There are plenty of arguments for keeping your cat indoors all the times. Whether you do it by choice or out of necessity (maybe it’s not the best idea to let your cat prowl your apartment complex), it’s important to keep your indoor cat happy and healthy.
Of course you give your cat food and water regularly, and you have plenty of toys for the two of you to play together. But you can’t always give your cat 100% of your attention, so how can you make sure your cat’s mind and body are stimulated and safe?
By providing him with these five essential items:
A Scratching Post
Keeping a cat indoors without a scratching post is a couch slasher horror flick waiting to happen. Indoor cats need scratching posts to stay healthy. Scratching posts are essential for keeping nails trimmed, for stretching, and to satisfy their innate urge to scratch. You don’t need a large and elaborate scratching post - a small one is fine as long as it’s upright and made of a material that’s pleasing for your cat, like rope or sisal fabric.
A Collar and/or a Microchip
No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance that your cat will pull a houdini and escape from inside a room you could have sworn you locked. If that ever happens, a microchip and a collar will alert those who come across your cat that he belongs to someone. Make sure the collar states clearly and in large print that your cat is an indoor cat, and a telephone number or address where any finders can contact you.
Better yet, use an orange collar! The Kitty Convict project, started by the creator of the immensely popular webcomic The Oatmeal, urges owners of indoor cats to use an orange collar for their indoor cats. If this initiative takes off, an orange collar will be a clear symbol that a cat does not belong outdoors.
Cats need their alone time, and they especially love to be in enclosed, cozy spaces. To keep your kitty from snuggling up inside your closet, make sure he has plenty of places where he can grab a few z’s or just enjoy some alone time. This can be as simple as a cat bed inside a box, or as elaborate as a tall kitty tree - as long as it’s a quiet, comfortable place where your cat can retreat to.
Independent Play Time Toys
Your cat shouldn’t need you for entertainment and play time! Buy (or make) a couple of toys that he’ll be able to play with on his own, even if you’re not home. There are toys you can hook onto a doorway, puzzle toys that hide treats or a bit of catnip, a plain paper bag or cardboard box, and a number of commercial mentally stimulating toys. Leave these toys around the house or in your cat’s favorite play area, and you’ll be saving her from boredom (and, by extension, saving your furniture).
A View of the Outdoors
One of the best ways to stimulate an indoor cat is to show him the great outdoors. It might seem mean to show him a world he’s not allowed into, but in reality a window with a good view is like a TV show for kitties. If you have a view into a tree with a bird feeder, even better! Cats love to watch the animals and people move around outside their window.
With these five essentials, your indoor cat will be happier and safer!
- by Yuliya