Any cat owner will tell you that these felines make wonderful pets are generally relaxed and low maintenance animals to have around the home.

However, just like other animals, cats have their own individual needs and if these aren't adequately catered for they may become bored and unhappy - feelings can then show themselves in behavioural problems.

So if you want to keep your four-legged friend happy and avoid any problems such as scratched furniture, aggressive behaviour and constant meowing, it is essential to make your home cat friendly before you bring your new pet into the household.

"A pet-friendly home needs to encompass the pet's needs - for space, companionship (and conversely at times, places to retreat to), and to display natural behaviours," explains animal behaviourist Dr Candy d'Sa.

"For example, cats need to be able to sharpen their claws and also display predatory behaviour."

A lot of the time simply roaming around outdoors and playing in the garden is enough to allow your feline to display their natural behaviours.

However, if you have an indoor cat or a kitten a scratching post in the room where they have their cat food and plenty of fun toys to play with can help to keep them metally stimulated.

Dr d'Sa also points out that owners need to think carefully about bringing a new animal into their household if they already have other pets at home.

"In multi-pet households owners must not mistake mere tolerance between pets for amicable relationships," she adds.

"Predator-prey relationships should be considered when choosing different pets, for example cats and hamsters or dogs and chickens."

Despite what conventional wisdom may tell us, cats and dogs often make good companions if they're introduced carefully.

However, if you're going to bring a new cat into a home where there are smaller critters such as hamsters, gerbils or rabbits, it is essential to remember to keep them separate and not allow the feline into the rooms where the other pets are kept.

Written by: Hannah