Cats are domesticated, but their instinctive knowledge - imprinted from living for millenniums in the wild - has not faded. Cats share a strong instinct to climb, compelling them to seek out high places even when you and your dog are nowhere to be seen. From a raised perch, they're able to observe their territory without worrying about predators, and can wait with an eye out for prey.
Cats also instinctively seek out hideaways as part of their natural behavior, both for hunting and protection. That's why they seek out the shadows, the secret perches, and why, when you least expect it, you notice eyes glowing from some dark space between the wall and the couch.
Does your home have the right places for your cat, or is she just making do with what is available? Make sure your home has places where your cat can get away and just be her cat self. Cat furniture in innovative designs can satisfy your cat's hiding need, and be both comforting and stimulating, affording an excellent place to sleep and play.
Match your cat's furniture to her lifestyle
By observing your cat, you can usually determine your pet's personality and temperament, and select or construct the furniture to best satisfy her lifestyle:
- A fearless mountain lion eager to scale a penthouse
perch: Younger, active cats might prefer the tallest perch you can provide... a floor to ceiling
tree. If you have a cat that loves to gallop up her tree, consider an extra sturdy
- A part-time adventurer who frequently takes up a safe, mid-level position: A number of pieces ranging from two to six feet in height will satisfy her needs. The 39" tall
Spiral Penthouse, for example, is topped with the perfect observation deck. For more security, your pet might prefer the
Amusement Park with both a 35" high perch and a private, cozy tunnel.
- A sedate savanna dweller preferring to curl up on a soft, floor-level
cushion: Older cats, or those with orthopedic problems, might prefer the privacy of a comfortable, covered, foam-stuffed tent.
It is easy to place your cat on the pedestal of her choice
Look for cat furniture designs that include multiple features to satisfy scratching, climbing, perching, and privacy needs. Most have comfortable, durable carpeting in a range of colors to coordinate with your home décor. Scratching posts in natural wood or tightly wound sisal rope provide an excellent alternative to your sofa. The addition of a catnip mouse turns any cat furniture into a playground, and speeds up your cat's desire to claim it as her personal space.
The mandatory feature for any piece of cat furniture is sturdiness. No cat will venture into or onto a shaky lair.
A cat tree placed near a window will assure its frequent use. A windowsill perch is especially designed to view the captivating world outside. Sunlight and warmth through the window will be a magnet, as will the activity of the outdoors.
Most cats will immediately take advantage of any place to jump and climb. If your cat doesn't accept the new furniture at first, try sprinkling a little loose catnip on any of the perches or tunnels. Another option is to lightly mist it with catnip spray.