Cat Furniture, The Necessary Luxury
Having Cat furniture in your home is one of the very best ways to make your cat happy. Keeping your cat indoors has been proven to more than double his lifespan, compared with that of an outdoor cat.
While cat beds are an essential piece of "furniture" for your cat, this article focuses on the larger pieces of furniture for your cat.
I do have a section covering different kinds of beds,which you should definitely have a look at before buying one of those.
Explore Cat Beds of All Kinds Here
Indoor cats live longer than their outdoor counterparts. However, indoor cats require a good deal of exercise and daily challenge to be truly happy. Cats love to jump, scratch, play hide and seek with imaginary friends, and take long naps on high perches between times. Providing some fun and functional furniture will help keep kitty playing on his own furniture, instead of yours.
Why Cats Scratch And How Having Their Own Furniture Can Help
While scratching is a big area of concern for most cat owners, it is a natural, normal behavior for felines. There are many great trees, gyms, condos and more, readily available at your local pet center that will provide a scratch-friendly zone for your cat.
When considering the purchase of a playground for your kitty, bear in mind that it should include lots of quality scratch zones. So first, it's important to know why cats scratch. Cats scratch mainly for three reasons:
1. Maintaining Claws
It's widely thought that when they scratch, cats are trying to sharpen or trim their claws. The scratching he does would be more accurately described as shedding his claws. When cats scratch cat furniture or cat scratching posts, they leave the outer layer of the claw behind. To help facilitate this, and attract your cat's scratching attention, choose cat furniture that includes wood and carpet or sisal rope in its design.
Human athletes work hard to develop their muscles. Our cats need to build their muscles also. When choosing cat furniture, try to pick items that answer your cats' needs. Is your cat a big time jumper? Make sure the cat furniture you pick has a wide, sturdy base to avoid tipping. If you have multiple cats be sure to look for furniture that big and sturdy enough for the whole clan. If you have older cats, make sure your cat furniture has ease of access for your feline seniors.
3. Marking territory
Cats' paws contain scent glands that allow them to mark their territory while scratching. In fact, even cats who have been unfortunately subjected to de-clawing will be seen mimicking this scratching action. It is known as "pressing the flesh". If your cat always "picks on" your favorite chair, it's probably because it smells like you. When he scratches he is adding his own scent to yours. When you purchase new cat furniture, try putting some of your clothing (worn) on the item. It helps your cat identify it as both yours and his.
A Truly Necessary Luxury
Cats want to be up off the floor. They're not too particular about where, they just want to go UP. If you were a cat, always getting tripped over, you'd want to get off the ground, too!
Cat furniture is necessary for your feline’s physical health. However, it is also a luxury because it makes him feel more at home, and in control, the master of all he surveys, which, of course, he is!
Cat trees are a basically a playground for your cat. Cats love climbing, scratching and playing and most of them keep it up for their entire lives! Therefore cat furniture is a good investment for the health and happiness of your cat.
It's not hard to choose good furniture for your cat. Just keep your his needs in mind. Each level or platform should be challenging for him to reach, but be sure that your cat can make the leap safely. A perch or hide-out on the top is a big bonus, especially if it’s near a window.
My cat, Spooky loves to lounge on his ceiling-high perch and look out the window at the birds and squirrels. (when he's not napping there, that is!)
Most cat furniture includes a carpet or sisal scratching post. Cats need to dig their claws into things from time to time, so it's best to provide a nice place for him to play or your furniture may be forfeit.
Is your cat less than optimally motivated? Lazy even? Then consider getting him a cat gym, which is a cat tree with attitude. Each level has activities and challenges.
Look for one with things to bat at, reach for, swing on, scratch on, stalk, terrorize, and otherwise create kitty mayhem. Even Garfield would be hard pressed to resist such fun!
Like cat trees, cat condos come in various interesting sizes and shapes. Cat condos generally have tunnels, or hide-outs with room to stretch and sleep.
The best ones include a high perch for lazy lounging, long afternoon naps and supervision of humans. Ah yes, the good life. . .
What Is Good Cat Furniture?
The ideal cat tree or condo design works with a cat's natural instincts for hunting, climbing, stalking and playing while at the same time, helping to develop healthy muscles, reflexes and general well-being.
Good designs should take advantage of a cat’s love of heights, and their desire to perch and survey the world from the luxury and safety of a high perch or hideaway. Some of the taller cat condos and cat towers have cat perches almost as high as the ceiling which cats just love.
When shopping, be sure and step back and look at the structure. The best ones will have a stair-step design which allows cats of any ability to easily jump or climb up to the top perch and just as easily get back down again. The design should appear well balanced and durable.
Cats quickly sense whether or not they are on a stable, sturdy structure and will shy away from anything that feels unstable. So invest in a good quality item and as your cat becomes more familiar with the details of his new outpost, you'll notice that his climbing becomes more confident and his climbing and leaping skills will improve.
Cat Furniture Safety
Cats seem to make a game of practicing ever more daring leaps and increasing their agility and speed when climbing. Not to worry, usually there is no cause for alarm. It just looks scary! However, there are some safety concerns that you really should pay attention to.
While many cat gyms have wonderful toys on different levels such as dangling ropes, string toys, and more, please make sure that there is nothing that could get wrapped around your cat's neck or leg and hang him if he ever should miss his aim.
Also, where carpet or rope is attached to the unit, make sure there are no exposed staples, nails or screws that might cut him. If need be, tether the unit to the wall nearby to provide additional stability, which is sometimes helpful for larger cats or cats who love to pounce heavily from perch to perch on the higher units.
Furniture for Larger Cats
While I don't like to see obese cats, which are generally not as healthy or happy as they could be, I have to admit that some cats are just BIG. And that's all the more reason to get them a place to "work out".
Cat condos are ideal because they tend to be very durable. They are also good for multiple cat households. When shopping for cat condos and cat gyms for your full figured feline, keep an eye out for large crawling tubes, wide comfy resting levels and adequate weight capacity.
While some items will show their maximum weight
capacity on the labeling, don’t cut it too close. There's no such thing as a too much quality. If you have your doubts about the unit being capable of handling your cat, consider contacting the manufacturer. Many reputable makers of pet furniture will be happy to create something custom that you and your cat will both love.
DIY Cat Furniture
For you handy Do-It-Yourself types, I am including a link to a great site with free plans on how to make your own cat some custom furniture.
From simple styles made from ladders and tubes, to much more elaborate structures, this site is just great- I hope you like it, and many thanks to www.toolcrib.com for providing it!
Link to DIY Feline Furniture Designs
Feline Furniture is all about recreation,exercise and challenge. That's what keeps cats coming back again and again to perch, play, climb, scratch and just have fun. Having good places to play in the home helps to combat boredom, and also provides the essential service of helping your cat get the regular exercise he needs.
Providing good quality furniture will help your favorite feline stay healthy, fit, and live a longer, healthier and happier life. Now that's one of the greatest things you can do for both you and your cat.
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