Care Tips for Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy
Sometimes it isn’t practical to let your cat go outside. If you live on a busy road, in a high-rise building, or an apartment without a garden, then it might be better to keep your cat inside. Don’t worry though, indoor cats can be just as happy as outdoor cats, provided they are given adequate care. Here are a few things to consider when owning an indoor cat.
All cats need to be fed properly to thrive, but indoor cats generally need a slight adjustment to their diets. Whether you are feeding wet or dry food, it is a good idea to look out for food made specifically for indoor cats. Cats who don’t go outside much (or at all!) are typically less active than those who do. Therefore, food that is made with indoor cats in mind can keep them nourished and healthy. It can also reduce the chances of obesity, which indoor cats are more prone to. In addition to this, indoor cats often don’t need as much food as outdoor cats due to their more sedentary lifestyle. You should always consider your cat’s activity levels when measuring the amount of food to give it.
Without the ability to go outside and run off excess energy, indoor cats can get bored easily, and become aggressive and destructive as a result. To help eliminate these behaviours, it is vital that your cat has plenty of things to keep it occupied. Lots of toys, such as catnip-filled plushies, jangly balls, lasers, and dangling toys are great at keeping your cat entertained. Indoors cats need to be played with more frequently than outdoor cats, so make yourself part of the game. Not only will your cat have fun playing with you, but it is a good way to bond with your cat.
Cat trees and condos are a must for indoor cats. They give your cat plenty of places to climb and jump from, which is something it will be missing out on by not going outside. It will also give your cat something to scratch, which will help save your furniture and prized possessions from claw marks. With all the different platforms, your cat can jump, climb, and then lay down for a nap when it gets tired. Tie a dangling toy to one of the bases and give your cat an extra thing to play with whilst it explores its condo.
Another idea to keep your cat entertained is to set up a bird feeder outside a window (keep the window shut, obviously!) and let your cat stalk the birds eating. Cats have a big prey drive, so it is only natural for them to want to hunt. By allowing them to come into closer contact with small animals, it will make your cat feel more at ease and keep them stimulated. You also don’t have to worry about your cat and the bird’s safety as a window will be between them.
Indoor cats don’t typically have the necessary skills to be safe outside, so it is crucial to always cat-proof your house. Make sure you always have windows shut, or close off any rooms where you have an open window. You will also want to be careful when entering or exiting through your front/back door to avoid your cat escaping. If you have a cat flap, always keep it locked. If you use the cat flap for another pet, then perhaps leaving a window open in a room your indoor cat can’t access would be better. Along with lessening the possibility of your cat escaping, it is also important to make your house a hazard-free environment like you would with an outdoor cat. Non-toxic house plants, appropriate room temperature, and blocking off small nooks and holes are always things to keep in mind when owning any cat.