Do indoor only cats get bored? Is it okay to keep a cat indoors only? What can I do to keep my indoor only cat happy? How can I keep my house cat healthy? How to keep a house cat entertained. Tips for keeping inside cats happy and healthy. Is it cruel to keep a cat indoors only? Will my inside cat be bored?
Congratulations on deciding to keep your cat as an indoor only pet. If you have a new kitten, or indoor only cat you may have some concerns in regards to keeping him, or her, happy, and exercised.
Reasons Why People Keep Cats Indoors
People may keep their cats indoors only to prevent them from killing birds, or because their are laws in the area restricting cats from being outside.
Risks that cats face if they go outside:
- Neighbors who do not like cats being in their yard
- Dogs, and other wild animals
- Cat fights, diseases from other cats
- Worms, fleas, and ticks
- To prevent them from getting killed by cars
Also note that
- Deaf cats should not be allowed outside
- Declawed cats should not go outside
- Mother cats with kittens should not go outside
- Kittens, and cats who are not yet spayed, or neutered, should not go outside
Keeping an Indoor Only Cat Happy and Healthy
Cats who are not allowed outside will still enjoy looking outside. Cats like to be high up, so if you provide them with a piece of cat furniture, a cat tower, or even the back of your sofa, so they can sit and look out the window, this will give them mental stimulation even if they cannot go directly outside.
Cat furniture, cat towers, cat condos, and so forth, are highly recommended. These are best when they have sleeping places high up. Some are sold with dangling toys, these toys should be removed as they can strangle a cat, or wrap around a paw. Some people even enjoy making their own cat furniture. You can encourage your cat to exercise and play on their cat furniture by rubbing catnip on it. Even just moving it around, such as to another window, will often encourage a cat to play on their cat tower a bit more.
Your indoor only cat will also need toys. Cats like to think of their toys as being new. When you bring home a new toy you will find they play with it for a few weeks then get bored with it. You do not want to have to buy new cat toys every couple of weeks so a better plan is to trick your cat into thinking the toys are new. You can do this buy having a lot of toys and a container to store them in. Every week or so simply switch the toys around and you should see new use.
Cats are colorblind to red, and as such do not see orange very well either, however they can see blue and yellow well, so those are the best color of toys to buy for your cat. It is a good idea to have several textures, hard jingle balls, soft balls, and so forth. My cats prefer soft toy balls but every now and then go crazy for the harder jingle ones. I have found some of the more fancy toy systems are really only enjoyed by kittens.
You can give your cat catnip, it encourages play and can be given in small pinches every couple of days. Most cats also like honeysuckle toys which can be harder to find but worth it. When the cat is bored of its honeysuckle toy, store it in the freezer as this will refresh it for next time.
Cats also like to play in boxes.
You should engage your cat from time to time, they enjoy the attention and companionship.
Certainly indoor only cats can have full, and rewarding lives.
Other Tips in Regards to Health of Indoor Only Cats
Sometimes cats get hairballs from grooming themselves. Normally they would go out and eat grass to make themselves vomit. You can provide cat grass to help your cat feel better if it has tummy trouble.
Indoor only cats still may need regular vaccinations, and should still have identification on them incase they slip outside.
Normally you should have 1 litter box per cat, and ideally 1 extra. If you feed a good quality cat food will have less waste, but you still might want to have 2 litter boxes in the house.