Cat experts agree that keeping cats indoors improves their health and increases life longevity while also eliminating problems like being a nuisance to your neighbors and wildlife around your home. Though you may choose to keep your cat indoors for their sake, they don’t always understand why they can’t be outdoors hunting other animals and playing in the wild. Luckily, we’ve got a list of creative and simple ways to help your cat live their best life indoors.
Bring the best of the outdoors inside.
Cats love the outdoors for several reasons. The opportunity to climb, jump and lounge in trees and other vertical outdoor structures is just one of them. Cats also enjoy playing in and sometimes eating grass, as well as hunting insects and small mammals. Give your cat the feel of the outdoors by placing their perch near a sunny window and providing viewing stimulation by installing a bird feeder right outside the window. Plant cat grass, which you can purchase at most major pet supply stores or online, in a few pots around the house to give them a safe plant to play with and nibble. Install or build your own cat tree, also known as a kitty condo. These work especially well when floor space is limited and also provides cats with the vertical play they crave. Another great way to bring the outdoors in? When the weather is right, open your windows so cats can enjoy the scent of outdoors and the occasional cool breeze.
Keep their living zones neat and tidy.
Cats are kind of neat freaks which is why cleaning their litter box regularly and keeping their play zones and sleeping areas tidy is the key to getting them to use the litter box and “live” in the habitats you’ve created for them.
Get rid of poisonous indoor plants and other household hazards.
If you’re a fan of houseplants and plan to keep your cat indoors, it’s imperative for you to know which plants are poisonous for your pets. The list of hazardous plants for pets is long, but the good news is that there are a number of plants like the ones mentioned in this article by Wide Open Pets that are perfectly safe for your pets and you. Bonus tip: To keep your cats from destroying or digging in your favorite houseplants, add small rocks or pebble stones to the pot to protect the plant and its dirt.
Use leash training.
Though cats may resist wearing a harness or walking on a leash at first, but if you live in an area where you and your cat can safely walk around outdoors, training them to walk on a leash gives both of you the opportunity to spend time together outdoors. Walking your cat offers them the chance for safe, supervised outdoor stimulation and play.
Build a catio.
What’s a catio, you ask? Basically, it’s an enclosed area right outside your door, usually on a porch or patio designed to give your cats an area outdoors to safely play and spend time in the sun, while also protecting other wildlife and preventing your cats from running off or hanging out in the neighbor’s yard. You can purchase a catio like this one online or in some pet supply stores, or you can build your own like this pet owner did for her cats.
Let them play…with and without you.
The very best way to keep your cat happy is to spend time playing and loving on them. No matter how busy you may be, carving out just a few minutes each day to play with your cat makes a world of difference in their happiness and overall wellbeing. Make the most of your play time by incorporating stimulating yet simple cat toys like catnip toys and cat wands with ribbon or feathers. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash on expensive toys–cats enjoy playing with things found around the house like an empty milk jug, crumpled paper, or empty boxes. Instead of chunking items like these in the trash right away, give your cat a chance to play first.