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What Should Every Cat Have?

Updated on May 7, 2011

What is it that our cats really want?

We all want what is best for our pets. We buy them toys, fancy food, cat trees... but what is it that they they really want? They always leave the new toys you give them, and start playing with that old grapevine that you dropped on the floor a month ago. Maybe they prefer chicken scraps off of your table then their fancy cat food. Read on to find out what I, as a cat owner, thinks every cat should have, besides the necessities like food, water, and litter.

Wessie in his box
Wessie in his box

Cats like the natural things

not expensive cat trees

I'm not about to tell you to go out and buy a cat tree that costs $1,299.00 like this one. Maybe some cats would enjoy this, but also I've read about how people buy their cats expensive cat trees and toys, but they never actually use them. I find that cats don't really like the expensive things we get for them... they really like the natural things that you can find around the home. So why break our budgets when our cats don't even appreciate the price? What our cats want is their own space, a place where they can hang out, have fun, and be left alone. I'm going to tell you how to create that little place for your cat... without breaking the bank.

Do your cats like natural things more than store bought items?

Do you agree that cats prefer the natural things in life, or expensive store bought items?

What you'll need to create a personal place for your cat

using items that you would just throw away otherwise

All you need to create your cat's little sanctuary is:

A water flat, or other shallow box. Old clothes or blankets. An old rug. A piece of cardboard.Optional: A chair with four legs that has a good amount of room underneath it.

Wessie Napping
Wessie Napping

How to make your cat a bed

your cat will love it!

If you get bottled water from the grocery store, you know how you just throw away the flat box that they water comes in. Why not save it? Cats love playing in boxes, so why not see if they love sleeping in them? Remove the plastic, put in some old clothes or blankets, and it will be your cat's favorite bed. I've tried making cushy beds for Wessie using furry blankets on pillows near the heater, but Wessie always goes back to his box. He's taking a nap in his box as I write this!

Making your cat a bed out of a water flat is a great option if you drink bottled water regularly. You can also use other types of shallow boxes, right now Wessie has a bed made out of a Yuban coffee box. Every couple of months you should replace the box, or replace it when it gets very racked out.

Water - use the flat these come in as a bed

Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, 16.9 fl oz. Plastic Bottles (24 count)
Nestle Pure Life Purified Water, 16.9 fl oz. Plastic Bottles (24 count)

Try using the box that these bottled waters come in as a bed for your cat!


Making your cat furniture with household items is cheap and green!

Wessie with his scratching post
Wessie with his scratching post

How to make a scratching post

for your special kitty

Your cat will need a place to sharpen his/her claws. Scratching is also a form of exercise and stretching for cats, so they need a place where you don't mind if they scratch. If you don't give them a place to scratch, your cat will start clawing up your sofa. Some people might even give their cats away or declaw them, without realizing that the cat needed a place to scratch to stay fit and healthy. You can get a scratching post from the store, but before you do, try making your own! This way it will be personalized, and won't be boring like the ones you find in stores. Tape an old kitchen rug with a carpet-like surface, to a piece of cardboard. If you find that your cat prefers scratching on a slope, then you can try placing a box that is cut so that it slopes, instead of just having a flat sheet of cardboard. If your cat likes scratching on a vertical incline, try using a mailing tube with a rug wrapped around it. You may have to trim the rug if it is too long. If the tube won't stand up while the cat is scratching, try attaching it to a cardboard or wooden base. To dress it up a little, tie a piece of yarn with a feather attached to the top, for hours of play.

A kitchen mat for your homemade scratching post - your cat can scratch in style!

InterDesign Kandi Stripe Rug, Blue/Green
InterDesign Kandi Stripe Rug, Blue/Green

You have so many more possibilities when you make your own scratching post out of a kitchen mat. Instead of the boring looking scratching posts at the pet store, your cat can have a stylish striped place to sharpen their claws!


