What is cat containment?
Containing your cat means completely preventing them roaming from your property at any time, day or night. This can be achieved by keeping your cat indoors, or a combination of indoors and having a secure outdoor enclosure, or cat-proof fencing around an outdoor area. In other words, keeping your cat safe at home and not letting them roam.
In some areas cats are required by law to be contained. Please check the requirements in your area with your local council.
All you have to do is offer more than one choice for each resource, then let your cat decide for his or herself. As a guide, for one cat you will need:
- 2 x litter trays
- 2 x feed stations
- 2 x water bowls
- 3 x different types of scratching surfaces
- 3 x resting/hiding places in different locations
If you have several cats, you’ll need to provide more resources in more locations as cats don’t always like to share!
1. Resting and hiding places
Private, safe and quiet places – all cats need these to retreat to and to help them feel secure and happy. Cats love hiding in places like - shelves, cupboards, a bed or box on top of a chest of drawers or wardrobe, inside a wardrobe, or underneath a bed.
Offering some elevated spots to encourage jumping and climbing will help keep your cat active and healthy. You can make DIY modifications to your house and furniture to create multiple levels in your home, and/or buy cat furniture with different levels and surfaces (many also have a built-in hiding box). Other options for hiding places include a cat carrier left open and wooden, plastic or cardboard boxes. Remember to make your cat’s safe places comfortable with soft bedding – they will love you for it!
Cats often have individual preferences for what they like to drink from and where they like to drink. Many prefer ceramic or glass rather than plastic bowls.
Give your cat several bowls in different spots filled with clean, fresh water and take note of what they prefer – you’ll probably find that bowls from your own kitchen are the most popular! Water fountains made for pets are also a great way to provide your cat with both fresh running water and enrichment.
5. Places to scratch
Cats love and need to scratch – it helps spread their scent which makes them feel at home, and also helps keep their claws healthy.
Providing a variety of horizontal and vertical scratching posts in different locations and with different surfaces will help keep them happy and reduce the chance of them scratching other furnishings. Long vertical posts are good as they also allow your cat to enjoy a full body stretch.