Kitten and cat environment

Kitten and cat environment

In this section we’ll look at:

  • Creating the ideal environment for your kitten or cat
  • A comfortable place to sleep and rest
  • Poisons and hazards around the home and garden
  • Somewhere suitable to toilet
  • Research
Creating the ideal environment for your kitten or cat

Creating the ideal environment for your kitten or cat

  • Give cats somewhere comfortable to sleep and rest undisturbed.
  • Give them constant access to safe hiding places. Cats often feel most secure when they are high up, so they should be given safe access to resting places on top of furniture such as cupboards or shelves. 
  • Each cat should have their own food and water bowl, litter tray, cat bed, hiding place, and scratching post. 
  • Locate them around your home, so your cats can choose to avoid each other. 
  • Provide a spare. If you have two cats, provide three of everything.
A comfortable place to sleep and rest

A comfortable place to sleep and rest

Cats need a cosy bed in a quiet, dry, draught-free area. 

Ideally they need an enclosed bed or box, or safe access to underneath a chair or bed. Some cats prefer soft beds with a roof – they’re especially suitable for a shy cat. Others prefer an open basket lined with soft bedding. The bedding should be easy to clean and washed weekly.

Provide a separate bed for each cat you have. Keep them well apart from each other. A good general rule is to provide a spare for everything, so if you have two cats, provide three beds.

Cats feel safest when they are high up. This makes them feel secure. Give them access to places like shelves or tops of cupboards. They also like places to hide. If they don’t have anywhere suitable they can become stressed.
Poisons and hazards around the home and garden

Poisons and hazards around the home and garden

Keep your cat safe from hidden dangers in your home, by checking out our Poisons page. From chocolate and caffeine to nuts and garlic: it’s a comprehensive list of things to keep out of the reach of paws. Thousands of accidents and illnesses are caused every year by them, so take another look now at our list to remind yourself.
Litter trays

Litter trays

Provide a litter tray or an outside area, or both. It needs to be a quiet, easily accessible toilet area away from food and water. When cats toilet outdoors, they dig a hole, then cover it up with soil or other material. 

Keep the same type of litter in their tray. Kittens often develop a lifelong preference for a certain type of litter. Switching to a different type when they are older, can cause them to stop using the tray.

Provide a spare toilet if you have more than one cat. So for two cats you should provide three litter trays. 

Locate each litter tray in a different part of your home. This means cats don’t have to come close to others to go to the toilet. This avoids chronic stress and medical conditions, such as stress-related diseases of the urinary system.

Are cat faeces dangerous to people?
Yes they can be. Always wear gloves when cleaning out your cat’s litter tray. 

Pregnant women should take additional precautions due to the possible risk from toxoplasmosis, a parasite which can be found in cat faeces.
Research

Research

The PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report

Since 2011, we’ve surveyed over 53,000 pet owners, veterinary professionals and children, giving us a huge insight into the wellbeing of pets in the UK. Here are the findings for cats and their environment. 
You can read our full PAW Report here.

Overview

A worrying proportion of owners provide fewer resources – litter trays, and food and water bowls –than the number of cats in their home. This is a serious concern as chronic stress is caused in cats where they can’t avoid each other. Stress can make cats spray urine indoors – and is a common cause of feline cystitis (bladder inflammation). 

Key findings from our most recent report:

Our findings show that many cats have to share their resources:

  • 50% of cats in multi-cat households have to share their litter tray
  • 58% of cats in multi-cat households have to share their food and water bowls

Improve one thing today...If you own more than one cat, make sure they have enough of the things they need: litter trays, food and water bowls, cat beds, scratching posts, hiding places. Always have a spare of everything, for example, two cats should have three litter trays.

Leaflet