The debate of nature versus nurture has been held for humans for decades. Starting with psychology, the whole debate involves whether or not the way an individual is raised in terms of environment makes a bigger difference than simply the behavior someone exhibits naturally.While people have questioned this all the way since the Ancient Greeks with regard to various stages of life. This is part of why people are attracted to environments that feel safe to them, regardless of what “safe” may mean. SInce people all experience these aspects of life differently, there are many ways it can vary between individuals.
However, we normally do not consider the similar effects of the environment on our pets’ mental health. Since pets are directly related to their wild brethren, it makes sense that they might need some similar aspects of the world to enjoy at home. For dogs, this could be raw food or sometimes a body of water, rodents tend to need room to burrow, reptiles need proper heat and moisture, and so on. There are some that need more, such as birds needing room to actually fly and to roost. One such animal is the house cat, which needs room to roam and climb in order to live in a similar way to how they had been in the past.
Studies have shown that cats who have room to climb and survey their territory are generally more comfortable in the home. Since cats are natural climbers and enjoy vertical structures, providing them with a space to do so in the safety of your home, regardless of if it is a smaller apartment or a massive house. Using space vertically also takes less room than a horizontal one and can be spread over more space and is less in the way than other structures. Additionally, this also allows the cat a place to feel safe from any possible dangers in the area.
The environment where you live will feel more safe for your cat doing this, as well as helping them feel more at ease mentally. Being off the ground allows your cat to have less to worry about in terms of predators in the area. Climbing gives them exercise and stimulation, helping them stay away from depression and also keeping their cognition strong. Climbing improves dexterity and mobility as well, making it an all in one exercise for your cat – exactly what they need to stay mentally and physically healthy.