A suitable environment for cats
Make sure your cat has a suitable place to live
Things you should do
- Provide your cat with a comfortable, dry, draught-free, clean and quiet place where he/she can rest undisturbed.
- Give your cat regular access to a suitable place where he/she can go to the toilet, outside or in a litter tray, which is separate to where he/she eats and sleeps.
- Make sure your cat has constant access to safe hiding places where he/she can escape if feeling afraid.
- If more than one cat shares a living space, provide sufficient extra resources (e.g. toys, beds and hiding places) and give them enough space that they can get away from one another if they choose.
- If your cat doesn't go outside, make sure he/she has plenty of activities he/she can do and enough space to exercise, climb and play indoors. Read more about keeping cats indoors.
- Make sure your cat can reach a safe high place where he/she can climb and rest, e.g. shelves, cupboard top.
- Ensure the size and temperature of any place you leave your cat (including your vehicle) is appropriate.
- If you have to take your cat to a new place, use a secure cat carrier and introduce your cat to it gradually. Putting familiar smelling items in the carrier and the new environment can help your cat feel at ease. For more information , please see our fact sheet
Introducing your cat to a carrier (PDF 247 KB)
- If you are going away, try to find someone to care for your cat and meet all his/her
welfare needs within his/her familiar home, or if boarding your cat, try to ease the move by taking familiar items along too, e.g. your cat’s bed and toys.
- If you move house, your cat may try to get back to his/her previous home; keep your cat indoors for at least two weeks after you move, and make sure that he/she seems settled before letting him/her outside.
- Make sure that where your cat lives is safe, secure and free from hazards.
- A cat must be able to avoid things that scare him/her. If unable to hide, your cat may suffer.
- A cat needs regular easy access to an appropriate place to go to the toilet.
- Living in a cold or wet place, without shelter, can cause a cat to suffer and become ill.
- Cats are active animals. They need the opportunity to run, jump and climb and often feel safest when high up.
- Cats are territorial animals and become very attached to places. They are naturally frightened of unfamiliar places and smells; they prefer to stay in their familiar home.
- Cats are intelligent. If a cat is bored, and doesn’t have enough to do, he/she may suffer.
- Cats are inquisitive. If there are hazards within their environment they may easily injure themselves.