Cats tend to take over a home. They happily climb over tables and cupboards, use the curtains as their very own rock climbing wall or swing or sharpen their claws on your lovely new sofa or carpet.
No matter how much you love your cat, you might have to acknowledge that they often show little consideration for the furniture or the money you spent on it. With a few steps, you can create a comfortable home for both of you and keep the damage to a minimum.
First, try to see your home through your cat's eyes.
"You could say that cats live on two different levels," said Helga Hofmann, an animal biologist and author on cats. You'll need to find high and low places where the cat can't do damage.
She also said it's important for the animals to be able to roam around, eat and hide when they want to. Toys and food bowls, therefore, belong on the floor.
It's also important to keep open spaces higher up on shelves or cupboards so cats can get an overview and keep a lookout, Hofmann said.
If you have a wall with shelves, they should be designed to allow the cat to easily climb up in several jumps, similar to stairs. You might also want to give your pet a comfortable place to lie down up there.
The shelves should not be overcrowded either, as most likely anything on top may soon fall to its demise. Securing your decorative objects in place or choosing items that are not fragile would be wise.
Delicate items that could be mistaken for toys are best stored in larger containers. That way, they remain visible without the animal breaking your fine porcelain. So, basically, anything that will upset you if broken should either be stored away or safely tucked inside a cabinet with a secure door.
To avoid scratched carpets, give them their own square of short-pile carpet. They'll be able to scratch it to sharpen their claws without causing a nuisance. If the destructive scratching continues, get a scratching post too and perhaps cover it with different materials and different textures to give your cat more variety.
If your cat still continues scratching places where it shouldn't, cover them up with materials such as sticky paper or microfiber cloths or infuse the area with scents such as citrus and menthol.
If you live with indoor cats, you should always try to keep a bit of order and remember small changes on the sideboard or a car key on the chest of drawers is an invitation to play.
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