Al­low space for your cat to hide

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - TOM WITHEROW

MANY of us dream of liv­ing in a clut­ter-free open plan home – but such a move may not be pop­u­lar with the fam­ily cat.

Cats are nat­u­rally an­ti­so­cial an­i­mals that like hav­ing places to hide and ex­plore. How­ever, open plan home lay­outs re­move many of these spa­ces, which leaves pet cats feel­ing ex­posed.

Liv­ing in this en­vi­ron­ment – par­tic­u­larly with other an­i­mals – can cause cats to de­velop anx­i­ety or be­come ag­gres­sive.

Dr Sarah El­lis, a fe­line be­hav­iour spe­cial­ist at the char­ity In­ter­na­tional Cat Care, said: “Hu­mans of­ten like phys­i­cal in­ter­ac­tions that are high in­ten­sity and for longer du­ra­tions.

“Many of our pet cats find this need for high so­cial in­ter­ac­tion dis­tress­ing.”

In a home where cats are un­able to eas­ily hide, at­ten­tion can cause the an­i­mals to de­velop “chronic neg­a­tive emo­tions”, she added.

But El­lis said there was no need for cat own­ers in open plan homes to move house or start putting up di­vid­ing walls – al­low­ing your cat on work­tops or pulling so­fas away from the walls cre­ates the hid­ing spa­ces they need to stay happy. – Daily Mail

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