The Hervey Foundation for Cats
Building the Ideal Environment for Your Cat

Building the Ideal Environment for Your Cat

Cats make excellent housemates, offering companionship, entertainment, and love! For a cat to live up to this reputation, they need to be happy with their home life. A happy cat is a loving cat, and when they are content, they seek out positive interactions with their owners!

How do we provide this ideal space for our cats? What are some of the elements required to achieve a space a cat will enjoy? We’ve assembled a list of things to consider, and while there are a number of them, they are quite achievable. 

Consider the Size of the Space

This is number one. When thinking about bringing home a cat, you need to consider the size of your space. A single bedroom is not enough space to raise a cat. Small apartments will work, just be cognizant of the fact they may feel a bit cramped. In this case, ensure you exercise your cat frequently (chasing a laser pointer is easy and affordable). Remember, this space is going to be their forever home. If you feel you’d be too cramped being inside there 24/7, consider how your cat might feel. Also, consider the scale. You are X times larger than your cat, therefore your space appears X times larger to them. 

A Bright Space

A home with plenty of lights is great, but cats require real sunlight, just as we do. Real sunlight provides natural UVB rays which are important to your cat’s physical and mental health. Make sure you have a sunny spot near a window or patio door where they can kick back and bask in the sun.

There are also UVB bulbs available if you are interested in setting up spaces with artificial lights. These can help keep your cat healthy even when the weather is poor! 


Cats like to be warm. They love to sit on hot radiators, heating pads, computer monitors (back in the 90s and early 2000s), and any place they can get a little extra heat. That said, they also prefer the ambient temperature to be at about room temp, or around 20 degrees Celsius. So while they like to be hot sometimes, they prefer the base temp about the same as we do.

Windows for Looking Out

A cat’s favourite activity is to sit in the middle of it all and watch. That’s why in most houses or apartments, cats will gravitate to the front window to watch cars, people, and other animals go by. Setting up a small piece of furniture (with a soft bed or blanket) in front of the window, or even just the couch, is enough to keep them satisfied for hours every day. It also gets them the sunlight they crave.

Water Sources

A bowl of water is one of the most common images we think of when thinking of cat care. Cats love finding water sources around the home, so multiple bowls of water are not only great to have for their health, but locating them is entertaining as well. 

Consider a cat fountain instead of a bowl as a primary water source. The running water will keep them enthralled, as well as hydrated. It also keeps the water from going stale by circulating and filtering it. 

A Quiet Place for the Litter Box

Cat’s do not like to be acknowledged while they are using the bathroom. Loud noises or people walking past them can spook them while they are doing their business. Many cat owners place their litter box in the basement, though this is not possible for apartment dwellers. If you live in an apartment, consider a quiet corner or another room, ideally near a window.

Toys and Possessions

Cats like to play with toys and have their own possessions. Things like a cat tree, a cat tunnel, balls with bells in them and anything else they might respond to can be huge for keeping a cat mentally healthy. The same goes for spaces around the home. Cats like to have their own space they can rely on. 

Get the Good Food

Cheap cat food has a real negative effect on your cat. It can make them sluggish, gain weight, and cause serious health issues over time. It’s like the fast-food of the animal kingdom. Talk to your vet to get a better sense of the type of food that will suit your cat. If you can, avoid going to the store and picking out the cheapest food available. Also, if you are already feeding them one type of dry food, don’t switch it out overnight. You need to gradually mix in the new food over time so their stomachs can adjust. 

A Companion for Your Companion 

If you are gone for long periods of time, some cats might prefer having another feline friend nearby. That said, many cats absolutely hate being around another cat. Forcing two cats to get along does not work, though many relationships can be built with some time. You know your cat best. If you think they would react well to another cat in the home, try it out before bringing another home. 

Be There for Them

Cats are living beings who love you and want your love in return. Their happiness is dependent on your interacting with them and showing them affection. Lots of pets, head and ear scratches, and for some cats, kisses on the head, are just what they need to live a happy life in your home.

Dan Huen & Choice OMG

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