We want our feline friends to feel good and live comfortably in our homes. Here are a few things to take into consideration.

Sleeping quarters

Cats need plenty of relaxing sleep to recharge both mentally and physically. That said, you don’t need to worry too much about where to position baskets, dens or cushions. Just listen to your cat. Most moggies quickly develop a preference for a specific place – simply position the cat bed in their chosen location.

If your cat likes to nap on the window ledge or the radiator, offer her something cosy to lie on so that she can make herself comfortable and to protect her fur. When choosing cushions, blankets, etc., make sure that they are robust and washable so that you and your pet will get pleasure from them for a long time to come.

Scratching post

Aside from the cat loo, the scratching post is the most important living accessory for a cat. Your furry friend can use it to sharpen her claws, train her muscles and observe her territory from an elevated position. In order for your cat to accept the scratching post and use it on a regular basis, it should be at least 1.2 m high. Its location is key as the scratching post will only interest your cat if it is positioned in the heart of the action. Ideally it should be placed in the lounge, between her sleeping quarters and feeding area. It is pointless erecting the post in an adjoining room or in the hallway as this location would be far too boring for a curious kitty. Incidentally a scratching post is not only important for indoor, but also for outdoor cats. If there are insufficient scratching places in the home, cats won’t necessarily head outside to find a tree in the garden but may instead use a piece of furniture or wallpaper to sharpen their claws and mark their territory.

Food & drink

If cats are off their food and drink, this could have something to do with its location. Water and food bowls should be separated and located in as quiet a place as possible as cats don’t like to be disturbed while eating and drinking. They should also be located away from the cat loo. If their food is placed right next to the loo, even the hungriest of cats will most likely lose their appetite. Most cats also like a varied diet. You should try to vary their food on a regular basis and alternate between dry and wet feed.

Cat loo

Cats like to feel clean. This also applies to the cat loo. If it is not cleaned after each use, the animals will quickly switch to other places – in the worst case scenario they will do their business on the couch or on the bed. This can also happen if a cat feels ill at ease. Unlike the scratching post, the cat loo should be located in a quiet place, as far away as possible from the food and drink bowls. It should offer enough space for your cat to turn around and stretch out. We recommend investing in a new cat loo every 1-2 years. By this time, a large amount of urine scale will have built up and will most likely offend your cat’s sensitive nose. Each cat should have its own cat toilet. More information on the subject of cat litter can be found on page 34.

Care tips

Cats are very clean animals and clean their fur several times a day. Nevertheless, they still need their owners to lend a helping hand. Short-haired cats should be brushed/combed once or twice a week, while long-haired cats require daily care. This not only results in a shiny coat but also means that you have a good chance of discovering potential skin diseases or parasite infestations at an early stage. You should also check your cat’s teeth and ears regularly. You can remove dirt from their outer ears using a damp cloth – under no circumstances should cats’ ears be cleaned with a cotton bud. Any abnormalities regarding teeth should be reported to your vet as soon as possible.

Checklist – how to know when your cat is feeling good
Your cat …

likes playing with you.
uses the scratching post and not the furniture to sharpen her claws.
has regular contact with fellow moggies.
has a shiny, well-groomed coat and enjoys being brushed.
uses the cat loo and does not mark her territory indoors.
eats and drinks from her bowls and does not spread food around the house.
constantly spends time around you and purrs when she’s being stroked.
sometimes sleeps on her side in an entirely relaxed manner.
is an ideal weight.
What’s more, if you notice your cat observing you through half-closed eyes and blinking at you, then you’re definitely on the right track as a blink is the equivalent of a smile in cat language.

Cat massage

Cats not only enjoy being stroked but they also love massages! Stroke your cat from head to tail, first gently and then applying slightly more pressure. You can also massage your cat’s ears, paws and the area around her eyes with circular movements and light pressure. Some cats also like to have their bellies massaged with circular motions. Always massage from the inside out, and not the other way around. Fun, games and excitement

Cats love playing games

Cats are inquisitive and playful animals, and are always on the lookout for something to do. They hate feeling bored. While outdoor cats can regularly go off in search of their own adventure, owners of indoor cats should be prepared to buy lots of different toys and constantly surprise their pets with new game ideas. Encourage your cat to exercise more and satisfy her hunting instinct with balls and plush mice (please do not use toy mice made from real fur).

Alternatively, you could set up an agility course in the lounge – build an obstacle course using seesaws, rustle tunnels and other toys. Then simply coax your pet over the obstacles with the help of a cat dangler or another toy.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.