A cat bell is a bell attached to the collar of a cat. The bell will warn potential prey of the cat’s approach. Cats eventually learn to walk without ringing the bell and pet owners are therefore encouraged to regularly change the bell or attach two bells on the collar. Attaching a bell on a cat’s collar will reduce the amount of captured birds by 30%—40%.
However, some animal care organizations also claim that the bell annoys the cat, and is ineffective because of the cat’s hunting behavior.
Cat Play and Toys
Cat play and toys incorporate predatory games of “play aggression”. Cats’ behaviors when playing are similar to hunting behaviors. These activities allow kittens and younger cats to grow and acquire cognitive and motor skills, and to socialize with other cats. Cat play behavior can be either solitary (with toys or other objects) or social (with animals and people). They can play with a multitude of toys ranging from strings to small furry toys resembling what would be prey (e.g. mice), to plastic bags.
A cat tree (also referred to as a cat tree house, cat condo, kitty condo, cat stand, cat post “catbox” or cat tower) is an artificial structure for a cat to play, exercise, relax and sleep on.
Cat trees vary in height and complexity, with most cats preferring features offering height over comfort, particularly if tall enough to allow a clear survey of their territory. While most cats seem to prefer tall cat trees, some prefer options that offer shelter or a secluded escape, which may be at any height of the structure.
A cat tree with cat, carpeted perches, ramps and boxes, and sisal wrapped posts.
Conventional cat tree designs are of a floor-based solid structure, composed of square-shaped sheets of particleboard (as platforms, boxes, and enclosed structures) combined with wooden studs and planks (used as elevators and/or stairs), with exteriors and interiors typically covered with carpet. Elevators are also frequently covered with an abrasive material (sisal rope being the most common), intended to inducing cats to scratch in those areas and reduce overall wear of the structure. The levels created by the layer of interactive features offer cats anything from bedding and shelter to exercise and play.
More recently, specialized alternatives have emerged, offering an improved function for cats. These alternative designs include wall-mounted pieces and sets, as well as ergonomic designs and geometries that contour to feline anatomy. Some designs even simulate the shape and/or appearance of real trees. Soft textiles and heavyweight fabrics have also replaced the abrasive carpet in some of the more luxury-themed designs.
Cat trees are meant to offer cats a sense of security, by creating interactive areas that are only used by them. While cat trees can help to deter cats from scratching on other furniture, not every cat will react the same and cat owners have reported varied results in that regard.