Owning a Cat In An Apartment
The average lifespan of domestic cats is about 14–17 years. But how many years your cat will live is greatly influenced by the level of veterinary services provided to the animal, the quality of nutrition, and, of course, genetic factors. Just owning a cat in an apartment seems to be an easy task, but making the life of a pet comfortable and happy is quite a challenge. In this article, we are going to highlight the main points which will help cat owners and their cats.
Like all of us, cats need to have a safe place to rest and sleep, in which the animal will not feel fear and anxiety. It is better to organize such a place on a dais, as far as cats love observation points from which they can safely observe what is happening around them. If the cat can hide to become invisible to others at the same time, this will meet its natural need for shelter and reduce the possible stress of close daily contact with people.
A good shelter is, for example, a shelf or a unique cat house installed on a dais. Also, it is recommended on best picks review on ThePets.net to use cat towers, especially for large cats. They are an excellent replacement for your decorative furniture, focusing on needs and physical abilities. Felines prefer to climb high — it is where they feel more secure. If several cats live in the apartment, a separate safe corner must be organized for each.
Cats are unpretentious creatures, but, of course, require attention to themselves. Kittens are like small children, they have more energy than they can express – they are very active and love to play. Therefore, try to find time every day to play with your pet. Be attentive to what your cat likes and what makes it irritated, which toys engage it and which scare.
If you ignore your cat and her desires too often, chances are good that the cat will get bored. And this may be shown through damage to furniture, odorous marks and other not the most pleasant things. Therefore, get ready to teach and educate your beloved pet from an early age. To understand the representatives of felines better, first learn more about them – by talking with friends, familiar breeders, or reading special literature.
Separate Stations of Vital Activity
These resources are bowls of food and water, a litter box, scratching posts, observation posts, places for games, as well as for rest and sleep. In a perfect situation, it is advisable to offer more than one resource of each type (for example, 2 trays and containers with drinking water placed throughout the house), but in a small apartment, this is not always possible. In this case, you need to focus on the convenience and availability of resources for the cat.
The litter box should be spacious (at least 1.5 times the length of the cat’s body) and located away from sources of harsh loud noises (such as a washing machine). The type of litter can be selected depending on the preferences of the cat and the financial capabilities of the owner – the range on the market is very wide. Keep the litter box clean, remove feces daily, completely replace litter, and wash the litter box every week. If chemicals are used during washing, they must be rinsed very thoroughly with water so that they do not leave an odor.
A scratching post is a necessary item for a cat. By scratching it, the cat not only gets rid of the dead upper layer of claws but also leaves its scent mark, making the object familiar and safe for itself. By the way, cats leave similar marks when they rub their muzzle against furniture or the owners’ legs. The scratching post can be vertical or horizontal depending on the preference of the pet. For ease of use, it must be rigidly fixed. Using a scratching post can be encouraged with a treat to reinforce the healthy habit of sharpening your claws in a designated area. Bowls should be flat and wide, located in a place where your pet has free access 24 hours a day. Drinking water should always be fresh. Drinking fountains for cats are also available on the market to make drinking more engaging.
Space that meets Natural needs
Do not forget that a cat is a predator, and, even though many cats live in city apartments, hunting still makes up a significant part of their daily activity, even if it is an ambush on the owner’s legs. In order not to get bored and not gain excess weight, the cat must implement all stages of the hunting process: searching, pursuing, tracking, attacking, killing, preparing, and eating prey. Of course, at home, in the absence of live prey, these actions are replaced by pseudo-hunting during the game.
All cats have different preferences in choosing toys – take a closer look at your pet and find something that he likes. Learning new objects, such as a box or basket, also stimulates the cat’s attention. As was mentioned before, cats love observing the world, it is very important for the cat’s well-being, so your pet should be provided with safe access to the windowsill (with the windows closed or protected with a special net to prevent falling from the window). For gustatory and tactile stimulation, you can use pet store potted herb. It is important to know that many types of indoor potted plants are poisonous to cats and should be limited to access. To make cat play safe, make sure all toys are large enough to be swallowed and restrict your cat’s access to storing threads, needles, sewing ribbons, laces, and other thread-like items.
Paying attention to the Cat’s sense of smell
It should be remembered that a cat’s olfactory organs are much more sensitive to odors than human ones. You cannot smoke while in the same room with a cat. If possible, limit the use of air fresheners, perfumes, and household chemicals with a strong odor, and do not use scented litter for the tray. It is also important to know that cats transmit olfactory information through pheromone marks produced by glands located on the cheeks, in the temporal region around the muzzle, on the back at the base of the tail, on the tail. Rubbing these parts of the body against furniture or the feet of the owners, the cat marks them with its scent and makes them familiar to itself. The human nose is unable to distinguish the smell of these marks. These safety signs should not be washed off; they create a sense of calmness and pacification in the cat.
You should never be intrusive with your cat. Do not pick up the cat in your arms, and even more so do not punish if it is in its specially designated safe area. Kittens adapt best to any social contact (with people, other animals, other individuals of their species) at the age of 8 weeks. For adult animals, it can take a long time to get used to a new family member or pet. To ease the stress of a new social encounter, make sure all of the principles described above are followed.
In conclusion, we would like to add that the life of a cat in an apartment does not exclude its possibility of contracting an infectious disease, helminths, or fleas. Dangerous pathogens can enter the apartment from the street on shoes or clothes, the cat can become infected by running into the stairwell. Be attentive to the health of your pet, timely carry out deworming, flea and tick treatment, and do not forget about the annual vaccination.
Treating your cat at home is not an easy thing and requires detailed discussion. On the one hand, the diagnosis of most diseases, and even more so their adequate treatment, necessarily requires the participation of a veterinarian. On the other hand, timely assistance to your cat in case of accidents, as well as mandatory attention to the first manifestations of any disease in cats is the main concern of the owner. Therefore, here are some helpful tips. Firstly, be attentive to your cat’s overall health. The fact that a cat is sick can only be indicated by indirect signs, for example, a change in body temperature (normally from 38 to 39 ˚С), a decrease in appetite, apathy, a decrease in social activity.