Provide Hiding Areas for Animals in Public Areas

In the lobby of my clinic, Arizona Skies Animal Hospital, we have two cockatiels. Mango and Della entertain the dogs, cats and people with a variety of behaviors. Mango parades back and forth whistling the tune to The Andy Griffith Show. Della climbs to the closest perch to get a studied look at the visitor. As a hand-raised chick, she thinks people are strange members of her flock.

But living in the lobby on display can also be stressful. Dogs jumping or pawing their cage probably feels like an earthquake.  Loud people make it hard to nap. That’s why I recommend a hiding/resting place for all animals in public areas. Look closely at the upper right and left hand corner of the cage. See the two pieces of fabric that hang down to form a curtain? Inside is a perch that allows Della and Mango to give themselves a timeout whenever they need it. I call these spaces ‘the bedrooms.’ Originally, I only installed one bedroom for the birds to share. After one week, Della kicked Mango out!  Poor Mango sat on the branch below looking up longingly at his girlfriend. So, I made the second bedroom on the upper right side to give Mango his own space. Della then decided that the new room was superior and took it over leaving poor Mango the now slightly used original bedroom on the left. (See below)

Cage bedrooms snip 2015
Fabric curtains create hiding/resting places for Mango and Della. Mango is perching in the foreground.


Della in bedroom snip
Della is taking a nap in her bedroom on the upper right side of the cage.

For more information on caring for animals who live in public places, see my next blog.


Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.