Having a cat around makes a living environment a warmer and friendlier one. But as any cat owner knows, cats are naturally inquisitive and fastidious and require a bit of consideration for their needs to ensure their owners fully enjoy their presence in the home.
Cats are independent souls, they pretty much do what they want, when they want … and if they want feeding or stroking, it will be on their terms. If you are condsidering getting a cat for the first time or want a companion for an existing pet bear these tips in mind:
- Cats are territorial and need their space. An average three-bedroom house should therefore accommodate up to two cats.
- Carpets should be cut pile, as opposed to loop pile, to prevent cats catching their claws. Also, cat hairs are less likely to be caught and can be removed more easily from cut pile.
- A scratching post, cat bed and/or blanket provides cats with a welcome alternative to furnishings. A shelf area with its own bed, mat or cat toys is ideal.
- Take care when cleaning, as chemicals can be absorbed through cats’ paws and ingested when they clean themselves.
- Keep doors to washing machine, oven, tumble dryer and microwave closed and check inside before using.
- When fitting an alarm system, contact triggers on doors and windows are recommended over the infra-red ones: they won’t be set off accidentally by pets.
- See-through cat flaps fitted in a non-glazed door can help a cat feel more confident about jumping through.
- Some house plants, including amaryllis, chrysanthemum, lilies and cyclamen are poisonous to cats but may be hard for them to resist.