All cats have some basic needs; providing them will help ensure your cat's long-term health and welfare. If these needs are not met, your cat may feel stressed, which can affect both health and behavior. Listed here are things an "ideal" house for cats might include. Your cat(s) might not need all these features to get along, but making your house more "cat friendly" will ensure that you and your cat enjoy each other's company for years to come.
The MOST IMPORTANT fact for cat owners to understand is that cats DO NOT respond to force, and that they DO respond to praise! Reprimands only work if you catch your cat "in the act". Punishment that follows an action by more than a few seconds won't stop him from doing it again, and may even cause him to be afraid of you or the surroundings. If you do catch you cat making a mistake, it is better for both of you to create a distraction by making a loud noise or throwing something (NOT at the cat!) that will attract its attention, but not toward you.
Provide a room or other space she can call her own, complete with food and water, a bed (a cat carrier with a soft pad inside is a good choice), a litter box, a scratching/climbing post, a window to look out of, and some toys.
Place food and the litter boxes away from appliances and air ducts that could come on unexpectedly, and locate them such that another animal (or human!) cannot sneak up on the cat while she uses them. To keep them appealing to the cat, food and water should be fresh, and the litter box "scooped" every day.
Give her something to scratch on to ensure that she can "do her thing" without damaging your things. Praise her profusely when you see her use it to let her know that this is hers to use.
Provide places to climb and look out of windows to help keep your indoor cat(s) healthy and happy.
Cats seem to prefer to feel like they are "in control" of their surroundings, and to choose the changes they want to make. When you make changes (food, litter, toys, etc.), offer them in a separate container next to the familiar one so your cat can decide whether or not to change.
Be sure to see your veterinarian regularly. In addition to providing preventative health care through regular check-ups, they also can help you troubleshoot any "issues" before they become problems.
These suggestions are only intended to get you off to a good start. More information is available throughout our website!