Bringing a kitty into your loving home comes with a whole new perspective on your living arrangements. You probably bought or will soon buy some cat supplies and other necessities but where will you actually put them? And does it actually matter? Well, as it turns out - it does. It is of importance to think about where to put things so that they don’t get in your way yet are convenient for your cat to use.
Food and water bowls
Food bowls and water bowls are often placed in the kitchen. This is as good a place as any, as it makes it convenient to clean them out and refill. Make sure they’re placed ‘off road’, meaning that your cat can eat and drink in peace without people or other animals non-stop walking by.We like to eat in peace, ourselves, and cats are no different.
One important thing to do is to leave enough space between the water bowl or water fountain and the food bowl - preferably even near another wall. Cats seem to prefer this type of set-up and this way you can prevent cross contamination where food falls into the water bowl. Also, get bowls with anti-slip, as some cats are fascinated with toppling their water bowls and flooding your floor - always fun.
With multiple cats, you might want to consider several food and water stations to keep guarding behaviour and aggressive exchanges to a minimum. Hungry or thirsty cats often equals easily triggered hissy fits.
Scratching posts and pads
Scratching posts and pads are a must - especially for indoor cats. Place them in particular near your front door - often a robust doormat that can take a beating works as well. We tend to bring in all kinds of strange smells with us when we walk in, causing the need for kitty to mark its territory and feel secure again. And they like to claw something to show their enthusiasm about you being home.
A second good place is the back door, for the same reasons. A big cat scratching post that doubles as a cat tree addresses both the need for scratching and for sleeping. The perfect spot would be in front of a window in the living room - that way, kitty can watch birds from his perch and feel included in the action going on in the family room while feeling safe in their high spot. It also creates some extra vertical territory which is especially beneficial in multi-cat households.
Amazon Price: $74.99 $41.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
Litter trays are best put in a room or area that isn’t that frequently used throughout the day - both for your own sake and your kitties. While using the litter tray, your cat is at its most vulnerable. Therefore they tend to be easily spooked and stressed when disturbed there. In the wild, cats make sure that the elimination place is far enough away from their actual territory and food sources, and bury their waste as to not attract unwanted attention. So make sure it is out of the way and in a quiet place.
If you are considering using the room where your washer and dryer are located, make sure that your cat(s) has no problem with these machines and isn’t spooked by them - alternatively, bribe them to love those machines.
Also, if you have several floors, it is wise to have a litter tray on each level - especially if you have senior cats who might not make it to the litter tray all the way downstairs, stashed in the garage.
Lastly, if you’re contemplating one of those closets that hides a litter box in side, try to get one with two exists - it will do a lot for your cat’s peace of mind.
In multi-cat households it is even more imperative to find a quiet yet safe place. Often, other cats are triggered by the digging sounds and will actually guard the litter tray or hunt down the kitty eliminating which can lead to incontinence and elimination problem behaviour. Make sure you get litter trays without lids so they can see others coming and put the litter trays in two different rooms to make guarding harder. Lastly, the perfect room has at least two exists so they can flee if need be. Stuffing a litter tray in a corner with a lid on top - as much as that is a natural desire of ours - can actually corner your cat when faced with an opponent while eliminating and can cause them to…explore more desirable locations. So make sure they have the room for evasive manoeuvres, especially if the room only has one exit.
Amazon Price: $99.99 $56.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 11, 2015)
Pet Carriers and Sleeping Spots
Pet carriers are a necessary evil. Once a year, you will have to take that cat to the vet. While most people store these carriers in the attic until that time, it is actually a way better idea to turn them into our next category - sleeping spots.
Think about it - pet carriers are a natural cave for your cat to hide in and feel safe in. The only reason they end up hating that thing is because it only comes out when it is time to go to the dreaded place of torment. So, help yourself and your cat by lining that carrier with an old towel for them to leave their scent in, encouraging them to feel comfortable and at ease in that devil trap 99 percent of the time. Then place that thing around the house for the rest of the year. It will make your trip to the vet a lot easier, and a lot less stressful for them.
As for the placement of your newly transformed kitty trap, think once again ‘off the beaten path’. This time, you can definitely stash it in a corner though preferably not in the same room as the litter trays. Sleeping spots can be on any height and come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes. Window ledges are a big favourite, as are beds, couches and - for your timid cat - hiding places high up such as on top of a closet, shelve or wardrobe. And if you can make some snoozing spots near a heat source, you get bonus points - enjoying the floor heating, lounging in the sun and cozying up to the radiator are all very popular activities.
And there you go! Your house has been properly outfitted for your furry roommate. Living together has never been easier!