Providing an Enriched Environment for Your Indoor Cat

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Newport Harbor Animal Hospital
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Newport Harbor Animal Hospital
Providing an Enriched Environment for Your Indoor Cat

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Litter Boxes

I know, what is enriched about a bathroom? If it isn't comfortable it is a source of stress. What makes a cat's litter box uncomfortable?

  • Too difficult to get in.
  • Too much noise in that location.
  • The litter is not preferable.
  • The box is not clean. (Cats are very fastidious. Scoop daily and clean with an unscented soap and hot water once weekly.)
  • There is less than one box per cat in a household.
  • The house has more than one level and the litter boxes aren't on all levels.
  • There is not enough room in the box to move around.
  • Changing litter types frequently.
  • Too much or too little litter in the box (The best way to determine your cat's preference is to have a box deeper in one end and shallower in the other and see which end is used).

Get Your Cat Moving

It is fun for your cat as well as good for feline health to get them moving. This can be done with simple feather toys or a laser pointer. You can also use your feather toy to move your cat through an obstacle course. This should be a daily routine. Your kitty will remain thin and physically fit and remain happy with their indoor environment.

Where Can My Cat Sleep?

Although many people won't care, your cat does. Most cats like to sleep in an area that is free of traffic, quiet and feels secure. If you don't want your cat sleeping any place they chose you can train them with rewards to sleep in an area of your choosing. It will not work if it doesn't feel quiet and secure so take some care when you provide the site. Once you have picked a nice quiet area you can provide a nice bed or blankets, some water, food and have a litter pan near by. One more piece of advice, you have created a nice quiet area, don't disturb your cat while sleeping or resting in this area.

Scratching Posts

All cats like to scratch. This is a natural behavior that serves to spread their scent, sharpen or condition their claws as well as enhance your cat's health by providing them exercise and stretching. Cats will typically like to do this in a higher traffic area because part of the reason they do it is to mark territory. The typically like to do it on tough cloth areas. Scratching posts can be vertical or horizontal so you will need to either provide both or determine their preference by watching where they scratch. If the cat is choosing other areas you may need to cover them with aluminum foil or sticky tape and have the scratching post nearby.

Nail Trimming

Trimming the nails is easy with the proper nail trimmer. It is important to avoid the pink portion of the nail. If you are unsure, we'll be happy to demonstrate how to trim your cat's nails at our animal hospital.

Moving Up?

Anyone with a cat knows they like to spend part of their day on high surfaces. It is a really good idea to provide them with a perch. This provides a safe place as well as an area to watch what is happening around them.

Providing the proper environment makes your cat healthy and happy and relieves stress. This always helps to enhance good feline health and longevity for your favorite feline.