5 Tips to Create Your Cat’s Ideal Home Environment

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Create Your Cat's Ideal Home Environment

Imagine you're on assignment to learn about indoor cats, with pop culture as your resource. What would you find? Well, Garfield spits out sarcastic comments while lounging around the living room eating lasagna; meanwhile, Tom chases the mouse Jerry around the house until Tom invariably crashes into a mouse hole or a mallet falls on his head.

We all know those scenarios are not real, but it is true that indoor cats often lead pampered, easy lifestyles -- toys, litter boxes, regular food and water and loving humans. Spoiled, maybe, but easy? Not always. You'd think a cozy home and regular meals indoors would be a cat's dream, but if you consider the fact that most cats were outdoor animals up until around the 1970s, the house cat is still a fairly new concept.

By nature, cats are predators and explorers, they love high places, climbing and balancing. They are self-reliant but can be social as well. We bring them in our home to give them a better life but often, we repress some of these natural instincts -- keeping them indoors full-time rather than allowing them to roam the yard, hunting for small prey; ignoring them as they lie on the living room rug, instead of engaging them in play. According to Tony Buffington, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and professor at Ohio State University, this can make for unhappy and unhealthy cats. But, with a little knowledge, you can make your indoor environment as healthy and natural for a cat as the great outdoors.

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