Like her cousins in the wild, your cat will spend a lot of time exploring and protecting her territory – in other words, your home! Here are a few ways you can help your feline friend to follow her natural instincts, by making your home as cat-friendly as possible.
Getting out and about
Fitting a cat flap is a great way to let your independent cat come and go as she pleases – transparent flaps are ideal. It’s also a good idea to place a heavy rush mat in your doorway – it’s a cheap and easy way of dealing with her muddy paws, and your cat will love sharpening her claws on it too!
If you have a cat, it’s worth thinking about the kinds of carpets you have in your home. Cut pile is best, because it can't be pulled at as easily as loop pile – and your cat’s hairs won’t build up on it as much. Generally speaking, the higher the wool content the better.
Coping with claws
Scratching is just one of your cat’s many natural instincts. Not only does it keep her claws sharp for hunting, but it also helps her mark territory with scent and visual signals. To distract your cat from scratching at your furniture, carpet or curtains – and also to allow her to have fun! – encourage her to use a scratching post.
Your cat will naturally shed hair throughout her life. You can sometimes use this to your advantage – for example, you can encourage her to use a new bed or blanket simply by brushing her and putting the hair on the unfamiliar item.
Under the bed
In the wild, most big cats have their own special hiding places. They use them as private retreats, either to rest or to recover from illness or injury. Your feline friend is just the same, and what better place to hide than under your bed? Think about having at least one traditional bedstead in your home – rather than a divan with a solid base – to create a natural retreat for your cat.
If you have a balcony, remember to make it cat-safe by installing a fine mesh or trellis around the balustrade. That way, both you and your cat can enjoy the view in safety.