Cats are moody creatures. You can even go so far as to say that they consider humans inferior. But we don’t care about that. All we want is to keep our furry companions happy and sated.
It was believed that domestic cats originated from ancient Egypt since they honoured these regal animals, but that might not be the case. The newest study from 2017 confirmed what was previously established – that cats were actually domesticated by farmers in the Near East 9,000 years ago.
Cats like to roam and play, so keeping them inside is not their idea of fun. Although it’s safer that way and a cat’s average lifespan can be doubled, it becomes bored. Cats react to boredom by showing destructive behaviour, urinating inappropriately, losing of gaining too much appetite, being lethargic and sleeping all the time.
That’s why you have to create a stimulating environment in order to beat the boredom. And actually this is not so complicated to achieve.
Cats love to observe the outside world through the window. Sometimes it may seem as though they haven’t moved from their favourite spot for days. That’s why you need to make sure that they can easily access the window without breaking something or injuring themselves.
Place a blanket or a cushion on the window sill so your cat can lie there comfortably. If you don’t have a big enough ledge, you can hang a cat basket beside the window. Always make sure that the cat can climb up and down easily, without your help. Also, never leave a window open since cats are very curious and will go outside. This is especially dangerous if you live in an apartment on a high floor.
Usually the main worry of future cat owners is how to prevent their pet from ruining their furniture. Cats do this to sharpen their claws, but also because they like to be naughty if bored. This is easily solvable with scratching posts, specifically designed to satisfy this need.
There is a large variety of this type of product on the market. Big and small, they are perfect for any apartment and come in different shapes. If you buy some wood and rope, you can create your own. But these structures are not expensive and it’s safer to buy the ones which won’t get ruined after a couple of scratches.
If you have enough space on the walls, consider adding some extra shelves. You can add a few boards, one above the other so your cat can easily jump on them. Or you can build yourself a shelf which can also be your cat’s climbing ground.
Even though they are great jumpers, cats can still fall and hurt themselves. To avoid this, make sure that they can easily climb onto the shelf without destroying some books on the way. You can place a bowl or a box on top where your cat will curl up and sleep.
Never forget to buy your kitten toys or it’ll play with your stuff instead. There are many cat toys on the market, but you can even make some yourself. Also, never have one, but plenty. Cats tend to lose these toys around the house, but are not too eager to look for them.
This will make them bored and they’ll turn to your clothes, cushions and furniture for fun. Additionally, buy different types of toys since cats lose interest in the same ones very fast. You can hide one toy and give it to them later, to avoid spending money on new toys.
Just like dogs have their houses, cats have their caves. These are specifically designed refuges for cats where they can hide and enjoy some peace. Since cat caves require some more space, you can place excess things in storage for low cost.
Cat caves come in all shapes and sizes. Even the materials differ, but they’re not so hard to clean and wash. Since they are not heavy, you can wash them in the machine or take them to the dry cleaners. Since cats shed their fur, use a cleaning roller to remove them.
Catnip is a plant your cat will fall head over heels for. If you want to make them happy, plant some and watch how they enjoy it. If you want to make your cat play with toys, instead of your stuff, cook them in catnip tea. This will surely make them attractive to your furry friend, so much so that they might not want to stop playing.
You can also make stuffed toys with catnip inside. But make sure that you sew it well because otherwise they will be easily unstitched with cat claws.
All in all
Even though they have a reputation of being loners, cats greatly depend of your care and they know it. Keeping them occupied is just one of the ways you take care of them and make sure they’re okay. In the end, they will reward you with a purr here and there, or even by brushing their cheek against your shoulder.