As cat owners, we all want to provide the best environment for our furry friends. That's why we invest in cat trees and special sleeping furniture for cats, but what if your cat is not using the new cat tree you've just bought for them? Don't worry, it's not uncommon for cats to be wary of new objects and spaces, and there are several reasons why this may be the case. In this article, we'll explore feline behavior and preferences, and how you can make sure your cat feels comfortable using their new cat tree.
Locations That Cats Like and Dislike
Cats are territorial animals and they like to have a sense of control over their environment. This means that they prefer to be in high places, such as the top of a cat tree, where they can survey their surroundings. However, cats can also be nervous about new objects, especially if they're too tall or have many levels. If the new cat tree is too big, your cat might feel overwhelmed and might need some time to use it. On the other hand, if it's too small, they might not see the point in climbing up and won't use it. But that is very individual for each cat.
Fear of New Stuff
Cats can be easily intimidated by new things in their environment. If a new cat tree is introduced into their space, they may be wary of it and avoid it. This is especially true if the tree is unfamiliar and has unfamiliar textures, shapes, and smells. To help your cat feel comfortable with their new cat tree, introduce it slowly and let them explore it on their own terms. You can place some treats or toys near it, so they'll associate it with positive things. Over time, your cat will likely become more comfortable with the tree and start using it.
There is scientific proof that cats are cautious of new objects. Studies have shown that when cats are introduced to a new object, they'll often sniff it, touch it with their paws, and then retreat. This is a normal part of their investigative process, and they'll return to the object when they feel more confident. Some cats may need a while until they show interest in the object, while others may eventually start using it right away.
Making Your Cat Comfortable
In conclusion, there are several reasons why cats might not use their new cat tree. It could be because it's too big, too small, or unfamiliar. To help your cat feel comfortable with their new cat tree, introduce it slowly, let them explore it on their own terms, and provide positive associations with it. Over time, your cat will likely start using the tree and become more confident with it.
If your cat is not using the new cat tree, try some of the following tips:
- Place the cat tree near a window: Cats love to observe their surroundings and a view of the outside world can make the cat tree more appealing to them.
- Make the cat tree more stable: Cats prefer to climb trees that are sturdy and won't tip over. Make sure the tree is securely fastened to the wall or floor to avoid any accidents. The Cat Trees available at Dynasty are all very high quality and use hardwood or solid wood and therefore are already very heavy, very durable and very stable.
- Add toys and scratching posts: Toys and scratching posts can entice cats to explore the tree and make it more fun for them.
- Provide plenty of hiding spots: Cats feel more secure when they have a place to hide, so consider adding hiding spots such as boxes, tunnels or dens. Or place her favorite box or cat cave on top of it.
- Make it smell like home: Spraying the tree with a scent that your cat is familiar with. You can even use catnip to make it more attractive to them.
- Integrate it into their daily routine: Encouraging your cat to use the tree by integrating it into their daily routine, such as placing their food bowl near it or giving them treats on it.
- Place it in a quiet area: Cats prefer quiet, peaceful environments, so try to place the tree in an area away from noisy household appliances or loud foot traffic.
- Gradual introduction: Gradually introduce the tree to your cat by placing toys, treats or beds on it. This will help them get used to it and become more comfortable with it.
- Make it comfortable: Make sure the tree is comfortable for your cat to climb and sleep on by using soft materials like a blanket or her cat bed.
- Regular cleaning: Regular cleaning of the tree can help keep it fresh and appealing to your cat. Make sure to remove any hair, dust, or debris to keep it hygienic.
We like to provide additional sources if there is scientific evidence that helps you to deepen your knowledge. The following links provide helpful information on feline behavior and preferences, as well as the importance of environmental enrichment for indoor cats. By understanding these factors, cat owners can ensure that their cats are comfortable and happy with their new cat tree.
- ASPCA. (2021). Understanding Your Cat's Behavior https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues
- Feline Behavior Guidelines. (2020). International Society for Feline Medicine. https://icatcare.org/advice-cat-carer-guides/
- Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats ─ Meghan E. Herron, DVM, DACVB and C. A. Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, DACVNhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922041/.