Cat expert Celia Haddon offers some tips to a Your Cat reader on making their home a little more exciting for her indoor cats…
Q) I want to make my home a little more cat friendly and interactive for my two indoor cats, but I only have a two-bedroom flat. How can I go about it on a budget?
Celia says: There are lots of cheap ways to make indoor life exciting for your cats. If they eat dry food, throw away the food bowl and just scatter the food round the house or hide it in cardboard boxes so that they have to jump in to find it. You can make food dispensers out of toilet roll tubes, cardboard pill boxes, cereal containers, or any smallish boxes.
Tennis balls with a hole cut in them make a nice food dispenser too. Large boxes can have bigger holes for a paw to poke out food. Just remember that any hole in cardboard must be small enough so that your cat’s head cannot get stuck in it! Old ice cube trays make easy dispensers too.
For toys, use wine corks, old ping pong balls in the bath, dried pasta, walnuts in their shell, and plastic milk bottle tops to bat around on the floor. Cats enjoy sitting in cardboard boxes of all kinds. You can even make these into tunnels or fill a large cardboard box with odd items — feathers, tiny balls of crumpled up paper, small toys, and just a few cat treats so that your cats have to jump inside and find them.
Cats love climbing and sitting high up. Keep an eye out for unwanted wooden drawers or shelves in skips. You can attach these to the walls to make a kind of climbing frame, or make wooden boxes into a cat tree. An Ikea bookshelf can also be adapted to make cat sitting places too.