How to create an acrobatic course for cats in an apartment?

How to create an acrobatic course for cats in an apartment?

An indoor cat is protected from all external risks and also represents a lower danger to biodiversity. However, it needs to compensate for the fact that it does not go out. It must therefore benefit from physical and mental stimulation. Exercising will help it fight against excess weight and will provide it with mental occupation. An acrobatic course meets both his need for exercise and the need to stimulate his mind.

How to create an acrobatic course choosing the right equipment and ensuring its maintenance? We detail the concept for you!

The benefits of physical activity in indoor cats

While physical activity is necessary for all cats, it is particularly important for those living in apartments. Indeed, the temptation is great to hang around like a “cat-potato”, alternating between armchairs, beds, the sofa and the bowl! The risk is then to gain weight and develop metabolic diseases, heart problems or osteoarthritis, among others. However, Sport improves general condition. It strengthens muscles, bones and even joints, which has an impact on quality of life and longevity. Exercise also plays a role in the feline mind, because it stimulates the brain. This helps to limit behavioral problems related to boredom, such as the destruction of objects or furniture and aggression or depression or even bulimia. An Active cat is happier overall and less anxious because it expends its energy and satisfies its hunting and playing instinct. Finally, the cat is like a human. It needs to exert itself to feel good, in mental and physical balance!

Why create an acrobatic course for your cat?

Creating an acrobatic course is a response to your indoor cat’s need to exercise. It cannot chase mice, birds and small lizards, nor run after insects, nor even scratch the ground or climb trees. It is therefore not just decorative equipment, but a useful gift for your cat whose instinct must be satisfied. The apparatus enriches the environment it more stimulating and counterbalances the constraints of indoor life. When the course is well designed, it allows your little feline to climb, jump, perch, sharpen its claws, hide while providing an outlet for its natural propensities of hunting and exploration. If you plan high spaces and hiding places your cat will feel safe and in control of his territory, and it’s good for his psychological health!

Make a plan before you buy

Before purchasing equipment, you must plan your project. It is necessary to adapt to the constraints related to the shape of your rooms, the location of your furniture, windows and doors and you have some calculations to do as well as measurements! A successful course integrates harmoniously into your living space while meeting the specific needs of your little feline(s). By thinking about it in advance without rushing into it, you will have a functional and personalized course.

To begin with, observe your cat’s behavior and note his preferences: where does he prefer to perch, hide, and sharpen his claws? Does he prefer to position himself high up or, on the contrary, hide in small spaces?

Afterwards, plan a budget to avoid any unpleasant surprises, choose location of your route and measure the space you have available. You must maintain a certain fluidity. Your movements, like those of your furball, must not be hindered by furniture or part of the route. Traffic is very heavy it must be well thought out. Once you have mentally placed your future course, you can use cardboard to imagine it more precisely. If its thickness is suitable, you can start choosing the different elements: shelves, scratching posts, tunnels, dens, suspension bridges, etc.

You can choose elements to place or decide to fix them on the walls to make the course more sporty and attractive.

What are the best toys for your cat?

It is important to know your cat’s preferences to avoid investing in expensive equipment that will then be shunned. Cats are very picky and are not aware of the amount of money that we spend on them! The proof is that they love cheap cardboard boxes and can turn their backs on the prettiest baskets made of noble materials! You must therefore choose equipment that is both aesthetic and useful for your pet.L. Among the most appreciated, wall shelves and stairs well as suspension bridges are located at the top of the podium. They allow the cat to climb, but also to place itself high up and observe its environment, perched above everyone, which many of them love! They thus dominate their territory, what a treat for them!

Sisal scratching posts are also among the essentials. Cats have a real need to sharpen their claws. It is also a good way to divert our little felines from sofas, curtains, and armchairs! Everything that is tunnel and den is also very popular with cats, because they hide in the first ones and chase in the second ones, especially when there are several cats in the apartment. It’s an opportunity to move, to run… in three words, to be on the move! In addition, the soft and fluffy hammocks and platforms are popular with felines, especially when placed near windows: they offer long moments of distraction, with a direct view of the birds and insects that fly before their eyes and attract their attention like a good television series with us! Finally, don’t forget the essential cat tree, it is 3 in 1: it generally has one or more sisal posts to scratch, platforms to observe and hammocks or dens to hide or rest while bringing a certain elegance to the whole.

Combining :

  • Wall shelves
  • Wall stairs
  • Suspension bridges
  • Scratching posts
  • Tunnels
  • Dens
  • Hammocks
  • Platforms
  • Cat tree…

You will be able to build a tailor-made and stimulating course that will help your cat stay active and enthusiastic!

Don’t forget the rest and quiet areas!

Activity elements aren’t everything on an acrobatic course, even if the name suggests it. Providing rest areas is essential. Cats like to alternate between movement and calm. And the funniest thing about them is their ability to abruptly switch from one to the other. This is even more visible in kittens. They jump, run, scratch and then suddenly fall over from exhaustion! It’s exhausting, a cat’s life! That’s why you need to think about integrating soft cushions on some platforms as well as small closed cabins to help your feline relax or take a nap in the dark. Because as you know, a cat spends 15 to 17 hours a day sleeping!

These spaces must be isolated from movement, noise and passages to leave the animal alone. Up high is more fun and safer for a cat in good health. It gives him a dominant point of view and the impression of being protected from predators. It’s instinctive, there are rarely large predators in an apartment, but the cat appreciates it! After all, you never know, if you invite friends with their dog, your cat will be happy to perch! The rest in an elevated and peaceful area plays an anti-stress role in our little felines.

Points to watch out for on a feline acrobatic course

Owning a ropes course requires regular checks and some maintenance to ensure the safety of your little companion. Check several times a year the condition of the fasteners especially those that connect the apparatus to the wall. Over time, the screws tend to loosen or gain play, which can make the apparatus less stable. If not maintained, some can come loose. This is not only dangerous for the animal, but also for those below. In addition, the weight of a jumping cat is multiplied and over time, the equipment can become weakened, tip over, or come loose.

Also, check the sisal: it needs to be changed from time to time because the multiplication of scratches eventually gets the better of it. Similarly, fabrics need to be cleaned from time to time. They accumulate dust, mites, dead hair and parasites which can cause skin problems for your pet. Even the wood must be dusted from time to time.

Finally, if your cat turns his nose up at a piece of equipment and goes around it, he may no longer be confident. It is then advisable to take a closer look to see if a splinter or any other element of discomfort is bothering your pet.

Also, remember to regularly add new or replace existing equipment. Although cats usually don’t like change, they appreciate new stimulation in this context.

With a little creativity, imagination and anticipation, you can make your indoor cat happy and even make him believe that he is an adventurer! He will stay safe while benefiting from physical and mental stimulation. To do this, prepare your project well and, once built, do not forget the maintenance. You will thus have a happy cat who will never suffer from boredom!

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