Tips to make a home more cat friendly:

Posted: Sunday, August 24, 2003

Buy or make an adventurous scratching post with perches to climb, holes to explore and catnap-perfect sleeping lofts. A scratching post will give cats an outlet for their instinctual scratching behavior, so they don't need to turn to furniture and carpets.

Transform a breakfast bar by mounting a ''kitty counter'' that sits lower than an actual countertop so cats and their owners can enjoy mealtimes together.

Add a cozy fleece pad to the arm of the couch to create a warm and inviting place.

Install a wide shelf over a computer station with a pet-safe heating pad or fleece blanket, so cats can keep their owners company while they work, without interfering.

Build a catwalk, or even a partial one, by installing shelving or boards along the upper climes of a room. Make sure to include more than one exit for the cat to escape.

Wrap table legs in seisal or burlap for cats to scratch.

Cut a hole in the top of some PVC piping about the length of a couch, then wrap it in burlap or any other material for a fun tunnel that hides behind a sofa.

Upholster the sides of a couch in a material that cats enjoy rubbing against, such as kitty combs that encourage rubbing instead of scratching.

Provide a variety of toys for a cat to enjoy. Interactive, self-contained toys like trackballs and door-hung plush toys will keep a cat playing even when its owner isn't home.

Source: Friskies, feline behaviorist Pam Johnson-Bennett

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