Keeping your indoor cat happy
Here are some great ways to ensure that your cat enjoys a happy, healthy life inside your home:
A Companion for Your Cat
Many cats enjoy the company of other pets! Playing, chasing, and mutual grooming and snuggling can fulfill your indoor cat’s need for exercise, companionship, and affection while you are away. Implement slow, planned introductions to ensure that your pets stand the best chance of becoming friends. Check out our information on introducing pets at the bottom of our Available Pets page.
Provide your indoor cat with a variety of different interactive toys to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
- While cats have individual preferences for favorite types of toys, most enjoy the thrill of getting any new toy. However, just like children, they may get bored with it after a few days. This does not mean you have to buy your cat new toys constantly. Try putting some of the toys away while you leave others out, and then rotate them every few days to give your kitty the “new toy” excitement without the expense.
- Stimulate your cat’s hunting instinct by providing a prey-like toy, such as a laser toy or kitty fishing pole. Enjoying these types of toys with your cat is an ideal way to provide much-needed exercise and playtime, while allowing an appropriate outlet for your cat’s natural prey drive.
Indoor cats should be provided with appropriate surfaces on which to exercise their natural instinct to scratch. Cats have individual preferences, and many prefer to have a variety of scratching posts and surfaces, so be sure to offer your cat several types in multiple locations around your house.
Creating a Kitty-Friendly Indoor Environment
- Climbing places: Your house may already provide climbing opportunities on furniture, shelves or cabinets, but you may also want to have climbing areas specifically for your cat, such as a cat tree. You can buy cat trees at most pet supply stores, or research online how to make your own.
- Cat perches: Cats love to bathe in sunbeams! Giving your cat access to several windows will give her the opportunity to both sunbathe and watch the world from the safety of your home. If you have narrow windowsills, consider installing a cat perch on several windows so your kitty has a place to stretch out and enjoy the view. Shelves made especially for this purpose can be purchased at most pet supply stores, or you can research online how to build your own.
- “Cat TV”: Provide entertainment for your cat by placing a bird feeder or birdbath within view of the windows. Please keep the birds safe by keeping your cats inside at all times. A screened-in porch can also be a safe, enjoyable place for your cat to enjoy the sun and a view of nature; just be sure that the screens are secure to prevent escape.
- Hiding places: Most cats love to hide, and providing hiding places can be easy and inexpensive. Cardboard boxes or paper grocery bags can serve as places for your feline to hide and play. If you prefer, you can purchase a kitty tent, condo or tunnel at a pet supply store, or figure out how to make one at home.