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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

You should be a cat: Just when tiredness sets in after lunch, it’s hullabaloo again. The bright daylight and the shrieking voice from the television disturb the loved siesta sleep. What to do? Exactly, off to the cosy, dark and safe cat cave. Find out why cats love caves so much and what you should look out for here.   

Why do cats like to be in caves?

Most cats love to retreat to a safe place. It is in their nature to hide to keep themselves safe and to escape possible turmoil around them. In nature, there are countless possibilities for hiding, but in a flat or the like, suitable hiding places are rather rare. 

 With a cat cave you can support your cat’s natural need to retreat to an undisturbed, dark and safe place. Caves provide cats with protection and security, as potential “attackers” from above have no chance of catching them. In addition, caves protect from bright light, heat, cold and also dampen the ambient noise a little. A perfect place of retreat.

How big should a cat cave be?

The right size is important. The cat cave should be big enough so that your beloved cat can move around in it without any problems. However, the cuddle cave should not be too big, as most cats feel safer and more secure in smaller spaces. 

To be on the safe side, you can use the following rule of thumb: Add 10 cm to the body length and size (head height).

How many cat caves do I need?

Cats are individuals with different needs and preferences. Some cats are content with just one cat cave, others prefer one or more in each room. In general, however, it’s a good idea to offer your cat several places to retreat. If you notice that your pet has a favourite cave and leaves the other  to the left, you can put the rest away.

If you have more than one cat in your home, it’s a good idea to have several dens, at least one per cat. This way, each cat will have its own place of retreat and conflicts are more likely to be avoided. However, don’t necessarily place the dens next to each other, so that tensions can’t arise here either. 

Tip: In a multi-cat household it is also advisable to offer caves with several exits. This way, there are enough possibilities for uninvited guests to escape. 

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Where should a cat cave be placed?

Look for a quiet and protected place where your pet feels comfortable and safe. As a rule, this place should always be freely accessible and give your cat a good overview of its surroundings. 

Avoid placing it near where your cat eats and drinks, and do not place it next to the litter tray. Places that are too sunny and warm and corners that are too cold (in front of air conditioners, for example) are also less suitable. 

Some cats prefer cat caves in higher places, for example near a window or in not so busy corners of the flat.

 If you want to place a cat cave outdoors, for example, make sure it is protected from the wind and rain. 

What else should I pay attention to?

In addition to the right size and the right place, there are other things you should pay attention to as an attentive cat owner:

Maintain hygiene: Cats are known to be very clean animals that only feel really comfortable in well-kept and clean caves. When buying a cat cave, make sure that it has a removable pad. If the padding is removable, you can wash it in the washing machine from time to time, if necessary.  

Animal-friendly materials: Most cat caves available are made of felt, fabric, wood or rattan. Especially with caves made of natural materials, you should make sure that there are no sharp or pointed parts that could injure your pet. The chosen model should be resistant and robust, as well as breathable. Ideally, it should protect against the cold in winter and the heat in summer.

Equipment: Cat caves definitely benefit from a non-slip floor.In general, the den should be well secured, especially if it rests where higher up.If you have a very anxious cat, you can put bags filled with valerian or catnip in it. Matatabi or a piece of cloth that smells like you (T-shirt, socks) have often proved useful. 

Please do not disturb: When your darling retreats into her cave, respect her need for quiet. Only when she crawls out of her den of her own accord can you interact with her. 

Katze lauert vor Höhle

Summary

Most cats would definitely add a cat cave to their shopping basket. Since it is in the nature of cats to seek shelter in caves, a cat den for the home is only species-appropriate. When buying a cat cave, however, there are a few things to consider, such as choosing the right size, making sure it is pet-friendly and not disregarding hygiene.