If you've read our blog article The Impact Of Domestic Cats On Australian Wildlife, you would understand some of the impacts that outdoor cats can have on the environment. It's not all about saving the environment though, we want your cats happy too. Indoor cats are saved from the risks of getting hit by a car, contracting feline leukemia, dog attacks, poisoned food, pesticides, cat fights, fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, getting lost, getting stolen, wild animal attacks and exposure to extreme temperatures.
A couple of commonly asked questions we see are:
- Should cats be kept indoors?
- How to let my indoor cat outside?
- How to keep your cat indoors?
- My indoor cat wants to go outside?
- Can an outdoor cat become and indoor cat?
- How to make an indoor cat happy?
We hope by the end of this article we can provide some tips on ensuring the health and welfare of your feline friends. As well as keeping them happy indoors and safe outdoors for a long and healthy life.
Love Your Cat
Number 1 rule is to love your cat. You might not think it, but the majority of domestic pet cats are attention seeking and desperate for love. This includes but is not limited to snuggles, pets, playtime & treats . Developing a strong bond between you and your cat will go a long way to ensuring their happiness indoors.
Create A Fun Indoor Environment
Creating a space indoors to keep your cat entertained is essential to keeping your cat happy. This can include a variety of toys, cat furniture such as cat trees (our favourites are here), cat tunnels, scratching posts, vertical spaces such as cat shelves and wall perches (cat hammocks). Most behavioural problems in cats stem from boredom, so a busy cat is a happy cat.
Let Your Cat Enjoy Fresh Air Safely And Responsibly.
There are two main methods we encourage for cats to enjoy the outdoors. Outdoor cat enclosures such as catios and walking on a leash with a harness.
A catio is a structure enclosed by netting that you can install in your yard or on your deck or patio. Similar to an enclosure you'd see at the zoo. This lets them outside, but protects them from the common dangers mentioned above.
Walking your cat on a harness is another method for giving them the opportunity to explore the outdoors in a safe manner. We may be a little biased in saying it is our favourite method. Harness training can sometimes take some extra time and effort, but it it worth it to keep your indoor cat happy. More tips on harness training can be found here.
If your transitioning your cat from an outdoor cat to an indoor cat, then these two methods are the best for finding a balance. It is best done with a gradual approach and if having trouble with the transition, speaking to a professional can prove highly effective.
Win - Win
Ultimately, keeping your cat indoors is a win win for both the external environment and your cats health. Keeping them stimulated indoors will ensure they exercise their body and minds. Having a safe method for your cat to enjoy some fresh air provides additional enrichment, especially for those cats transitioning from outdoors to indoors. If you have any additional questions about this topic, let us know via email or in the chat.