*** EDIT *** Our 2 new kittens currently have a separate “kitten room” with their own food, water, litter, toys etc. Once they get bigger (around 5-6 months old), they will end up sharing this room with the big cats, but while they’re still little and eating different foods we’re giving each set of siblings their own room.
We turned a spare bedroom of our house into a “cat room” for our 3 big cats (the ones we had when we moved in) right after we moved in to create a small environment with all their favorite/familiar things to help them acclimatize to our new house after our move and it was hugely helpful to them during that time.
The first day or so after we moved here, I kept them only in this room to allow them to get familiar with the sounds and smells of this new house, then every day after that I’d let them out a couple hours with supervision, increasing the time each day to strengthen their familiarity with the new house while giving them the confidence of having a safe familiar space to return to (which they often did) if they weren’t sure what to think of the new place. After a week they were fully acclimatized and adjusted to the new house.
But even after they were acclimatized to our house, I kept this room set up with all their favorite things and I still put them here both at night to sleep and if we go out because a) they feel safe and happy here, and b) I also know they won’t damage anything while I’m sleeping/elsewhere. They actually love it and something I started doing every time I put them in the room was always give them some soft food at the same time so they love the routine of going to the room and it’s definitely always a positive experience.
NOTE: I did not “decorate” this room — actually, the cats decorated it in a sense because they chose all the things inside it. So I didn’t try to make it look pretty, I just kept it full of all the things they love most.
I have the same style litter box everywhere in our house. This is the one I use: white version: Amazon | dark grey version: Amazon | pearl version: Amazon. We love this litter box style because it’s small, minimal and simple, domed to contain litter spray, and the top lifts off so they’re very easy to clean.
- We have one litter box on every floor of our house. It’s important that litter boxes be placed somewhere easily accessible for the cats (the easier to access, the great chance of preventing accidents) so be sure it’s somewhere logical, consistent, and easy to access for them. The rule should be one on each floor, unless you have a large ranch-style house, then maybe do a few.
- I clean all the boxes once a day (occasionally twice, but that’s rare). Cleaning all 4 litter boxes across 4 floors of our house takes less than 5 minutes and in combination with using a clumping litter that sticks to their business as soon as they do it, that eliminates any odor. Ultimately, the cleaner you keep the box, the less odor there is. I don’t use self-cleaning boxes though because it’s so easy to clean them in person and also the litter boxes I chose are visually prettier to my eye.
- I don’t try to hide them. I just tuck them into corners where they won’t be noticed too much. Again, it’s important that the cats are able to find them easily, so I keep them accessible and unhidden. I’m not sorry or ashamed of the fact that they’re there and I don’t try to hide them. The simple fact of life is that we have cats, and they have to do their business and that’s just that. My way of minimizing it is by choosing such a simple style of litter box (Amazon) that is a similar color to our walls, is small in size, and is minimal in it’s appearance. Seriously, even if it’s right there, you barely notice it.
*** EDIT: right now the kittens have their own litter box in their kitten room as well as access to the big cats’ domed litter boxes on every floor of our house. The cats and kittens use each other’s boxes though so once they start using the same room at night (which is when the kittens are bigger), I’ll transition their kitten litter box out and have only one litter box on each floor as none of our cats are territorial about them.
FOOD AND WATER.
We keep fresh water and bowls of dry kibble always available for them both in this room, and also on every floor of our house. I free-feed them dry food because since, because they’ve never known what it’s like to go hungry, none of them overeat. They get a grain-free kibble. I do also have a continuous water fountain (Amazon | Walmart) available for them in our mudroom but I keep it there only because it’s a tile floor so it’s easier to clean spills since Chai loves to play in the water stream with his little paws lol.
The cardboard boxes and shipping paper items in this room rotate all the time depending on what we have on hand at any time. Whenever we get a delivery I put the boxes out for them to play with and if I notice a particular one they really love to play with, then I put it in their room until they get tired of it. This makes sure that they always have one thing in there that’s new and different and fun.
Be very careful that you always remove any tape, staples, twine, string, or small bits from anything you give cats to play with. Also, never give them normal paper. I only give them the soft crinkly paper used to stuff shipping boxes, and only if it’s in a large piece.
Their “cat tree” was a DIY we built right after we adopted them out of lumber, plywood, and carpet. They love it and play/climb on it all the time and it’s a great place for them to scratch. If you’d rather buy one, here are some options: Amazon | Amazon | Amazon | Amazon | Amazon | Amazon | Amazon | Amazon.
I keep 2 cardboard scratch pads (this is the one that I like best because it’s so simple: Amazon) in here and have 2 on every floor in our house. They love them and usually opt to scratch these over other things in our house as long as they have access to them.
The metal tree collar (Home Depot) is something we actually never used for Christmas and I was originally intending to return it but Chai fell in LOVE with it so I gave it to them and he loves to sleep inside it. I think he feels like it’s his little castle.
The closet in this room is Matcha’s favorite sleeping spot. I keep one door permanently shut to create a little nook and the other door open. Inside I have a decorative bowl she loved to sleep in as a kitten and still loves but she kinda can’t fit into it anymore because she’s a big kitty now so I also have a plastic storage bin with a blanket in the closet nook that she inevitably actually sleeps in after realizing the bowl isn’t comfy enough. She picked the storage bin herself from the basement. She just started sleeping in it so I gave it to her. But I leave both the bowl and bin for her because I know she loves them.
This is not not in any of the pictures because I don’t actually have it in their room, but I thought I’d mention it anyways. I discovered quickly that one of our cats’ favorite toys ever is this little step-stool (Amazon) simply covered with an old bedsheet. We have one of these stools on every floor of our house for convenience anyways, so all I have to do is cover one of them with a sheet to make the cats’ day! This literally keeps them entertained for hours so I’ll often set it up for them in a random part of the house for them to have fun with. It’s small enough to not cause much visual clutter (plus if you have a white stool and white sheet, it’s a pretty minimal look) and since there are only 2-parts to it, it’s easy to clean up.
Anyways, I hope that helps answer your questions on the kitty room!
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