Did you ever come by cat accessories that you liked so much you couldn’t resist buying them, fabCat? The ones that piqued your interest immediately with their design, function, and style and you simply knew your cats had to have them? And now a question worth 100 points: once the accessories arrived at your doorstep, did your cat turn their whiskers up and decide to ignore all your good intentions? That happens! Today we talk about a few common mistakes you might be making that could discourage your cat from liking their new accessories and some ways to fix them 🙂
First mistake: rush? It’s not very cat-like!
Rush is a bad advisor, especially when you live with cats. Bringing new accessories home is the best example of that. Just imagine: you see a scratcher that purrfectly fits your house and you can almost see your cat lounging on it. The package arrives, you unbox the scratcher, put it in its place and the cat jumps straight into the box, not even acknowledging the actual gift you bought them. What now? You might be thinking:
- is it the box – when I throw it out, will the cat notice the scratcher?
- does the scratcher smell bad and needs a catnip treatment?
- or maybe the scratcher is overhyped and cats don’t actually go crazy for it?
Your worries are all valid, fabCat! But before you decide to return the scratcher, move it around to every possible spot in the house, drench it in catnip, or, cat forbid, take your feline friend and place it onto the scratcher by force, remember that rush is not very cat-like.
Even with the curiosity cats have, not all of them will react to the new things in their house with excitement. Your kitty might be interested in it right away, jump up to the box and take over the scratcher or cat bed as soon as you unpack it. However, they may turn their whiskers up to it and that’s ok too! The new piece of furniture doesn’t smell like home yet – it’s a foreign object your cat might not trust 100%. It doesn’t mean that the scratcher or cat bed will never be accepted – your cat simply needs more time to adapt 🙂
What can you do? Try directing your cat’s attention to the new piece by playing with them and building up positive connotations. Give your cat a treat for sniffing the new cat bed, for the first stretch on the new scratcher, and for smelling the new toy. As far as scratchers go, you can also start by scratching it yourself – it actually works!
Check out our fabCat FAQ for more ideas on how to introduce cats to new things at home: https://blog.mykotty.pl/en/2021/04/12/fabcatstic-faq-getting-the-kitties-used-to-new-cat-beds-scratchers-and-cat-accessories/
Second mistake: come here, kitty
If rushing is not advised when it comes to cats, compulsion is absolutely forbidden ❌ Cats are independent creatures and their trust in their environment is based on their experiences, positive connotations, and voluntary exploration.
Your cat won’t like a new scratcher just because you put them on it saying: “Look at the wonderful views you have from up here!”
A much more likely scenario is your cat jumping off of the scratcher and not coming back to it in the foreseeable future. Why? Because making a cat do something doesn’t work well with their nature and has negative connotations, especially if the cat doesn’t know the new cat bed, scratcher, or toy yet and didn’t have the time to start feeling safe around them.
What can you do? Make sure your cat’s worries are resolved organically, e.g. with scent therapy. Cats are very attached to the smells surrounding them – they rub themselves against couches, scratch their scratchers and bunt their heads into your legs for a reason. Through scent markings, cats mark their territory and say: this belongs to me! Unfortunately, the new piece of furniture that’s just showed up in your home still smells … foreign. Some cats might like it and go: “WOW, this new piece is ready to be marked by me”. Others will be more skeptical at first and might treat the new piece of furniture like a trap = nobody knows what’s going on behind that seemingly comfy cat bed.
Your role in this scenario is to allow the cat to associate the new item with safety, comfort, and coziness. You can put your cat’s favorite blanket onto the scratcher or cat bed to show them the place is worth checking out. You can also use your own scent (by donating your own t-shirt to the cause) or turn to some magic herbs – catnip and valerian can do wonders.
Third mistake: scratcher here, scratcher there, the couch is ours and not for share
Choosing the wrong placement for new cat accessories is one of the most common mistakes – anyone can make it! The reason is simple here – if we’re buying a new scratcher to redirect our cat’s attention from the couch, we usually don’t want the scratcher to stand right beside the couch. A new cat bed? It would be nice if it didn’t have to stay on our chair. But the fact is that cats see our home space differently and if they don’t trust the new piece of furniture from the start, they won’t be more interested in it if we put it outside their everyday living space.
To make the new cat bed (or scratcher) a success, we have to incorporate it into the space they’re already using – let the cat scratch where they like and nap where they usually do, trying to make the new piece of furniture a part of their daily routine. This is one reason why all myKotty furniture is created with modern design and minimalism in mind – they fit every interior design so they easily fit by your couch or in the middle of the living room without making you feel like they make the space look cheap. Once the cat is used to the new scratcher, you can try to move the furniture into another space where you want to direct your cat’s attention.
Remember that some spots around your house have a special meaning for your cat in terms of marking their territory and feeling secure in it. The placement of a scratcher or cat bed is key here. If the couch is significant for the everyday life of the household and there’s no way of marking the territory around it by scratching, well… the couch will get beat up regardless of the number of scratchers you have in other places around the house. More on the topic on our blog:
Fourth mistake: no quality control
Quality is, of course, very important for us, hoomans. As it turns out though, cats give a fluff about it too! When choosing new cat accessories, we have to remember that the materials used, the way it’s manufactured, the smells, the details, and the durability of the product directly affect how comfortable it is to use the scratcher or cat bed. If your cat has ignored new products in the past and it discouraged you from buying them new ones, try to think if the quality wasn’t one of the issues. What are we talking about? Let us explain.
We know for a fact that cats can play with almost anything: a crumpled-up piece of paper or a delivery box often gets more attention than a new cat bed or a toy. This could make you think that a cheaper toy, a cat bed, or a scratcher will get just as much attention. And it can happen! But sometimes cats ignore the lower quality stuff because they can smell the cheaper kind of cardboard or a strong glue that was used. They don’t want to use the cat bed because the cover gives them a static shock and is uncomfortable. They may attack a new cat toy and rip it apart in a matter of minutes because the manufacturer didn’t put enough effort into the quality of the product. And that’s not the effect we’re after!
At myKotty we pay attention to quality at every step of the design process and production because we know it is just as important to cats as it is to us, hoomans. Thanks to 100% natural materials, certified glues, and good manufacturing processes we know that all products that arrive at your cat’s paws (and our own) are safe and cat-friendly. Good quality accessories last longer. That’s as simple as a meow!
Regardless of how awesome the new scratcher, cat bed, or cat toy is, don’t let your excitement make you forget about the most important critic of your choices: the cat. Let’s leave it to them to decide how quickly they get used to new pieces of furniture in our home and, if necessary, let’s help them in a way they can accept. Bribery is very welcome 🙂
Did you, fabCats, ever make one of the mistakes mentioned here when you were too excited about a new cat accessory? How did it go? Share your stories in the comments or come over to our Facebook to discuss → https://www.facebook.com/myKottypl