From basket to scratcher: 9 cat basics
Nowadays you can buy lots of different things for your cat. From cat hammocks to...
27 April 2015
Nowadays you can buy lots of different things for your cat. From cat hammocks to water fountains, everything is available. However, not everything is really necessary for your cat to be happy. We present to you the 9 most important cat basics, which should be part of the basic equipment to ensure you have a happy and healthy pet.
The cat toilet is a must have and should be at least 40 x 60 cm that it is possible for the cat to move well inside. In addition, the edges should be high enough that the cat litter does not land next to the box. A cover or extra door should be avoided because this can cause unpleasant ventilation problems.
Sharp, edgy or other strange-shaped litters should be avoided, as they are very uncomfortable for many cats’ paws. Dusty or scented litter, with chemical and perfume additives, can also harm our dear friends and should not be used in the litter box. Some people might find it necessary to have a scented cat litter because they are afraid of having a house that screams, “I have a cat and things smell here.” But, there is absolutely NO need for special perfumes or additives if a cat box is maintained correctly. A good way to find the best cat litter is to test several products and choose the one your cat prefers.
The perfect cat litter? Clumping, environmentally-friendly, very low dust, unadulterated with strong scents, affordable, comfortable on a cat’s paws and naturally attractive to cats.
In their natural environment cats enjoy climbing trees and/or sitting in high places where they feel safe and can see everything that is going on around them. Kitty trees allow you to bring something of this environment into your home, which will increase the well-being of your cat (and will keep it off kitchen counters and tables). Cat trees provide a great place for cats to hang out, sleep, play and give them something large to sharpen their claws on – other than your furniture. A floor-to-ceiling kitty tree, where your cat can feel safe and climb around, is one of the best cat furniture you can get for your feline friend. As an extra luxury you can get a tree with integrated caves where your kitty can create its own little safe haven.
Many retailers offer a wide selection of cat food, from wet to dry. The mix of dry and wet food depends on the preferences of your cat, because what your cat eats is purely its own decision. If you don’t know what is best for your pet you can ask your vet, what type of food (wet or dry) they recommend for your cat. Once you’ve made your choice, let your cat do a taste test. If your cat likes the food, and doesn’t have any gastrointestinal upsets after eating, you’ve chosen well. Remember that cats need to eat a lot of meat for protein and for fat, which is why vegetarian cat food should be avoided.
Whether you carefully research different brands, or just grab a random product, always let your cat do a taste test.
Whether the food bowl is round, square, blue or pink is not so important for your cat. As long as the bowl is not too high, your cat is happy. And remember, neither the food bowl nor the drinking cup should be placed near the toilet.
The bed or basket of your cat should be as strong and stable as possible, and be long enough to allow your cat to completely stretch out. What the basket looks like doesn’t matter. Wood, plastic or pillows … everything is permitted.
If your fluffy friend has to go to the vet, a suitable transport basket should be available. Many cats don’t like baskets and carriers, so make sure that you have a basket that your cat fits in and can lie down in. If you want your cat to have a positive association with the basket, make sure the basket becomes a familiar place for your cat. You can try to place it in a nice and quiet area, somewhere in your living room, and put a nice blanket inside. Alternatively, it is also possible to have a carrying bag, which you can buy in some stores. Transporting the cat in a purse or a backpack should be strictly avoided.
All cats need mental stimulation, but this is especially important for indoor cats. An enriched environment will give cats the opportunity to create their own positive experiences in an indoor space. It is very important that you challenge your cat. Whether it’s balls with bells in them, catnip mice, everything that fly, roll or run it is all useful for your cat. However, you have to be aware that the toys are safe. Make sure the toy is large enough so it can’t be swallowed.
When cats live in a house with a garden, a cat flap is needed. This allows your cat to enter or leave the house at any time. Be sure that the cat flap is a little bit bigger than your four-legged friend, that it’s not getting stuck.
If you have more tips about cats or cat basics, we would be happy to hear from you!