10 Tips for Families with Cats


Remember What Kitty Needs

A cat can survive with a few basic necessities: A litter box, food and water dishes, a comb for grooming, a cat carrier and a collar with an ID tag are all a kitty really needs. But Kitty will be happier with extras that meet his instinctual predatory needs. And if Kitty is happier, everybody in the house will be happier.

  • Bed. If you don't provide a special basket or bed, your kitty will choose her own. Her favorite place may move -- from your bed, to the chair where you planned to sit, to your basket of clean laundry.
  • Scratching post. Kitty scratches to stretch, to clear dead scales from his claws, and to mark his territory. Give Kitty a scratcher that's sturdy and tall.
  • Kitty furniture. In nature, cats lounge watchfully in high places. You can make Kitty happy by buying cat furniture with resting places at various levels. Or improvise with shelves, or an old bookcase with a few cat-sized holes cut in the sides. Add a board from shelf to shelf for a catwalk. Cats also like vantage points in front of windows.
  • Toys. Kitty may love toys from the store, but you can make your own. Make it safe so Kitty can't tear it up or swallow it. Try a ping-pong ball, empty thread spool, empty toilet paper or paper towel tube, or balled-up wax paper or foil.

Keep reading for one really essential tip.