at night, you’ll need to provide a backup toilet. We suggest a covered litter tray which helps contain litter/ smells and is fairly innocuous in your home. We like a black version stored underneath furniture. Ensure it is cleaned and any filters changed regularly – consider adding reed diffusers/ similar (though check they are not toxic to the cat).
Your cat might find large plant pots a good toilet alternative – avoid this by covering exposed soil with heavy tile pieces or spray the top with citronella oil (which cats avoid).
Though most cats will sleep anywhere (including inconvenient places), you should still aim to provide comfortable/ quiet/ hidden spaces where they can relax (specially if they are anxious about visitors)! Our favourites:
- Washable blankets such as this rug – perfect for covering furniture, washes at 40 degrees and the cats love it.
- This Radiator bed is great for winter.
- Felt home
- Cube den
Enrichment & Play
Providing plenty of ‘enrichment’ can deter bad behaviours (scratching/ yowling) – but this can be really simple – low cost balls/ soft toys or boxes – but only use string toys under supervision (to avoid strangulation).
Toys which reward play with treats work well.
A window seat (of at least 25 cm deep) can also provide hours of fun – we suggest spray-painted window ledges which are easy to clean muddy paw prints from!
If you’d like help with your feline-friendly renovation, get in touch.