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Feline Environmental Enrichment

A Gray Cat Lying in a Cardboard Box

For prevention/management of feline behavioral inappropriate elimination provide at least one of the following for each cat in the household:

  • Food bowl

  • Water bowl

  • Litter box (unscented litter is recommended)

- One additional for the household is preferred. Ex: 3 cats would require 4 total litterboxes and food/water dishes.

- “Self-cleaning” litter boxes are not recommended because some cats find the noiseaversive and may avoid using them.

- Uncovered litter boxes can shut odors in and make your cat feel trapped. Open litterboxes provide a large enough space for your cat to feel comfortable and safe.

- Cats do not like loud noises and are easily frightened, so it is important to place thesein quiet, safe locations.

- Fecal matter and urine should be scooped daily and dumped/cleaned with unscentedsoap and water on a weekly basis.

If the above steps have been met and you are still having inappropriate elimination issues, please consult with a veterinarian.

Scratching & Chewing

  • Scratching/clawing is a normal behavior that maintains claw health and is a form ofpheromonal marking.

- It is recommended to provide scratching posts and/or “kitty condos” in close proximityto resting areas/or areas frequently visited by the cat(s). Kitty condos also provide a place foryour cat to hide and explore his/her environment.

  • Unwanted chewing can be avoided by making cat-safe plants and grasses available.

Caution - some plants are toxic; make sure the plants/grasses are safe before bringingthem home!

Personal Space

  • Cats need to have easy access to safe areas where everyday stressors like loud noises,other cats/dogs and small children are reduced. - Provide separate stations for each cat’s own food/water bowls, and litter boxes.

  • Cats really enjoy perches placed throughout the house. It helps the cat feel safe bygiving them a vantage point away from stressors.

Black & White Kitten With Blue Eyes

Outlets For Play

  • Play is an essential factor of your cat’s well-being whether it’s with you, other animals inthe house, or alone with toys.

  • Appropriate toys include: self-propelling toys that mimic prey, catnip-filled toys, ballsinside a box or bathtub, and laser pointers (be sure to provide a reward for the “hunt”from laser pointers so your cat doesn’t become frustrated.)-Switch out toys every couple of days to keep cats interested.

  • Set aside 10-15 minutes per day specifically for petting, playing, or trick teaching to keepyour cat entertained and active.

Kitten with big green eyes laying in a person's lap

Pheromones

  • Feliway® is a pheromone product that comes in a plug-in (similar to an air freshener) orspray. This product contains feline-specific pheromones that help relax/calm cats.

  • Litter additives such as Dr. Elsey’s® are also a great natural way to keep your cat attractedto their little box