June 9th

By Natasha Castellano 

Happy Adopt A Cat month! In honour of our feline friends, let’s discuss some cat behaviours and ways in which we can optimize our homes to enhance their lives and prevent unwanted behaviours.

First things first - Litterboxes. Did you know improper litter box use is the leading behavioural cause for people to relinquish their cats? The most common cause of inappropriate litterbox use is a medical concern, so a veterinarian should always be consulted. Contrary to what many people believe, cats do not urinate or defecate for revenge or out of spite, so let’s discuss a few things to keep in mind.  

  • The number of litterboxes in the home should equal the number of cats in the home +1 (so one cat=2 boxes, 2 cats=3 boxes).
  • Location is important. They should be easy to access, not be in a small enclosed area where a cat may feel trapped, and not be next to food and water.
  • The litterbox should be 1.5 times the length of the cat.
  • Litterboxes should be cleaned daily; some cats may refuse to use the litter box if it is not kept to their standards.
  • Cats can be picky regarding the type of litter and litterbox. Give the cat some options and see what they choose!

Next up: feline furniture! Feline furniture has come a long way over the last decade. There are so many options for keeping your feline friends comfortable, safe and entertained.

  • Cat scratchers are so important for cats to stretch their muscles, dislodge the outermost sheath of their claws, and mark their territory. To prevent your cat from scratching inappropriate household items, provide them with numerous scratching surfaces in areas they like to spend time in.
  • Cats like to climb and survey their territory from elevated locations. To prevent cats from climbing on unwanted surfaces such as countertops, try providing cat shelves (besides a window), cat perches and tall cat trees/towers for them to claim as their own.
  • Cats should be given access to areas where they can escape the commotion of the household, such as cat condos, cardboard boxes (what cat doesn’t like to play in a cardboard box!) or other homemade hideaways where your feline can relax.

Did someone say toys? Playtime is so important for your kitty to expend energy and prevent potentially destructive behaviours. Cats need a minimum of two fifteen-minute play sessions every day, more for energetic cats. There are so many types of toys available, and your feline friend will thank you for providing variety! Here are some options to consider:

  • Solo toys: these are toys that your kitty can play with solo, such as toy mice, soft fur balls, tunnels or towers that have dangling things attached. These should be interchanged to enrich your feline’s environment.
  • Hunting simulated toys: Wand toys and laser pointers are great options for creating ‘prey’ that your kitty can catch, and they enhance the human-animal bond as they require owner participation.
  • Puzzles! Did you know there are puzzles for cats? Toys such as rolling treat balls, or slow feeder food dishes will provide some extra enrichment and entertainment, plus they will slow down any fast eaters.

Let’s talk about the great outdoors. Did you know indoor cats live significantly longer than indoor-outdoor or outdoor cats? Keeping a cat indoors in the safest way to prevent dangerous situations such as being hit by a car, catching diseases from other cats, being preyed upon or being lost. There are some options discussed below if you would like to give your feline friend some outdoor enrichment.

  • Catios are entirely enclosed outdoor areas that can be purchased or created to give your kitty a taste of the outdoors while ensuring safety. These areas should be fully enclosed, including the top and can have shelves, ladders, perches and all kinds of fun things added. Some cats will greatly benefit from the physical and mental stimulation of an outdoor catio!
  • Did you know that cats can be trained to walk on a leash with a harness? Not all cats will enjoy this activity, so let your cat decide if this is an activity they would enjoy. Cats should be introduced to a harness gradually, with lots of treats and praise and should be walked around a safe location, such as the backyard. 

Ready to adopt? Check out our available cats and kittens on our website!