How three kittens adopted Amy
An avid researcher into all things cat-behaviour and nutrition, Amy had been considering adopting a cat when, in December 2020, she discovered a litter of stray kittens in a friend’s backyard. And, so it was that one small, flea-ridden, black furred kitten with Calicivirus came home to live with Amy.
From her research, Amy knew that cats are social creatures, so, in April 2021, Mushi got a sibling – Yuki, the tabby cat. They quickly became the best of friends.
Last, but definitely not least, Poki joined the family. It was on a visit to a rescue organisation with her friend that Amy met Poki, an 8-month old kitten who was shy and scared of being in the rescue environment. So, Poki joined the family too.
“Before adopting any of our cats, I had researched a lot about cats and learnt that, despite common misconceptions, they are actually social animals. I’ve definitely experienced that with Mushi, Yuki and Poki.”
Raising healthy cats starts with knowledge about feline nutrition
Keenly interested in feline nutrition, Amy researched all types of diets, from commercially available dry, wet and raw options, to making her own biologically complete raw cat food at home. “As I was researching diets, I slowly moved from avoiding dry cat food to considering wet food and raw food diets.”
“However, I found myself questioning how nutritionally complete some of these diets were (because they only included percentage ratios of different types of raw meat). Unable to find a commercial raw food option that was formulated to any sort of consistent standard, I contacted a feline nutritionist from Raw, Fed and Nerdy (they provide a handy directory of animal nutritionists).”
“They formulated two excellent kitten and adult recipes for me. I transitioned their food slowly to support their tummies, but it only took about a week, and all three cats took to the food quickly. On their website, Raw, Fed and Nerdy also offer a raw feeding course, which I took. This supported me to learn to formulate raw meals myself with the help of their spreadsheet, which is built with all the needed nutritional ranges and requirements. All of their raw food is formulated to NRC (National Research Council) requirements, and it’s such a great feeling knowing exactly what goes into their food, and that their nutritional needs are being met. It’s also been more affordable compared to buying commercial cat food, and the cats love it! I tried offering them wet food when ran out of their homemade meals, and they just refused to eat it.”
Alongside caring for the nutritional needs of these three young and energetic indoor cats, Amy wanted to make sure they had access to plenty of places to climb, scratch, hide, sleep and play. But finding the right cat furniture that was safe and sturdy, aesthetically pleasing and compact proved difficult.
Finding sturdy, modern cat furniture that didn’t wobble or collapse, and also suited a small apartment
There’s nothing more alarming than watching your cat scale the cat tower, only to have the whole structure wobble, shake, or even fall over. In the search for the right cat furniture for her household, Amy came up against a number of challenges,
including a vital one – safety.
“We had moved into a new place and wanted cat furniture that also looked nice – we didn’t like the look of the cheaper velvet cat trees and went searching for a more stylish option. Initially we came across a Chinese brand who sold wooden cat trees that were more stylish than the regular towers. We bought a floor-to-ceiling tree from them, as well as their cat tower. At the time, we were thrilled by the idea of the floor-to-ceiling tree – it seemed so innovative. However, when it arrived without instructions, we got worried.”
“We messaged the company to ask for instructions. We were told there weren’t any, and that it would be really easy just to screw everything together. But there were SO many pieces, and we weren’t sure where everything was meant to go. We had a go setting it up and sent the company a photo. They replied that it ‘looks right’.”
“But then we had the first incident with the cat tree. We had built it in the corner of the living room near the TV. On a day when we had all been out of the house, I got a call from my housemate to say that the cat tree had fallen down, knocking the TV facedown on the ground as well. Luckily the cats were okay, and apart from a broken leg – the TV was also okay.”
“After that experience, we moved the tree away from the TV and rebuilt it in another room. It fell down again! We decided that was it – we were done with that cat tree. It was too unsafe. It was time to find something more suitable.”
“We had seen Woods For Cats online and loved their products, however the price point had previously not been within our budget. It seemed like it was now time to explore their options again, and to invest in furniture that was more reliable.”
Sturdy, modern and compact cat furniture that was ethically made for cat safety and longevity
“After our experience with the other company, I was apprehensive to try another floor-to-ceiling cat tree. I reached out to Livia from Woods For Cats who talked me through how their Pole Dancer and Tok Tok cat trees worked and reassured me of their safety features.”
