Cats are more than just fun, furry playmates that lie on our faces in the morning and attack our feet when we sleep. They are part of our anthropological history. In many ancient cultures, they represent the hunt, the mysteries of life and the asylum of death. More than any other pet, we share our home with our cat, changing it to accommodate the feline’s special needs. Of course, we are not cats so the process of creating a safe and calm home for our friend needs to take into account the feline experience.
Understand Their Instincts
Humans are hardwired to see faces in random figures. Since we are social creatures, a cloud or an inkblot will look like it has eyes, a nose and a mouth, reports Mail Online. Cats do not experience this, however, but rather they owe their lineage to being successful hunters. They are programmed to see movement.
So, when designing a living space that will be comfortable to your cat, remove anything in your home that will randomly move. For example, if you have an A/C vent next to a window and the drapes or blinds move, this might be a frustrating target for your cat. Every time the air turns on, the natural feline response of attack kicks in. Imagine painting your walls with scary faces, and you will understand how your cat feels. To combat this problem, change your window treatments to something heavier that will not move such as long drapes or custom drawn blinds like solar shades or roman blinds.
Let Them Be Social
We often hear about a dog’s superior senses of hearing and smell, but a cat’s senses are even greater. Their range of hearing goes from 45 Hz to 64 KHz, or about one-third greater than a dog’s, and their olfactory sense also is 20 times better than a human’s, according to Marianne de Vries of the University of Pretoria. Because they have such strong senses, they often feel like they can communicate with friends in the neighborhood. If your cat is not allowed to roam, he or she may feel the need to communicate by spraying so that others can sense their presence.
To prevent any of these common problems, create some form of outdoor space for your cat, even if you do not trust him or her to roam. For instance, a window box, perch or patio will give your feline friend a chance to participate with his kitty friends.
Arrange for Their Needs
Cats follow genetic social habits that fall somewhere between the pack mentality of wolf and the solitary life of a bear. Cats are comfortable with being alone but also thrive in social environments. Research by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare shows that cats are affected by the social stresses of their human surroundings. The study also found that there is a direct relationship between the quality of life of the owner and the arousal of the feline. As the quality of life went down, the pet became depressed and fearful.
To help your cat feel relaxed, try to arrange your living space so there are large open spaces surrounded by several small spaces. The savanna of your living room gives the cat a sense of hunting grounds and the smaller areas are good for safe hiding. This, along with a happy owner, is the perfect world for the domestic cat.