If a PubMed report is to be believed, trauma is the primary cause of cat mortality, with 12.2% of cats dying from it. It's not uncommon for cats to get into things they shouldn't be, especially when they've never been able to do so. Whether it's the cords on your computer or the electrical outlet behind your couch, you're probably not living in a fully cat-proof apartment. That's why we've put together this list of tips on ensuring your indoor cat stays safe while still having fun.
Install A Cat Door
The best way to keep your cat inside the apartment is to ensure it has its entry and exit. It's a simple enough concept. If you don't want your cat to come in through the door, you should install a cat door on the window so that it can come and go as it pleases. Pick a reputable cat door company that makes easy-to-install and sturdy cat doors.
The installation process for a cat door is very straightforward. You'll need some basic DIY skills and then measure where on your window frame you want it installed. Most windows will have an existing hole from where previous owners installed their pet doors, but if not, no worries! Use something like an ice pick or awl to make holes in the wood around where you plan to install your new pet portal so they can be filled with screws when inserted later.
Once this step is done, all that's left is attaching the flap itself using screws or adhesive velcro strips. The flap needs just enough room so that when closed, there won't be any gaps between its edges and those of its frame; once this happens, there shouldn't be any way for critters like squirrels or raccoons trying to enter through them either.
Get Your Cat A Scratching Post
Many cats will quickly take to using a scratching post, especially if they're young. However, some adult cats may require more training before they're comfortable using them.
The best way to train your cat to use a scratching post is by putting treats around the post and rewarding them when they scratch it. It would help if you also tried clicking your tongue as you do this. Cats have an instinctual response to this kind of clicker training because it's how their mother would call them back from hunting or playing outside.
You can also entice your cat with toys attached to the scratching post so that they begin associating it with fun and playtime instead of punishment for bad behavior. Finally, make sure you put a few layers of catnip on top of the scratching surface. It is another smell cats love.
Be Prepared For The Smell
Cat owners know that cats are fastidious creatures. They're clean animals and will use their litter box but not always where you want them to. Cats are also territorial animals, so they will mark their territory by spraying a foul-smelling liquid from their scent glands. In addition to being unsightly, cat urine can be pungent and irritating for humans with allergies or sensitive respiratory systems.
Cat litter awareness is increasing as a report suggests the demand for cat litter boxes is projected to rise at a CAGR of 3.9%. But to avoid having your apartment smell like an animal shelter, cleaning up after the kitty every time they use their box is essential. If you're worried about the unpleasant odor of cleaning products in your home, natural solutions are available, as well as more conventional ones that are safe for pets' paws.
If you want to plant some greenery in your home, do your research. Some plants are toxic to cats, some are toxic to humans, and others can cause both problems. Many houseplants also cause allergies or asthma in cats as well as humans. It's a severe concern. ASPCA's Animal Pet Poison Control Center (APCC) has seen over 4 million cases of pet toxicity since 1978.
Some common houseplants that contain poisonous chemicals include azalea, begonia, bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia), caladium, and castor bean (Ricinus communis). The leaves of these plants contain raphides, tiny needle-like crystals that irritate the mouth when eaten by a cat or dog.
Safe And Secure Windows
An actual condition called high-rise syndrome describes animals falling from tall buildings, a common cause of traumatic injuries in pets. Cat-proofing your windows is essential because cats are natural jumpers. They can jump up to four feet high, so you need to consider the height of your window when cat-proofing it. If a cat jumps out of a window, it may be injured or killed.
If you have windows that open inwards, you should install screens on them that are strong enough to keep a cat from pushing them open. You can also use curtains with heavy material and secure hemming tape along the edges of each curtain panel so no fabric hangs out at all times.
If you have sliding glass doors or large windows that don't open inwardly but instead slide upwards like a door would do on the house, ensure they're locked shut at all times when they're not being used and try not to have any hanging plants close by where your indoor cat could reach them.
It is possible to have a safe, secure, cat-friendly home. The more you cat-proof your apartment, the safer and more comfortable your cat will be. Cat scratch posts are an excellent way to keep your cat's nails trimmed. You can buy litter boxes that will fit in small spaces and look like furniture or plants so that no one knows the difference when they come over. You can even get fancy with them if you want.
There are also ways to ensure that any cords around the house aren't within reach of your cats' paws by using protective covers or keeping them out of certain areas (like under the couch). If there is any chance of chewing, remove it before they find something they can chew on because once they start doing something like that, we all know how hard it is for them to stop.
As you can see, there are many things that you can do to keep your indoor cat happy and healthy. While cat-proofing your home may seem like a lot of work at first glance, it's pretty easy to do once you know what to look for in your living space. Remember that even though there are many ways to protect your pet from harm, nothing is more important than keeping an eye on them at all times as they explore their new environment.