“Because they’re so popular with cat families, I was also able to see a lot of examples of how other people had set up their Pole Dancer Cat Trees and Tok Tok trees in their apartments. “And now, we have a number of their products, including:
APARTMENT HOUSE (discontinued)
“This is so sweet – it’s in the shape of a house with three stories to it.”
TOK TOK CAT POLE DANCER
“This has carpet all the way up which is great for climbing. The cats took to it immediately.”
TOK TOK CAT TREES connected with BRIDGE
“As I said, I was apprehensive about this initially, but it’s SO sturdy. We’ve had it for more than a year now, and the little red line that indicates how far to push the pole up into the wall to secure it is still hidden – it’s literally stayed in the same position the whole time! The cats love it and use every single part of it.”
“We initially put one of the fabric hammocks right at the top of the TokTok and had some challenges getting the cats to use it. But, we were able to chat about it with Livia, and she suggested we interact with it and make it interesting to the cats to help them feel confident using it. We used interactive toys and treats and within a week they were climbing right up into the hammock, no issues.”
WINDOW MOUNTED FURNITURE
“We’ve added these later on onto the big window in the living room (to one side of the Tok Tok). The cats love to jump from one to another.”
LOLLIPOP CARDBOARD SCRATCHER
“The scratcher sits underneath the Tok Tok ramp and there’s always someone using it. It’s the perfect size, and I love that you don’t have to repurchase the whole thing – just replace the insert – easy!”
GRAND PIANO (discontinued)
“At night, all 3 of them will take a shelf each and sleep on the Grand Piano.”
CAT HEAD FLOOR MAT
“We recently built a catio on our balcony and the rug worked perfectly out there.”
“Every piece has worked together so well. The cats love to go between the Tok Tok and Pole Dancer via the Bridge. I play with them using an interactive wand toy – I drag it up the Pole Dancer and across the Bridge. They run up at full speed and across the Bridge onto the Tok Tok. One then chases the toy, catches it, and carries it all the way down and away to stash in another room – it’s so satisfying for them –
they get to do their natural hunting behaviour.”
“Building the furniture was quite simple. Unlike the other brand, the Woods For Cats pieces came with very detailed instructions, and together with my partner we put the Tok Tok together in an evening (about 2 hours to get the whole bridge and everything set up).”
“Because everything is so customisable, we’ve tried quite a few different setups to see what suited the cats best.”
“The quality is incredible, the products are so safe, compact and easy to
clean! Plus, they still look brand new!”
When choosing cat furniture, safety and the footprint of this furniture in her one bedroom apartment were important considerations for Amy. She also wanted to ensure that her indoor cats had access to stimulating and engaging furniture to keep them active, entertained and happy.
“I’m so happy with our Woods For Cats furniture. The quality is absolutely amazing! And the cat trees are so compact. Our place is quite small and I was worried about getting the Tok Tok – thinking it would make everything feel small, but it actually made the room feel bigger!
“…the Tok Tok actually made the room feel bigger…”
“Everything is so customisable, so I know that as our cats grow up and get older we can change up the furniture to grow with them and their changing needs. We actually skipped adding the flat platforms for now – they just didn’t need them right now. But later we can add them back in when they get older and need more platforms to ease the climb.
“This furniture that will grow and adapt with my cats across their lifetime.”
Another benefit Amy found was that by providing cat scratchers early on, her cats never had to look elsewhere (such as her furniture or carpets) – “they’ve never scratched anything other than their cat scratchers”.
“And, even though they’re young energetic cats who are always jumping, climbing and scratching their furniture, the pieces look like new! The carpet looks a little used but everything else still looks brand new. The wood is such good quality and is so easy to clean! The carpet pads are durable and also easy to
Amy described Woods For Cats service as “incredible”:
“Livia is so responsive – I know she must be so busy, yet she always finds the time to answer questions and is always so helpful and knowledgeable about cat behaviour. To anyone thinking of buying Woods for Cats cat furniture, Amy says:
“People will see a set up on the website and think they need to set their pieces up like that, but every cat is different and your cat may not use part or all of the setup. It’s so important to pay attention to how your cats interact and their preferences. I’d suggest that if your cat doesn’t take to the furniture straight away, be patient and don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try different things out.”
“The best part is that these pieces can be adapted and changed to help your cat interact with them. Also, make sure to use positive reinforcement while your cat is getting used to the furniture. My cats are very easy going, but not all will take to new things as quickly – if you can make it a good experience for them it will help them get comfortable with it.”