Why do so many of us love cats? For starters, they’re curious, athletic and playful. There’s always a bit of kitten still inside the most aloof of adult cats!
Your indoor cats, while safer, have some special needs. Your funny, playful friend may find himself bored, especially if you’re not home during the day. Less exercise and stimulation will manifest themselves as an overweight cat who is bouncing off the walls as soon as you arrive home.
The key to understanding your cat’s needs is to understand that they are still hunters - strong, inquisitive, and watchful. To be content, they need to use their natural skills. If you provide opportunities for your feline to exercise them, they will stay more active and content.
Cats are Climbers
Cats are beautiful to watch when they’re moving along a tree branch or the top of a fence. It’s one of their hunting skills, and they’re good at it!
Giving them the opportunity to go higher and stretch their climbing muscles keeps them fit and engaged.
Cats Love to Look Down on Things
They say every house cat is a mini panther, and it really does seem true when they’re peering down at you from atop the refrigerator.
They just can’t resist that urge to hunt and stalk!
Cats Love to Hide
Your own cat probably likes to find a secluded spot to do all his napping. When you’re sleeping as deeply as cats do, you don’t want anything creeping up on you.
We’ve all known cats who have gotten lost in dresser drawers and other odd spots. Satisfying that urge is important to keep them feeling secure.
Cats are Curious
They love the stimulation of things going by outside the window, chasing that red laser dot, and tracking down that funny noise they heard.
When they’re home alone, there’s not as much to interact with. And, if they can’t get to a window, they’re missing out on a whole world of interesting input.
Cats Like to Try New Things
The best way to keep your friend engaged and active is to provide new changes in their environment - new smells, toys, tastes, and places to visit.
After reading this, it would appear that the one thing every indoor cat needs is their own tree! Unfortunately, our houses do not offer this opportunity. Cat trees are one answer, but many people don’t like the way they look: they tend to dominate any room they’re in, can be hard to keep clean, and don’t have a very sleek aesthetic.
A fun and attractive way to add some enrichment to your cat’s life can be done with some easy DIY cat shelves. These are a solution to every behavioral need, without the problem of taking up floor space or clashing with your home’s decor.
Installing shelves for your cats can help them reach high windows and have access to new areas. Take a moment to look at your available wall surface. You’ll want to allow your cat to have a fun pathway to a window, loft, or other spots.
You’ll need to select brackets for cat shelves, as well as the shelves planks themselves.
Locate your wall studs with a stud finder, and mark locations along the route you’ve planned out. You’ll be mounting the brackets for your DIY cat shelves on these secure spots.
Add your cat shelf brackets, following the route you’ve mapped out. Mount one bracket per stud. You may wish to vary the length of each shelf, to allow for more variety and interest. Have some fun while you plan this out!
Be sure to dedicate areas for window gazing, lounging, and sleeping, as well as the shelves they’ll use for moving up and down the wall.
Other options to explore adding are sleeping nooks, baskets, or spots for scratching pads. The beauty of DIY cat shelves is that you’re designing it yourself, and the sky (or the ceiling) is the limit! Remember – your cat loves to be up high and squeezed into small places. You can take your cat shelves up close to the ceiling, adding walkways and additional hiding spots.
Once you’ve installed your cat shelves, you can enjoy the cleaner aesthetic it provides. Wall space is truly the last frontier!
To keep satisfying the curiosity of your feline, you can use the shelves to hide new toys or treats. After you’ve observed using them, you’ll be able to see new possibilities for extending their personal walkway into new parts of the room or house.
You’ll be rewarded with a fitter, happier cat. Cats who can get exercise on their own stay healthier, and don’t tend to get overweight.
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