Will my cats be happy moving to an urban environment?
(Q) We are moving to a small town after living in the countryside and I am concerned about keeping our cats happy outdoors. I want to enclose our new garden with cat-proof fencing as my cats have little road sense - they've never needed it before. But I'm worried that they won't be happy in a relatively small space. I'm planning on providing them with lots of enrichment and toys, but is there anything else I could do?
(A) Garden expert Graham Strong says: You have already identified the sort of problems that will face your cats when they move to an urban environment and have come up with some thoughtful solutions. I would suggest you look into moving cat toys to enable your cats to carry on working on their hunting skills. Some have 'mice' that whizz around under a fabric cover or do circuits in a wheel, making catching them a challenge. An area of hardstanding in the run would be needed to lay them out on.
You could also consider fixing a washing line zip wire to a post or bedroom window onto which you could attach fur covered 'rodents' - perhaps a piece of plastic pipe covered with fabric. A rope tail would add to the illusion.
One of the most popular off-the-shelf toys has a mouse spinning in circles, with irregular stops and starts. Type in 'Moving cat toys' on your computer search engine for more details.