Home Setup For Your Cat
The cat vets in Burwood want happy stress free pet cats.
Follow the five home recommendations to improve the quality of life of your cat:
- Provide a safe place for your cat
The cat-vet knows that cats tend to ‘avoid and evade’ rather than confront a situation. A safe place enables the cat to withdraw from conditions it considers threatening or unfamiliar. By having the option to withdraw, a cat is able to exert some control over its environment, and feel safer and happier . Often an elevated cat tree is ideal.
- Provide multiple and separated feeding, drinking, toileting, claw scratching, play and resting/sleeping areas. Especially in multi cat households.
Since cats are solitary by nature, they need access to key resources without being challenged by other cats or other potential threats.
- Provide an opportunity for play and predatory behaviour – Cat Veterinarian
A cat has a strong instinct to stalk, chase, pounce and play. Failing to provide cats with opportunities for predatory-type behaviours can result in obesity or boredom and frustration that can express itself as over-grooming, stress associated disease or misdirected aggressive behaviour .
This can be achieved by providing toys, opportunities for play-based interaction with the cat owner and with other socially compatible cats, and feeding devices and practices that require the cat to actively acquire food e.g. Provide puzzle feeders etc
- Provide positive, consistent and predictable human–cat social interaction Burwood-cat-vet
Cats are companion animals that benefit from regular, friendly and predictable social interaction with humans Cats may for enjoy : rubbing the head and body on the person, sitting on a person’s knee and even, in some cases, licking their skin in an attempt to groom them. However, there is a broad spectrum of social preferences among cats,
Consistent and positive handling of the cat from a young age leads to positive behaviours such as reduced fear and stress and a strong human–cat bond. Social preferences among cats vary widely, and are influenced by factors such as genetics, early rearing conditions, and life experiences. Many cats prefer a high frequency, low intensity level of social contact with humans, a scenario that gives them a good deal of control. In this setting, cats are able to initiate, moderate and end their interaction with human.s
- Provide an environment that respects the importance of the cat’s sense of smell
Cats use olfactory and chemical information to evaluate their surroundings and maximise their sense of security and comfort. Olfactory information involves many different smells detected by the nose. Chemical information is detected by the vomeronasal organ. This is an auxiliary olfactory apparatus that detects pheromones, which are chemicals that convey information between individuals of the same species (see box). Cats use olfactory and pheromonal signals through the use of scent marking by facial and body rubbing (Figure 13). This establishes the boundaries of their core living area in which they feel secure and safe. Wherever possible, humans should be careful not to interfere with a cat’s olfactory and chemical signals and scent profile.
Compared with humans, cats depend much more upon chemical and olfactory information to explore their environment. If cats sense threatening olfactory or pheromonal information, or if they cannot express their sensory signals as described above, problematic behaviors such as inappropriate elimination or scratching and stress-related illness (eg, urinary tract disease) can occur.
( Based on AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines ).
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