Categories: cat welfare

The Cat Sundial: a Jackson Galaxy tip

This is a cool little tip from the cat behaviourist Jackson Galaxy. I think it’s a good one which is why I’m passing it on. The tip is based on two facts: cats like to sit at windows either looking out of the window or soaking up the sun that passes through it. This is particularly the case if the cat is a full-time indoor cat. The second fact is that the sun travels across the horizon and at certain times of the day sunlight will be at a maximum at certain windows.

The sunny window

Cat Window Perch on Amazon. Photo: Amazon.

The idea is that the cat’s guardian checks the windows of their home to know which windows let in the most sun at various times in the day and to make sure that cat “scent soakers” are placed at those windows at those times.

By “scent soakers” Jackson Galaxy means items which are soaked in the scent (body odour and pheromones from their glands) of the domestic cat such as beds, cat condos, cat trees and perches. This makes the place more friendly and attractive. A scent soaker can also refer to those items that are soaked in the scent of the cat’s owner in my opinion. These are also friendly items and cats like to merge their scent with the scent of their human caregiver.

If there’s more than one cat in the home it may be advisable to place more than one scent soaker at a window. Or the cats might timeshare.

PS. Clearly this tip only realistically applies to a home in which there are windows on more than one side, which is normal.

Cat TV

Windows are not just good at letting in the warm sun but are also a feline version of television. We know how much indoor cats like to look out the window. It is a way for a domestic cat to engage with the outside world passively. They can sit at windows for hours watching prey. If there are bird feeders, bird houses and squirrel feeders outside the window, the cat TV becomes entertaining and therefore it makes sense to encourage those animals if it is practical to do so. And if it is possible, multiple cat TVs should be created to alleviate boredom in an indoor cat and provide some stimulation.

A top quality F1 Savannah cat wathcing Cat TV. The photo is published with permission.

As an alternative to a window acting as cat TV, Jackson Galaxy recommends fake aquariums, or the real ones, but I think fake ones would be better in this instance. Perhaps fish become anxious if a cat is looking in on them? I don’t know but it seems possible to me. Fake aquariums are decoration for people but they make for great cat TV.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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