Though cats technically can survive outdoors, there are many dangers and risks to allowing your feline friend to wander around outside alone. Not only can they get hit by cars, they can get into fights with other animals, get cut on branches and bushes or be taken in by another family who thinks your cat is a stray.
Though us humans know keeping kitty indoors is the best decision, kitty may not agree. So how can you keep your indoor cat happy and safe?
First and foremost – bring the great outdoors inside.
- Hang a bird or squirrel feeder outside near one of your windows. Your cat will enjoy getting to watch the wildlife right outside the window all day long
- Plant a few pots of cat safe plants and catnip. You can place them near a sunny window or place them around the house. (click here for the ASPCAs list of toxic plants)
- Provide your cat with perches near the windows in your home so that they can look out at the wildlife throughout the day. You can use shelves or cat trees to create comfortable perches
Secondly, you’ll want to provide your cat with lots of entertainment. You wouldn’t want to be stuck inside all day with nothing to do, so why should you expect your cat to?
- Offer your cat a variety of scratching mats, posts and trees so they can stretch, climb, claw and play (without using your furniture to do it!).
- Having a wide variety of toys to play with will help prevent kitty boredom. Your cat’s toys don’t even need to be store bought. Crumple up a wad of paper, use the plastic ring from the milk jug and put down a paper bag and you’ve got a cat version of Chuck-E-Cheese!
- Try out some “cat videos”. Some cats like watching aquatic, butterfly or bouncing ball computer screen savers, or videos with lots of animal close ups.
Lastly, get connected.
- Take time out of your busy schedule each day to play with your cat. Not only will it provide them with daily exercise but it gives you both a chance to bond with each other and reduce your stress. After all, didn’t you become a cat parent to actually enjoy the joys of having a cat?
Have more recommendations on how to keep your indoor cat happy? Post them below, we’d love to hear from you!