An Indoor Life
22 May 2017
As more of us live in flats or don’t wish to expose our cats to the dangers of an outdoors, ask yourself- do you know everything you need to about keeping an indoor cat? Cats have instinctive needs to express certain behaviours, and if indoor life means that they cannot do these activities, they’re likely to become stressed.
This can cause difficult problems, such as cats hiding all the time, or not using their litter tray properly. If cats have nothing to keep them occupied, they can also become overweight which can lead to physical diseases such as diabetes. So when you decide to keep a cat indoors, you have a responsibility to provide for behavioural needs which would normally be obtained naturally.
These include the need to hunt, the option to retreat and hide, the pleasure of climbing and, in general, the need for a cat to have a sense that it is in control of its own activities. Feeding at different times of the day, hiding small amount of dry food around the house and using puzzle feeders can all help cats to express more natural feeding behaviours. A food especially designed for indoor cats can help prevent weight gain and the formation of hairballs. Try to provide lots of different scratching posts at cat stretch height throughout your home, which will have the added benefit of preserving your furniture from little claws!
Increase the internal space in your home by adding non-slip shelving or better still, invest in a cat tree. Cats like to be high-up in a room, it makes them feel secure. Ideally place it near a window, which will give your cat a view of the world outside and opportunities to sunbathe!
Add plenty of predatory toys, such as dangly fur or feather types, small balls or screwed up sweet wrappers to satisfy your cat’s natural hunting instinct. It is also useful to place different types of drinking containers round the house and away from both food and litter trays.
Better still invest in a cat drinking fountain, as most cats prefer running water to still. Make sure your cat has plenty of hidey holes, and finally try not to use chemical air fresheners- your cat lives in a scent-filled world and may not appreciate the strong smelling odours. Follow these top tips for a contented indoor kitty that won’t miss the great outdoors!