What Your Cat Needs to Feel Secure

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Five pillars of a healthy feline environmentLike humans, cats have needs in order to make them feel happy and secure. To help understand the “core resources” your cat needs, think about when you move to a new apartment/house.

What do you do to feel comfortable and make this new place your home? Typically we clean, stock the bathroom and kitchen, make up our bed with our own sheets and pillows, and then decorate with curtains, pictures, and personal items.

Your cat’s needs are similar and you want to make sure you have an environment that makes your cat feel comfortable.

Five Items for a Secure Environment for Your Cat

  1. Food – Predictable meal times and individual food bowls for each cat in your household.
  2. Water – Clean fresh water in a location that is appealing to your cat.
  3. Toilet – A convenient, clean, and private litter box to serve your kitty.
    1. As a general rule of thumb, the number of litter boxes should be one more then the number of cats in your household.
    2. Many cats prefer a larger litter box that is one and a half times the length of their body, and at least one and a half inches deep.
    3. Litter should be scooped at least once daily.
  4. Safe Place to Sleep – Soft bedding, as well as familiar smells and sounds, provides security for your cat. Some cats also like to be provided with soft, cozy places to hide.
  5. Familiar Territory – Face-rubbing and scratching surfaces leaves your cat’s scent, and marks the territory with a personal touch. Be sure to supply plenty of scratching posts to encourage appropriate scratching.
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Other Tips

  • Each cat in your household needs a complete set of the resources listed above. There can be some overlap, but sharing requires that you have an accurate assessment of each cat’s relationship with the other cats in your household.
  • These resources should be located in a low traffic areas, which is free of excess noise (i.e. not near a noisy laundry area), and has at least two ways where your cat can enter or leave. This allows your cat to flee or escape if they feel threatened or stressed.
  • Cats also need to be provided with the opportunity to play in order to allow them to fulfill their natural need to hunt and stalk, as well as provide mental and physical stimulation.

Check out some of the basic supplies you will need for your cat to feel secure.