the Lives of Indoor Cats
By Anne Peterson
Rescue of the South Volunteer
ongoing study of cats and their behavior is being
conducted at Ohio State Universitys College
of Veterinary Medicine. The Indoor Cat Initiative,
led by C.A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVN,
was created to enrich the lives of indoor cats.
The study goes into great detail regarding what
it means to be a cat, gives in-depth information
regarding the needs of cats, and assists in troubleshooting
problems cats may experience.
Personal space. Perches allow a safe place for
cats to lie, sit, sleep and look outside.
2. Food and water bowls. Placed away from appliances
and air ducts that could turn on unexpectedly.
3. A bed. Can be purchased, but blankets or towels
are just as appealing to a cat.
4. Scratching post. Cats scratch to stretch, shed
cuticle, sharpen claws and leave scent marks.
Scratching posts provide cats with an outlet for
scratching, saving your furniture. Posts made
from rough material, such as sisal, are ideal.
5. Litter boxes. Provide a minimum of one per
cat, located in easily accessible areas. Large,
uncovered boxes with unscented, scoop-able litter
have proven to be the most attractive to cats.
Boxes should be scooped daily.
6. Toys. Having things to stalk and pounce serve
a cats hunting instinct. Variety is helpful
in keeping a cat from becoming bored. Dangling
feather toys and toy mice to chase are popular.
The plastic rings off milk jugs, toys containing
catnip, balls that contain food or treats are
also good choices. A window to watch birds, squirrels
etc. from is best, but nature shows will also
hold a cats attention.
to Enjoying your Cat:
their natural environment, cats hunt for food,
hide from predators, and defend their home territories.
Indoors, these behaviors may sometimes be cause
for concern. Acceptable outlets for a cats
natural behavior, as well as reducing their exposure
to threats, are key to a happy home.
Cats do not have a daily sleep-wake cycle like
people. They sleep and wake frequently throughout
the day and night. Adding playful activities to
your cats daily routine can diminish potentially
disturbing nocturnal activity.
2. Cats can be afraid of dogs, other cats, people
and loud noises. Providing cats with hiding areas,
particularly perches, allow the cat to feel safe.
3. Cats mark areas by rubbing against
objects, releasing their pheromones. Allowing
your cat to mark in this way reduces the temptation
for them to mark in inappropriate ways.
4. Hunting is a big part of a cats life
in its natural habitat. Provide toys that will
allow your indoor cat to engage in a hunting-type
more information on these and further topics,
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