Set Your Cat Up for Success

Cats are territorial creatures and it is beneficial for them to have a place to call their own. Often this can be their acclimation room, but as they feel more comfortable in their new home, they will seek out other areas. Environment greatly influences behavior. For a cat to be happy, they need to be able to express their natural behaviors as follows:

  • Scratching – try a variety of scratching surfaces (vertical / horizontal, Sisal/Cardboard/Carpet) to find what your kitty prefers. This should save your curtains and furniture!
  • Resting – cats can sleep 12-16 hours a day! It’s important to provide comfortable bedding for them to lay on.
  • Playtime – Regular play will keep your kitty active and help maintain a healthy weight. Interactive play between you and your cat can prevent boredom and promote bonding. Playtime is an excellent way to encourage confidence in a shy cat as well.
  • Cleanliness – cats are self-cleaning (no baths needed!) but their litter boxes are not. Cats prefer a clean litter box away from their food and water bowls. Place at least one litter box on each level of your house. If you have more than one cat, provide litter boxes in several locations so that one cat can’t ambush another cat who is using the litter box. If your cat begins to go to the bathroom outside the litter box, your first call should always be to your veterinarian. Many medical conditions can cause a change in a cat’s litter box habits.
  • Routine feeding – cats love consistency, and feeding on a regular schedule reduces stress in your cat. Make sure to refresh water daily. 
  • Alone time – just like humans, kitties can need some time away to recharge. It’s important to provide hiding spots and vertical height so your kitty can choose to take a break when they need to. It’s a great idea to set up their carrier as a hiding spot so they associate it with relaxation and not just trips to the vet!

If you find that your cat’s habits have changed suddenly – such as by showing aggression, urinating or defecating outside the box, vocalizing while using the litter box, not eating, or hiding in an unusual way – you should call your veterinarian immediately to rule out health issues. Once your kitty is cleared of anything relating to health, you can then look into environmental and behavior issues that may be causing the problem. 

If you have questions about your Tree House-adopted cat, call us at 773-262-4000 or email us at and we’ll be happy to assist. 

The Five Freedoms Every Animal Should Be Provided:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
  2. Freedom from discomfort
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior
  5. Freedom from fear and distress