Creating the purrfect environment for your new feline friend is essential for ensuring that you have a long, happy life together. But if you’re a complete beginner, what’s the best way to start getting your home cat ready? Even though cats are now well-known for being domesticated animals, their wild tendencies still remain. By going back to their roots, it becomes much easier to figure out the type of environment your cat would best thrive in, being one that enables them to carry out their natural behaviour. Luckily, your home’s trash can become your cat’s treasure, so be prepared to get involved with a spot of DIY. Let’s start making your home pawsitively cat friendly…
DIY scratching post
One thing’s for sure, cats love to have a good scratch. There’s just no preventing it, and you’ll definitely start to notice your furniture suffering if you don’t provide them with something to get their claws into. A scratching post is ideal for this, allowing your cat to mark their territory whilst keeping claws at a healthy length – even better, it’s super easy to craft one yourself!
To get started, all you’ll need is any rope or twine that has a good texture to it, the materials to create a post and base, and something to secure everything together. To create the base, you could use well-sanded plywood, or an old PVC pipe to experiment with the shape. Grab your rope or twine, and begin wrapping it around the post, using super glue to secure everything in place. For the base, wrap it in felt or any other soft material that’ll be comfortable for your cat to hop down onto, and you could even decorate the edges with faux fur for something extra. Finally, attach the two parts together using some screws, and that’s it!
DIY cat wand
Take a leaf out of Irresistible Pets’ book and craft your very own cat wand, perfect for preventing boredom. As mentioned previously, wild cats were used to being constantly stimulated by their natural environment, whether this be catching prey or fleeting from a predator – to put it simply, they’re not cut out to live a dull life. With this in mind, put your bits and bobs drawer to good use and fill up your cat’s toy box, so that you can start to make your home cat friendly.
To make a cat wand, arm yourself with baker’s twine, a wooden dowel, jingle bells (this is a great way to make use of any Lindt bunny neckties you’ve been saving), fabric scraps such as ribbons or shoelaces, and fabric glue.
Start by wrapping the baker’s twine around the wooden dowel, leaving some excess string of up to about 12 inches so that you can attach your fabric scraps. Secure everything in place with some fabric glue and tie your scraps to the end of the twine, weaving some jingle bells in there too. And that’s all there is to it! A brand new toy for your cat, without the cost.
Pet-proofing your home
Before letting your new cat loose around your home, a pet-proofing exercise is definitely in order. You may need to get at a lower level for this, so that you can really start to see things through a cat’s eyes. Are there any dangerous household appliances around, such as hot or sharp objects, or a wire that could be chewed through? Could anything be knocked off a table or shelf? Kittens especially are curious little creatures, so it’s important to prepare for the worst case scenario. You may choose to section off some rooms that your cat isn’t allowed into, so be sure to remain strict with this and stick to a consistent routine.
A hiding place for your cat
Although we’ve mentioned that it’s important to make the safest environment possible for your feline friend, it’s inevitable that certain cleaning appliances or guests coming round to visit may evoke anxiousness. For times when your home is busier or louder than usual, make sure that your cat has a variety of safe spaces to hide in. This could be an empty cardboard box on its side with a comfy blanket inside to snuggle into, or an outdoor cat house. Cats also love to hide up high in order to clearly evaluate their surroundings, so make sure that these types of spots can be reached without injury. Use shelves, cushions or other small furniture items to create safe, cat-friendly steps.
Cats in the wild would have to work for their food, so make dinner time a little more entertaining with a puzzle feeder (a more cost-effective option!) For this, you’ll need an empty tub of your choice, a knife, string, a paper straw, a screwdriver, and some cat treats, of course! Start by creating two small holes in the tub with your screwdriver at opposite sides, sliding a straw through both ends to begin creating your handle. Thread the string through, tie it up at the top, and snip off the excess. Finally, create holes in the bottom using a knife that are a little bigger than your cat’s treats, being sure to trim off any sharp bits of plastic. Now you’re ready to put in the treats, suspend within reach, and introduce to your cat!
Now that your home is cat friendly, what other DIY projects could you get involved in? For more crafty ideas, and to learn more about the extensive range of ropes and twines we have on offer, get in touch with our friendly team of professionals today!