There are lots of positive ways to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in the life of a cat, and many of them involve providing our feline friends with a more normal environment: one that meets their natural needs or is attractive in other ways. We found some favorites here at Global Pet Expo, all of which offer ways for indoor cats to live a more authentic life and feel safe in their home environment. Here are our top five picks.
Who doesn’t hate it when someone barges in on them in the bathroom? Or when they can’t get into (or out of) a certain space? The adorable yet functional cat-shaped Kitty Pass Interior Cat Door allows you to put your cat’s litter box behind closed doors, preventing odor from escaping and dogs from invading, while allowing your cat easy access whenever she wants. It’s also an escape hatch into another room when your cat wants some “me” time. 3 sizes/models; $39.99-$60; thekittypass.com or online retailers
We don’t know of a single cat who’s cool with wearing an Elizabethan collar, but when they have to, the Calm Paws Behavior Support Caring Collar ticks all the boxes for kitty comfort: soft texture, an opening that allows them to eat and drink comfortably, and a protective pocket for tucking in a calming gel patch containing a soothing essential oil solution. Calm Paws Behavior Support; $28.70/major pet and online retailers
Where does your cat like to be? Up high, or hiding inside or under something, right? We don’t always have the best areas for cats to perch or hide in our homes, but the Katt3 customizable kits allow you to build your cat his own cozy, multifunctional habitat with its assortment of cubes, cat scratchers, toys, cloud pillows and memory foam beds. Three-cube starter kit, $119; single cube, $39. www.beonebreed.com
Scratching is a normal behavior for cats, but it can also signal anxiety or stress, especially when done on forbidden areas such as furniture or curtains. A pheromone-catnip combo called Feliscratch with a visual hint in the form of blue coloration applied to a scratching post enhances the post’s attractiveness to cats, encouraging them to scratch in a way that makes both of you happy. MSRP $24.99; available from Amazon and pet retailers. www.feliway.com
Did you know that a cat’s stomach is only the size of a Ping Pong ball? Cats are built to hunt, catch, play with, and then eat multiple small meals a day, resting between meals. Doc and Phoebe’s Indoor Feeding System meets all five of those natural feline needs: five mouse-shaped pods with soft exteriors are filled with dry food or treats and then hidden around the house for the cat to find throughout the day. It’s a real winner and our number-one pick for this category. $39.99/available direct from www.docandphoebe.com and Amazon.
This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.