How to Keep your Indoor Cat Happy
Cats are an interesting animal, as they naturally can survive outside, but can be trained to never leave the house. You will find cat owners on both side of the fence with the debate of house cat versus outdoor cat. But the truth is that, outdoor cats face more risks than indoor cats. They are exposed to contagious diseases no matter where you are living.Traffic presents scary situations for both drivers and free-roaming cats. Allowing your cat to roam exposes them to poisons, traps, pet theft, and inhumane treatment by cruel people. Adopting a kitten or cat into your family as a pet means that you are taking on the responsibility of keeping it safe. This generally means keeping your cat inside the house. You may wonder how you can keep your cat happy with his housebound lifestyle, though?
A cat that stays indoors may live up to 15 years or more - and should lead a pretty healthy life. While it is true that cats enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and exercise, they do not need to go outside to be happy.
How to Keep your Indoor Cat Happy
Raising a cat indoors is easiest when done from kitten-hood. Vet Street recommends creating a convenient resting area in your home especially for your cat that provides him with privacy. Make sure it is located where people cannot sneak up on him. Having his own space will help make him feel safe and secure, while also fostering his strong sense of independence. It doesn't have to be elaborate; a crate makes an excellent resting spot, or you can provide him with an elevated perch so he can feel safe as he looks down on his surroundings. Bird watching is a hobby that most cats share. Give your furbaby a place to peek at the neighborhood birds throughout the day, preferable in or near his personal space.
According to paws.org, the more you give your cat to do, the happier she will be inside:
- If your floor space is limited, you can expand upward with kitty condos or climbing trees. The taller models, especially those with multiple perches, make the most of vertical space and appeal to cats' natural interest in heights.
- Install perches or shelves to provide your cat with more windows of opportunity. Bird feeders placed near windows attract a variety of wildlife and engage the interest of indoor cats. Beware, however, of outdoor cats in your neighborhood who might endanger wildlife. If there are marauding felines in your yard, do not feed birds on or near the ground. Use only hanging feeders placed to give wildlife a clear view of their surroundings.
- When the weather allows, leave windows open so your cat can get fresh air. Make sure that each window is securely screened so that the cat cannot fall or jump. Many cats enjoy chewing on grass and other plants. Garden centers and pet supply stores sell wheat or oat grass seed to be planted in small pots for indoor cats. Make sure the seed has not been treated with chemicals, and remove all potentially toxic plants from your cat's environment.
If you are transitioning a cat to the indoors, you will need to take a gradual approach to bringing him into the house. Bring him in for increasingly longer visits and consider building an outside enclosure. You can make it accessible from a window or pet door and add tree limbs, perching platforms, boxes, and toys to entertain your cat. You will have to make sure that no one accidentally lets the cat outside to make the transition as smooth as possible.