Whilst cats are a thoroughly domesticated species, they still retain the need to express the natural behaviours of their wild ancestors. Climbing, scratching, hiding and perching are all activities owners of indoor cats need to facilitate in order to assure their pet’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Cats are known for their fondness of small, dark spaces. This desire to hide likely stems from old instincts pushing cats to conceal themselves from predators as well as potential prey. Cat furniture with enclosed hiding spaces such as the Midwest Catitude Carnival Play House helps cats to feel secure and relaxed (even if there are no jackals roaming your house to fret about). Studies have shown cats with a hiding place they call their own display markedly lower stress levels than those without.
Opportunities to climb are also important to feline happiness. Climbing and perching are known to help reduce a cat’s stress levels. Occupying high spaces are another method wild felines use to avoid predators and furniture that allows this behaviour helps cats to feel cool, calm and collected at home. Vertical play houses like the Kittywalk Cozy Climber are particularly useful for letting indoor cats flex their jumping muscles.
Scratching can be annoying when your cat decides to sharpens their claws on your favourite chair, but the behaviour itself is not to be discouraged. Not only does scratching help maintain healthy claws it also makes cats feel comfortable and in control, as it is primarily a method of territory marking used to claim ownership of the place they call home.
Old-fashioned scratching posts aren’t the only option anymore for providing kitty with an outlet to scratch their hearts out. Scratching furniture with moving components like wheels are now popular as well as dual-function items such as those that also act as a cosy hammock. Likewise, cardboard scratchers have the benefit of being easily and cheaply replaced for determined scratchers keen to rip their scratch post to shreds in a matter of weeks.
Remember, every cat is a tiger at heart, and they need to have the chance to act like one.
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