Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors
Keeping a cat happy indoors requires a motivated owner who can provide opportunities for play, exploration and expression of natural behaviours
The main problem faced by an indoor cat is the lack of opportunities to display its
wide range of normal behaviours. Considering the cat is a natural hunter, owners
must be creative and provide toys and games to keep their cat mentally and
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As city living becomes more and more common, cats living in high-rise apartments may simply not be able to get outdoors. Other owners may prefer to keep their cats indoors because of concerns for their physical safety; going outside may expose cats to threats posed by traffic and other animals.
The risks to indoors-only cats, such as stress caused by sharing space with incompatible cats, or from boredom and frustration linked to the lack of opportunity for many natural behaviours like hunting and exploration, may be less easily recognised by owners.
Choosing a cat’s lifestyle can be a difficult decision and should be made according to the individual cat’s home environment, dangers in the local area, physical health and temperament.
- Mimicking hunting opportunities. Cats are switched on to hunting mode by watching moving toys, so use feather toys, play mice and fishing toys to stimulate stalking and pouncing behaviour
- Ensure you have enough resources. If you have two or more cats, make sure they don’t have to share. Providing one litter tray per cat, plus one extra, and offering food and water in more than one quiet location can help avoid competition for resources
- Make the environment interesting. Provide opportunities to climb, and use 3D space where cats can hide and play. For example, cardboard boxes with toys inside can be great fun
- Make feeding more complex and challenging. Providing puzzle feeders can help with this
- Provide cat grass. Cats like to nibble grass, so a tray of cat grass may reduce the desire to eat houseplants
- The opportunity to scratch and climb. Scratching posts are essential and should be located in areas of the house frequented by cats and humans. Ensure they are stable and made of tough material
- Cat-proof your home. Indoor hazards can be minimised by ensuring all flowers and houseplants are non-toxic and by keeping cleaning products locked away
Health Plans to keep your cat healthy
At Vets4Pets we offer a range of Health Plans that make essential routine treatments more affordable. You'll save money on things like annual vaccinations, flea and worm treatment and routine health check-ups.
Read more of our expert cat advice to keep your cat happy and healthy.