Your cat could actually be enjoying more territory than she has right now and it wouldn’t involve letting her outdoors or having to add onto your home. To increase your cat’s space simply involves the addition of vertical territory.
The High Life for Your Cat
We live in a horizontal world but cats live in a vertical world. Look around your house and I’ll bet you can point to various elevated locations where your cat likes to hang out. It might be the top of the refrigerator or maybe on top of a bookcase or tall dresser. There are several reasons why kitty chooses those locations. The higher up she is the more visual advantage she has. She can easily see anyone approaching. If you live in a multicat environment, this can play a big part in easing tension because a more timid cat has adequate warning of a potential opponent entering the room. Another benefit to vertical space is that a more assertive cat can “claim” the highest spot as a show of her status. This can often reduce any actual physical confrontation two cats might have.
Vertical territory offers your cat an opportunity to climb and get a little exercise as well. Playing up and down a cat tree is good for those feline muscles.
So Many Options for Your Cat’s Territory
Vertical territory can come in many forms. A multi-perched cat tree is a great choice because it offers the cat a chance to climb up and down. The support posts of the tree can double as scratching posts if they’re covered in a rough material such as sisal. If you have more than one cat, a multi-perched tree can allow them to share a relatively close space and still maintain their status.
Vertical space not only includes cat trees or window perches but also shelving and hideaways. You can purchase or construct a “kitty walk” on a wall. Just make sure the shelves are secure and wide enough to safely and comfortably hold your cat. You should also add a non-slip material to the surface. Be sure and install some cat-sized stairways leading up to the shelves or stagger the shelves so each one can be used to get to the next highest one. If you have more than one cat and you create cat shelves, there should be two ways to get up and down so one cat doesn’t end up trapping another one up on a shelf.
Hideaways can include donut-shaped beds, A-frame beds, boxes on their sides or any other type of bedding that allows the cat to feel cozy and protected. Put these hideaways on various levels. Cats don’t generally feel secure enough sleeping on ground level so hideaways should be elevated.
Depending on your budget, you can go all out and purchase (or construct) a cat super skyway all around the room or you can simply add some cat shelves. Your cat will appreciate any amount of safe, sturdy, comfortable vertical territory.
Even if you live in a small apartment you can significantly increase the size of your cat’s space by incorporating more vertical space.
Have fun and be creative when “thinking outside of the box” for your cat. Go online and you’ll find lots of pictures of how elaborate some people have made the vertical territory. You can also find many companies who manufacture cat-specific structures. This is a great opportunity to provide environmental enrichment for your indoor cat that will give her the ability to exercise, snooze, climb, play and even just watch the world from up above.
Need More Information?
You can find lots of tips and techniques to help you increase your cat’s vertical territory and improve environmental enrichment in any of Pam’s books. For specific information on multicat issues, refer to the book Cat vs. Cat. This first-of-its-kind book deals with the unique challenges that multicat households face.