Creating the purr-fect home environment to help your cat thrive
by Ontario SPCA and Humane Society | Cat Care | March 24, 2023
The right environment is important to help us thrive, but what about our furry friends? Read on to learn what considerations you should make to ensure your cat is flourishing at home.
Toys for mental enrichment
Be sure to have plenty of toys around to provide mental enrichment for your cat indoors. Figure out what your cat likes, which could be mouse toys, balls, wand toys, or automatic toys that can entertain your cat when you aren’t around. It can be helpful to keep half of your cat toys in a box that’s put away and regularly switch some out for others, so your cat always feels like there are new toys to keep them engaged.
The importance of perching and hiding to a cat
Cats require stimulation to stay both physically and mentally healthy. Historically, cats enjoy climbing, plotting, and pouncing on their prey, which is why they love a good vantage point. Get your cat a place to perch where they are high up and comfortable. Ideally, this could be next to a window where your cat can look outside.
Just as much as cats practice their hunting, they also enjoy hiding, and require space to do so. Ensure your cat has a quiet space away from the hustle and bustle of the house. This means ensuring they can sneak away from noise, other animals or humans in the house for naps and “me” time.
Read our blog on How to get my cat to love their bed.
Why do cats love cardboard?
Cats are scent-oriented creatures and cardboard absorbs scent well, surrounding cats in their own familiar scent. Cats also get comfort and security from enclosed spaces, which is why they love spending time in cardboard boxes. Cats also use boxes as hiding places to get away from predators, where they cannot sneak up on them from the side or behind. Your feline friend may also enjoy chewing, scratching, or licking cardboard as an instinctual behavior simulating the act of hunting.
Pet Valu Cat Cabins
Cat cabins are cardboard box houses that act as a safe haven for cats in our animal centres. When a cat is adopted from the Ontario SPCA, the same “cat cabin” can be transformed into a carrier that the cat can travel home with. Once home, adopters are encouraged to reassemble the cabin, as it has the cat’s scent on it and helps ease their transition into their new home by offering a familiar place to perch, sleep, and hide. This brings a familiar piece of furniture with them, making the transition to a new home easier.
As a part of Pet Valu’s Companions for Change, the Cat Cabin Program features four cabin themed designs; “Cabin in the Meow-tains,” “Miami Beach,” “Tiki Hut” and “Nautical Ship.” Instead of the usual brown cardboard box models of yesterday, the themed designs on each cardboard box feature illustrations that add the appearance of wall art, windows and even furniture to each cat cabin.
Cat cabins give cats a place where they can be partially hidden, which helps them to feel more comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. With a flat perch-like surface on top of the enclosed cabin area, cats can also sit up off the floor when outside the cabin, which also helps them feel secure. Kittens also enjoy playing in the cat cabins. With two entrances in each cabin, kittens can chase each other through, and practice climbing!
Learn more about Pet Valu’s cat cabins on our blog.
Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves
Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society. Thanks for your good work!