(This is the third post of a four-post series about The True Nature of Cats movement that I learned about at the Purina ONE headquarters. You can read the first post here, and the second post here.)
The first week, I wrote about food; last week, I wrote about play; and now I'll write about making our cats environment as close to nature as possible, while in a house setting.
Anyone who has owned a cat probably knows that cats like to be hidden. They love to watch what is going on without being seen themselves. This is part of a cats instinct, so it's important to allow them to hide. In nature, cats spend some time stalking their prey before pouncing, and the stalking involves watching without being seen. We can set up spots in the house for them to use their instincts to hide.
The Purina ONE headquarters has an entire room set up with tons of cat stuff--toys, cat trees, hiding places, etc. It was SO cool to see all the different ideas...
Cats also like to be up high. This is another thing they do in nature--climb trees to watch their prey without being seen. Ideally, we'd all have a tree in our house for our cats to climb, but that's not very realistic, obviously. So the next best thing is to provide spots that are up high for our cats to perch.
I have a cat tree that my cats love to sit on (I keep it next to the window, so they can look outside). I saw some cool shelves at the Purina ONE headquarters that great for cats; I think I may make one (stepping completely into the "crazy cat lady" shoes). It's a curved shape, which is more natural than a flat shelf.
They also had these AMAZING cat trees around, which I would love for my cats, but I heard they are something like $1200. My cats will have to stick to the carpeted tree, unless I can sweet talk my dad into making one of these babies...
(By the way, Purina ONE doesn't sell this stuff--they bought it to create an ideal environment for cats, to educate people on the nature of cats.)
Estelle can give you some other ideas of what kind of environment makes cats happy... ;)
|Can you spot her in there? No idea how she did it, but she's lying on top|
of the hangers without falling!
Boxes, bags, and any kind of nook or cranny cats can find make great spots for them to hide. Bonus if the spots are up high! This picture of Chandler is on top of my kitchen cupboards, and before he got too fat to get up there:
Cats have different preferences, and all four of my cats like different spots--Chandler likes to be up high, Phoebe likes to be outside (if she can sneak out) or on a lap, Estelle likes to be inside of things, and Paolo likes to be wherever is soft and cozy.
Speaking of cats going outside, obviously that's in a cat's true nature as well. But cats are much safer in the house, and statistics show your cats will live much longer as an indoor cat. But something we learned at Purina ONE was that you can train your cat to use a leash. There are special leashes for cats (a harness, rather than a collar). Purina ONE included a leash in the box of stuff they sent, so I gave it a try. My cats weren't happy about it, but maybe with some more practice they'll like it. A leash is a safe way to let your cat explore outside (if would be very different from walking a dog, however; you wouldn't walk around the block, but let your cat explore the bushes and trees and and all that).
On to the giveaway... :) The winner of last week's canned food coupons goes to Lincoln! My boys found this picture hilarious:
For next week, I have a coupon for an entire case of canned Purina ONE food (24 cans total) that I will be giving away. To enter, send me a picture of your cat in his/her "true nature"--where they like to hide or spy on you ;) Use the subject "Happy Cat".
|This is the box that the toys from Purina ONE came in--|
Estelle claimed the box instantly!
Don't forget, the three food winners will be given the chance to win a big package of toys and puzzle feeders and cool cat stuff from Purina ONE! This will be your last chance, so make sure to find a cute photo of your kitty in his/her true nature ;)