Cat perches make a great alternative to natural outdoor hiding places. If you want or need to keep your cats inside most of the time a cat perch is ideal.
Cats naturally seek out places that are high up when they want to rest so that they can see the world around them and be safe from surprise attacks.
They also like to be sheltered, which is why your cat might like sleeping in chairs or in drawers as again it provides a level of protection.
Any perch that you buy or make should reflect these two main desires of your cat when they’re looking for somewhere to sleep.
While it is possible to make your own cat perch it is often much easier to go to store or online and buy one that has been pre-made. When you’re looking at perches, there are several key features that you need to take into account:
Access – your first consideration needs to be how your cat will gain access to the perch. Some are open at the top, resembling a basket while others look more like a dog kennel with a small roof.
You need to avoid perches that are on poles as these are hard to climb for older cats and perches that overly complicated will probably be ignored by your cat.
Installation – some of the best perches are a simple basket design that can be screwed into the wall or bookcase to give your cat a good high vantage point.
Check before you buy to see if your perch needs to be mounted and think carefully about the steps your cat will take to gain access to the perch.
Material – a lot of cats like to knead their sleeping spaces before lying down which generally involves using their claws to rip up the material a little to make it feel softer. Buying a perch that feels comfortable to human touch often results in it being destroyed in a month or two so don’t be afraid to buy ones that feel a little coarser.
It will also give your cat a natural scratching post that isn’t your couch.
Weight – the weight of the perch relates to the issue of installation. You can buy a cat perch in any shape or size meaning that some of them become incredibly bulky.
You need to take this into consideration when you’re planning the location of the perch as you don’t want it to be knocked over by a startled cat.
You can save a lot of money by building your own cat perch but it may take a lot longer than buying one and you have to be sure that your craft skills will mean you get a good final product.
The simplest plans will involve lengths of solid wood supporting wooden platforms at various heights covered with old carpet.
Carpet makes for a great perch covering as it is soft enough to sleep on but will stand up to constant kneading by your cat. The internet is filled with different designs for making your own perch if your imagination fails you.
It’s worth looking at the natural sleeping patterns of your cat before you rush out to buy a perch. There is nothing more soul destroying than spending hours picking one out or making one from scratch to have your cat turn their nose up at it and continue to sleep on your bed.
Find the places that your cat likes to sleep and try to make your perch mimic those as much as possible. For example, if they like beds, the perch should be flat and soft while if they prefer cozy corners the perch should enclose them while they sleep.
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