So, maybe cats aren't the best architects; here are some easy, practical ways you can keep your cat happy and healthy in your home.
For a healthy adult cat:
1. Feline foraging: Cats naturally hunt their food. Give their hunting skills a work-out and place dry food dispensing toys around the house (available from pet stores). Be careful not to feed them more than their total daily allowance!
2. Nap time: Cats like to sleep in safe, secure places. Consider putting their bed in a high but accessible spot or giving them places to hideaway like cardboard boxes
3. Moving about: Cats love to stretch, jump and explore. They like to have a number of levels to play on; not just the floor. A scratching post with different levels is a great idea, but make sure it’s high enough for your cat to be fully stretched out on back paws. They also love cleared reinforced shelves to jump onto, sleep on and explore
4. Litter trays: Make sure that there are always enough litter trays in the house, the general rule of thumb is one per cat plus one extra. They should not be near water or food bowls
5. Hydration: Keep the water bowls full and refreshed daily or consider a water fountain. There should be water in every room that cats use. Keeping hydrated is important, particularly for cats on a dry food diet
6. Keeping warm: Cats love warmth. Keep a cat bed in a hotspot for warmth, e.g. in the sunshine or by the radiator
7. Plenty of playtime: Make sure you give your cat at least 4 x 10 minute play sessions a day, particularly if you have an indoor cat. Playtime is enjoyable for cats while also being beneficial for mental stimulation, fitness and bonding
8. Quality time: The more time you spend with your cat, the stronger your bond will be. Relaxing with them as you read a book or watch television is a great way to connect
9. Grooming: Most cats love to be groomed, but it’s important, particularly if you have a long-haired cat. Grooming also helps you spot any problems with their skin and coat, teeth, ears, eyes, nose or paws
10. Frequent feeding: To keep cats healthy, they need about 300 calories per day which should ideally be given over 10 small meals. Generally splitting the daily amount into 3-4 meals will keep them content. Please follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid overfeeding. A good way to make sure you are not overfeeding them is to use the PFMA Pet Pledge which you can find at pfma.org.uk