Indoor cats have it made, they have luxuries that outdoor cats do not, they don’t have to catch their food, they have warm beds to lounge in and someone to rub their ears…but only on their terms of course! They also live longer lives as they are not exposed to predators, other cats, some diseases, pour weather conditions and more. However, an indoor cat needs enrichment in the form of toys, climbers and stimulation otherwise they can become bored and even depressed. Here are 5 tips on how to keep your indoor fur-kid happy and healthy.
Play Games – Get down and play with your cat one on one. Use a string and drag it across the floor, throw a ball that makes a crinkly noise, purchase a laser light and watch them chase it from room to room. These games will not only bring you closer together, but it also helps to stimulate a cat’s natural hunting instinct and as a bonus it can help keep off those pesky extra pounds an indoor cat can get!
Think Tall – Supply vertical enrichment. Install some cat perches or cat sized ledges next to the window or along the wall. Place one or several cat trees with perches of various heights and shapes, some cat trees can even be made to reach the ceiling!
Keep it Clean – Perhaps one of the most important aspects is to keep your cat clean and healthy. Empty the litter box regularly and keep it in a quiet place. Cats can be very particular and most like stay clean, so a dirty/smelly litter box in a high traffic area may upset your cat enough to make them not use it. Consider using Arm & Hammer ™ Clump & Seal™ Lightweight litter – it’s a light weight clumping litter that provides 7-day odor control, guaranteed (great for you and kitty!)
Toys, Toys, Toys – Including balls, string toys, catnip pillows and scratching posts. Just like us, cat like to be entertained (when they are done with their 18 hour nap of course). Consider toys for batting around, chasing, and some for interactive play such as a ball in a track or a feather toy on a bouncy string. Another great idea is to provide places to hide, most cats absolutely love an empty cardboard box. Mix it up and provide a closed one with a tiny opening and one with tall sides, but an open top.
Think Outside, from Inside – Plant some safe cat grass (found at your local pet store) or place a bird feeder or bath in your yard where your cat can see. Place a cat sized ledge or cat perch at the window so they can gaze in comfort. While you want to bring in some green for your cat, be sure you research what plants are safe and unsafe for your fur-kid.
As you can see, it doesn’t take very much to have a perfectly satisfied indoor cat. If you feel your cat needs to go outside there are many options available that keep you can safe, for example you can build or buy a ‘cat enclosure’ that attaches to your house and keeps them completely contained while still allowing them to chase bugs. You can even bring your cat out on a leash with a secure, comfortable harness, this however needs direct supervision! For some great tips on how to keep your indoor cat active check out Work it Kitty!
Disclosure: I am part of the Church & Dwight ambassador program. All options are strictly my own.