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How to create a good home environment for your cat

There is much you can do in the cat's home environment to avoid various behavioural problems. Here, behaviour advisor Anna Jönsson Bergstedt gives you tips on what to think about when it comes to activation, food, water, scratching possibilities and places to sleep.

whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat, it is important that the home environment is as safe and stimulating as possible. The cat is actually a predator that spends most of its waking hours chasing prey. When it is not active, it sleeps and rests a lot. If you have more than one cat, there are many things you have to think about at home, which is due to the fact that cats are not herd animals by nature but are used to taking care of themselves.

Eating habits

As I said, cats are predators and created to hunt. Therefore, do not serve the food in the same food bowl, day in and day out. Even if you only have one cat, you can create several feeding places for it, preferably at different heights such as in the climbing frame, on a shelf or on the windowsill. Many stores now also sell activation bowls and activation toys where the cats have to work a little extra to get their food. Remember that neither food bowls nor water bowls should be placed near the litter box, as cats are clean animals and do not want to relieve themselves near where they have to eat and drink.

For those of you who want to use your own imagination a little more, you can fill a roll of toilet paper or an egg carton with dry food and instead feed your cat that way.

Drinking places

The water bowl and the food bowl should also not be close to each other. Cats in the wild rarely eat and drink in the same place. Feel free to have several water bowls and other types of drinking places for your cat. For example, you can let the cat drink from a water fountain or from a running tap, something that it finds extra fun as the water moves. You can also put a water glass or water bowl in front of you where you put a ping-pong ball that moves when the cat drinks. By making drinking a more stimulating activity, you can get the cat to drink more, which is good for the cat's health.

Scratching possibilities

Cats not only sharpen their claws when they scratch, but also strengthen their territory by releasing pheromones from their paws. It is therefore important that you encourage your cat to sharpen its claws so that it feels safe in its home environment. There are many different variants of scratching possibilities with everything from scratching mats to climbing frames, scratching posts and scratching boards. There should be scratching opportunities in every room, especially if you don't want the cat to pick something you don't want it to scratch.

Sleeping places

Cats spend a lot of time sleeping and resting. Create several sleeping places in your home - preferably places where the cat does not need to be disturbed. All sleeping places must be safe. The cat must not be disturbed by children, dogs or other cats.

Cats love to look out over their territory, so take advantage of the height in your home and think three-dimensionally. Please arrange so that there is a sleeping area where the cat can lie and look out through a window and another sleeping area that is more hidden, for example in the closet or under the bed.

Stimulation

In addition to a home environment that is adapted to your cat's needs, you must ensure that the cat has access to fresh air if it is not allowed to go outside, for example you can have the balcony netted so that the cat cannot get out or injure itself by falling.

Feel free to buy cat grass, which is good for both stimulation and the stomach. Also treat your cat to some fun toys from time to time - toys are good for the cat's active life. By rotating the toys, and not having all the toys in front of you all the time, your cat thinks they are "new" and exciting longer.

Tips to stimulate your indoor cat

Tips and advice from a cat behaviour consultant

If you think this sounds difficult or wonder how you can do this in the best way for your particular cat, you can get in touch with a behaviourist for advice. You can then learn more about how to create a pleasant home environment with these things in mind, and much more.

By Anna Jönsson Bergstedt, Leg. animal nurse and cat behaviour consultant

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