Cat-proofing your home

If you want to keep a happy cat while also preventing scratches all over your furniture, you need to look at your home through your cat’s eyes. Photo: dpa

Cats tend to take over a home. They happily climb over tables and cupboards, use the curtains as a swing, or sharpen their claws on your lovely new sofa.

No matter how much you love your cat, you might have to acknowledge that they often show little consideration for the furniture.

With a little thought, you can create a comfortable home for both of you and keep the damage to a minimum.

First, try to see your home through your cat’s eyes.

“You could say that cats live on two different levels, ” says Helga Hofmann, an animal biologist and author on cats, adding that you’ll need to find high and low places where the cat can’t do damage.

She says it’s important for the animals to be able to roam around, eat and hide when they want to. Toys and food bowls therefore belong on the floor.

It’s also important to keep open spaces higher up on shelves or cupboards so cats can get an overview and keep a lookout, Hofmann says.

If you have a wall with shelves, they should be designed to allow the cat to easily climb up in several jumps, similar to stairs. You might also want to give your pet a comfortable place to lie down up there.

To avoid scratched carpets, give them their own square of short-pile carpet. They’ll be able to scratch it to sharpen their claws without causing a nuisance.

If you live with indoor cats, you should keep a bit of order, and remember small changes on the sideboard or a car key on the chest of drawers is an invitation to play.

Fragile items that could be mistaken for toys are best stored in larger containers. That way, it remains visible without the animal breaking your fine porcelain. – dpa

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