vertical space

Cats and Vertical Space, What’s Up With That?

We all have had our cats try to climb up on the counters, scale the walls to get to a shelf, or even jump from a chair to land on top of the book case. But have you ever asked yourself why your cat wants to be high up off the ground?

What is the #1 Reason Cats Need Vertical Space?

Cats tend to feel safe and secure when they are able to survey their environment. In the wild, a cat would perch on a tree limb to look out into his territory to either search for prey or to be on the lookout for danger. Indoor cats still have those instincts, and tend to want to find the highest resting spot possible so they can keep an eye on everything that is happening around them. To us, there are no dangers inside the home, however our cats may feel differently.

  • Cats can perceive children, other pets, and visitors as a threat. They need to be provided with plenty of vertical space.
  • Without the ability to climb up, they are stuck on the ground with little to no cover to hide from what is scaring them or the option to retreat to a safe space from what may be bothering them.
  • With no safe haven to go to, it can lead to behavioral issues, such as aggression, but it could also lead to your cat to develop fear and anxiety.         

How Does Vertical Space Enrich My Cat’s Environment?

Vertical space can also expand your cat’s territory within the four walls of your home. This gives your cat the ability to climb, jump, and stretch in ways that are natural, but also in areas that are more appropriate than your shelves, counters, and even furniture. Here are a view ideas on how can you add vertical space to your home:

  • Cat Trees
  • Cat Shelves
  • Window Perches
  • Get Creative With DIY Projects You Can Find Online

You can even incorporate these spaces into your scheduled play routine by having your wand toy “climb” or “fly” to land on the perches. Your cat can act out natural hunting and ambushing skills until he successfully captures his prey. This will help work your cat’s mind to keep him mentally enriched and also burn off some much needed energy.

How can you help ensure that your cat has the space that it needs to feel safe?

Vertical space provides an area that is just for your cat and can be a safe, comforting space for them. Sometimes, your cat just wants to be away from the chaos that can be in the home, so having cozy spots up high can help make that possible. Here are some tips on how to make the vertical space you provide better for your cat:

  • You can even place a soft blanket or bed in the spot that seems to be your cat’s favorite to make that area even more special.
  • When your cat is in his safe area, you can tell family members, children, and visitors to not engage with him while he is resting.
  • Always make sure that elevated spaces have more than one exit route, just in case a situation arises that your cat feels the need to escape.
  • You can supply your cat with a ton of vertical space by adding multiple cat trees into their environment. The more levels, perches, and resting spots on the tree the better.

Your cat will learn to understand that he will always be left alone and safe when he is in that particular spot, which can give him great comfort.

By providing your cat with vertical space they can engage in natural behaviors and have a safe space to retreat to, which will lead them to be more comfortable and confident in their home.

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