How to put it all together so your cat has their very own space

your cat will be very grateful

If you made the flat scratching post, put it into a corner or under a chair, and place your cat's new bed on top of it. You can also give your cat its own personal room with the set up I just told you about. You can also make your cat its own homemade cat toys. Wessie loves the cat toys I made him, but hardly ever plays with his store toys.

Your cat will be very grateful that you gave him/her their very own place to play and relax. Wessie keeps all of his toys in his box, and spends a lot of him time in his own special area.

For those who don't want to make a place for their cats - you can buy a bed and post on Amazon

If you decide that you want to give your cat store bought items instead of making your own, here is a scratching post and bed.

This lens was made for the Jenga 2: About Me Challenge

Robin aka. rms challenged me to write a lens about the one cat product/book that I, as a cat owner, couldn't live without. While thinking about it, I realized that the one thing that Wessie really uses, is the area that I set up for him under a chair in the living room. He goes to it when he needs a nap, when he's scared, and even when he's angry. Most of the day he is in that little area. Almost the whole time I was writing this lens, he was curled up in his box. So I decided to write a lens on how you can create this sort of little getaway for your cat... it might not exactly be a cat product, but they will appreciate it more than anything you can buy from the store for them.

Click the tower to view the full sized interactive tower. Thank you gods_grace_notes for creating the tower!

What do you think cats should have? - do you think you will try out these tips?

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    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      My cat has a store bought scratching post - it was a cheapie on special, and it does get used. Her favourite toy is a ping pong ball, although the furry rat on a string is also used a lot. She has her chair where she goes to be left alone. Very nice lens - blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Cats need to be cared of and love by their owners,but they also need p.r.i.v.a.c.y

      Its true,cats must have those things you mention in order to be happy :]

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      THe bed idea is great because im always worried i will buy an expensive bed and my cat wont use it :-)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 5 years ago

      Very good and practical ideas for cat owners.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I do a similar trick with her travel bag...I usually try to keep a soft dirty t-shirt of mine in the bottom of the bag and it seems to make her feel more secure.

      And no cat bed necessary for my little girl. She's addicted to sleeping in my spot on my bed as soon as I leave it. So spoiled but her cuteness overpowers my willpower!

    • Lady Gotrocks profile image

      Lady Gotrocks 6 years ago

      My kitty was homeless for months before he adopted me. He still loves to sleep in boxes. He almost never sleeps in the bed.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      You forgot what most cats want and most have. A human servant. Enjoyed the lens!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 6 years ago

      Just did a lens on "The Top 20 Reasons You Might Be a Crazy Cat Lady", so thought I would check out some other cat lenses. Nice lens.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      These are great ideas that are practical, and save a lot of money.

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 6 years ago

      Thanks for the nifty ideas about creating something out of nothing for the kitty.

      Lensrolled to The Rescued Calico Cat. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      BeyondRoses 6 years ago

      I think cats should have plenty of kitty essentials, but cats can be fickle. My cat loves an item for awhile then it is another. She equally loves paper bags, cardboard boxes and the end of a shoestring ... so great ideas for natural things!

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 6 years ago from Chicago

      Nice information on how to save money, and not sinking a lot of money into toys.

    • profile image

      mvlaughslots 6 years ago

      Great lens :D I will keep a lot of this in mind!

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 6 years ago from New York City

      In a word: stimulation. They have very active minds and get bored easily. It's no more fair to them than it is to anyone to have nothing interesting to do. Of course, figuring out what will stimulate your cat can be a challenge but try for silly. Most of them favor goofiness.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Some really great ideas on what every cat should cats love the most natural of things too. The one we enjoy the most is them napping on my lap.

    • RMKK-Marlene profile image

      RMKK-Marlene 6 years ago

      Cats generally make themselves right at home on our chairs and blankets. I like that he always loves his homemade box with old clothes.

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 6 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I think cats will have whatever they want :) From experience, bedding preferences have ranged from "most of my pillow" to "a pullover - we'll get one from the wardrobe ourselves if you don't leave one out".

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I like the idea of making a cat scratching post. It looks easy and it's a good way to use something from around the house instead of buying it.