If you’ve been following along, you may remember last summer when I moved down to Louisiana with the boys and had to introduce them to Newt. Emmett ignored her immediately. Cooper thought we got him the best toy ever. And Lucas? Well, Lucas wanted to eat her.
So, over the course of nearly six months, with daily positive training, we’re now a 100% fully integrated household! Yay!
But, during those six months, Newt had to spend a lot of time by herself – and, in truth, she still likes to spend a lot of time by herself. Since we knew that would be the case, we wanted to create a cat habitat for her that would be comfortable and stimulating. We were very lucky that our rental had extra space, and we used that to our advantage.
Here’s what we did:
First, the top floor of the house is off-limits to the dogs, but Newt has her little cat gate to get through. On occasion, like if we have company using the guest room/guest bath, the gate will be open, so she has another gate in front of her room with a little cat door. (See Teddy in the pic on the left?)
In her room, we have little areas for her. The middle is a rug with a scratch post (we quickly learned that a house of hardwoods is hard on a kitty), and one side is a mat with a water dish. We used to feed her there, too, but now she eats with the boys.
In the window is her tree, which is where she spends most of her time.
She has a separate bathroom in the room’s closet.
And we have boxes and toys scattered around the room, plus two different puzzle toys that we fill with dry food when she’s going to be alone for a while.
She seems fairly happy with her space, although she’s much happier now that she’s fully integrated and can go where she please. She does retire to her room throughout the day – if I can’t find her, she’s almost always asleep in the top basket of her tree – and even though she sleeps in our bed, she sneaks up there overnight to shuttle Teddy from one place to the next.
We’re total cat newbies, so we tried to put this together as best we could. With Molly here, she’s spending way more time in there than she had been, so I want to make sure she feels fulfilled… even though we dog people have very little idea what we’re doing!
Cat experts: What are we missing? What could make her space even better?