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Creating the Best Environment for Your Cat

Cats have different requirements for achieving Zen-like peace than humans.

For humans, Zen-like, fully feng shui'd environments can help alleviate stress and add to the development of a peaceful, productive existence. However, when it comes to creating the best space for your cat, clutter-free and Zen-like is the wrong way to go.

Cats Need Stimulation

To stay both physically and mentally healthy, cats need a fair bit of stimulation. In the wild, cats are hunters, so they're always thinking, plotting, and considering how to get their next meal. Then, they expend a burst of physical energy to chase, pounce on, and bring down their prey.

In order to keep a cat that doesn't have to live outside and catch his own food happy and feeling peaceful, we need to provide him with plenty of enriching activities inside.

Creating a Great Cat Space

Here are some of the ways you can create a cat-friendly space that will have your cat feeling physically and emotionally content:

  • Be sure there are always lots of toys around. When it comes to toys, having a lot of them and providing a wide variety is the way to go to make your cat happy. Make sure you have mouse toys, balls, wand toys for playing with you, and even automatic toys that can provide stimulation when you aren't around. It can be helpful to keep half of your cat toys in a box that's put away and regularly switch some out for others, so your cat always feels like there are new toys to keep them engaged.
  • Provide enough resources to keep your multiple cats feeling relaxed. If you have more than one cat in your home, it's important that none of them feel like they must compete for resources. That creates feline stress, and that's very non-Zen for them and you. Be sure to have enough food bowls placed in different areas, plenty of litter boxes for the number of cats you have, and cat beds.
  • Have lots of cat beds. No matter how many cats you have, be sure that you have a variety of cat beds placed around your home. Cats love to sleep, so make sure that you've got plenty of options around for them to stay cozy and comfortable in any room of your home.
  • Always pay attention to the litter boxes. Nothing will un-Zen your cat faster than a dirty litter box. It can also quickly lead to inappropriate urination problems, which is sure to un- Zen you. Keep plenty of litter boxes in your home, pay attention to whether your cat seems to like where you place them and the type of litter you put in them, scoop them once or twice a day, and generally make litter box cleanliness a high priority.
  • Have good scratching posts. For cats, scratching is one of the most important ways to achieve peace and calm. It helps them release stress, mark territory, and stretch their muscles. But they need the proper surface to scratch, or they won't use it. Learn more here: "How to Choose the Best Cat Scratching Post."
  • Give your cat vertical real estate. Cats naturally love to be high. Looking down on things helps them feel safe and comfortable. Sturdy catwalks built near the ceiling are beloved by cats, as are good cat trees.
  • Get a water fountain. Many cats like to drink running water rather than stagnant. A cat drinking fountain can help cats drink more water, keeping them healthier. When you first get the fountain, be sure to keep the old source of water available until you're sure your cat is drinking well from the fountain. Also, don't put your cat's water right by his food; cats prefer drinking in a separate area from where they eat.

Provide Plenty of Playtime

Beyond providing the above great components of a fantastic cat space, be sure that you give your cat time with you, too. Spend 10-20 minutes per day playing with your cat. Interactive toys such as wand toys are wonderful for cats because they allow them to "pretend" to be hunting. This is important for a cat's mental health and also helps fight obesity. Plus, playing with your cat is great stress relief for you, too.

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