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Getting your home ready for a cat requires only a few pieces of basic equipment – a litter box, containers for food and water, and maybe a few toys. But there are more things you can do to make your home a safe, engaging and comfortable place for a new cat, or for the cats you already have. How can you furnish your home to make it as cat friendly as possible? Here are some tips for giving your cat a great habitat to play and live in.

  • Perches
    In the wild, cats prioritize having a good view, so they try to avoid situations where they can’t see their surroundings. You might notice your cat jumping up to different levels in your home, like the top of the fridge and the shelves on a bookcase – cats are wired to seek high spaces. Furnishing your home with a cat perch or two will play to your cat’s natural desire to survey the area. You can purchase one of these, or, if you’re handy, you can make one yourself.

  • Scratch Posts
    It’s natural for cats to scratch – scratching allows cats to stretch and to maintain their claws. Since cats in the wild scratch trees, you should give them something similar in their home so they have an alternative to your furniture, rugs, or curtains. A scratching post is perfect for this, and it’s something you can buy – or if you’re in the mood for a project, you can make it yourself with a log, carpeting and wood. 

  • Hideouts
    Cats are hunters. When they’re on the prowl in the wild, it’s common for them to hide in a place where they can still see what’s happening in their surroundings. You may have noticed your cat hiding under your bed or behind the sofa. This is perfectly natural behavior and satisfies his or her desires to see without being seen.

Get creative in your home to make new hideouts for your cat. Are there books you can pull to the front of a shelf so there’s a hiding space behind them? Maybe there’s an end table you can drape a towel or tablecloth over to create a fort for your cat to hide in. Or repurpose a simple cardboard box with a cut out entry. Each of these is an easy way to make your space more cat-friendly.