More and more often people with their pets move to live in the city. Scientists estimate that until 2030, approximately 60% of the world’s population will live in the city. How can this affect the lives of our pets?
Most pets are not suitable for living in apartment buildings, since in such a situation they are limited in walking distance, and also due to lack of space for an active lifestyle. For cats, a change of place of residence – the transition to living indoors, can be a real test, as this will limit them to behave the way they are used to behaving freely.
Cats are predators by nature. That is why it is very important to provide the cat with the right meat diet. For this reason, in nature, cats are forced to hunt. One study in the United States showed that domestic cats if possible walking outside would kill up to 4 billion birds and 21 billion mammals each year.
It is clear that domestic cats are adapted for life on the street. But how can we, people, provide a domestic cat with a high-quality and full-fledged life in a house or apartment? Unfortunately, very little research has been done on this issue. Despite the fact that many of us have a cat in our house, we know very little about how a cat actually feels when living indoors.
The Right Cat Choice
Some cats are more suitable for living in an apartment than others. Each animal has individual needs and desires. Every animal is a personality. Very energetic and hyperactive cats, rescued stray cats that had not previously lived in buildings, not particularly friendly to people – these animals are not suitable for indoor life only.
There is an assumption that older cats are more suitable for living indoors, as they are less mobile. Some cats have illnesses, such as the cats immune deficiency virus, which causes them to live indoors. But this does not mean that these cats have the right temperament, and living indoors would be more favorable for them.
Domestic cats often face such a problem as obesity, as living indoors they are not very active – both physically and emotionally. For a happy and active life of a cat, the opportunity to go out would not hurt. For example, an aviary or balcony, from where the cat cannot escape, creates a safe environment where the cat can be on the street under the control of the owner and is safe. If it is not possible to give the cat access to the street in this way, then you can use many other things to diversify the life of the cat indoors.
Cats, living indoors, can face unfavorable situations for themselves. It can be anything – from excessive attention to yourself and unexpected guests to young children and other pets who do not understand what personal space and mutual respect are.
Cats are known to love boxes, as well as elevations where they can climb. You can use “ cat houses ” for this, but also for this purpose a shelf or a mezzanine in a cupboard may be suitable. Cats love quiet and secluded places where you can hide and take refuge to avoid stressful situations. If the cat spends more time hiding, then it is worth considering whether the cat has a favorable atmosphere in your house. Uncontrolled stress in a cat’s life can trigger various diseases, such as idiopathic cystitis (inflammation of the bladder).
Hunt – this is one of the needs of cats. It is very important to allow the cat to exhibit such behavior, this means that the cat is allowed to look for food in the house, find it and eat it. The food search provides the cat with short periods of activity and long periods of waiting. Also, the cat herself chooses how and where they are better to eat what they found.
In order for this system to work, you can sprinkle food on the floor or hide it in special feeders-toys for cats. You can also change the feeding place of the cat, thereby encouraging the cat to learn about the environment and spend time actively. By motivating the cat to move more and eat small meals regularly, you will reduce the risk of obesity in the animal.
A similar game can be used to simulate hunting without the need for food. It will be great if the game is short, but active, prompting the cat to attack and chase. In such games, it is better to use toys that resemble the shape, texture, and movements of real booty. It is very important to finish the game on the positive and play for as long as the cat enjoys the process so that in the future the cat is waiting for a new game.
Cats really like to take care of themselves. Sharp claws are necessary for the cat to climb various surfaces and protect itself. It is very important to make sure that the cat has everything necessary for sharpening claws – special posts or other equivalent objects. Also, thanks to these items you will protect your furniture from its damage. In nature, cats scratch trees and other objects not only for claw care. In this way, cats also mark territory.
Make sure your cat is comfortable using their litter box. Use non-flavored fillers; change regularly. Put the toilet in a quiet place and, if possible, further away from food and water bowls. Cats, like people, like to retire to meet their needs. If the cat does not use the litter box but uses other places for this, then we must try to understand the reason for this behavior. The reasons may be different, for example, the cat does not like the place where the toilet is located or does not like the filler. Also, such behavior can be a sign of illness, and perhaps the cat should be shown to the veterinarian.
Each cat has its own unique needs. Before deciding to keep a cat indoors, think carefully about whether you can provide the cat with everything you need for a happy and fulfilling life.
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