We are huge advocates for indoor only cats for a multitude of reasons.
Cars, cat fights, possums fights, to protect native wildlife and disease to name a few.
Today’s concrete jungles are far too dangerous for vulnerable, trusting little animals.
But how do we prevent Tabby from getting bored in the great indoors? Here’s how!
Six Steps to Having a Happy House cat
1. Bring joy with toys.
From paper bags and rolled up balls of paper to motorised “mice”, laser pointers, and apps on your phone or tablet! T
oys perk up even the laziest feline. Toy's don't have to be expensive to be a huge hit. We have one client who has trained his cats to play fetch with the round yellow ring from jars of vegemite!
2. Scratch that itch.
Cats love to scratch. Doing so enables them to remove broken claws, stretch muscles, and mark “territory.” The best way to save your furniture is to provide lots of “approved” places to scratch. Cat “trees” and posts, cardboard scratching boxes, and those ingenious “cat tracks” (a ball in a circular, partially open plastic tunnel surrounding a cardboard scratching pad) are big hits. Sprinkle catnip on them weekly to keep cats interested, and be sure to replace cardboard inserts when they get worn out.
3. Provide a room with a view.
Windows are cat “TV”—a birdbath or feeder placed near a window can provide hours of entertainment. If window sills aren’t wide enough, build or buy a cushioned perch (which are available from pet supply stores and catalogs) to attach to the sill. (For safe window-sill perching, make sure that double-hung windows are propped open to prevent them from falling down on cats, and tuck the cords of blinds up and out of the way so that legs and other body parts don’t get entangled in them.)
4. Porches bring purrs.
A screened-in porch or an enclosure accessible through a window is a great way for your kitty to safely commune with nature. KittyWalk Systems makes enclosures in a variety of configurations that can stand alone or be attached to a cat door. If your yard is fenced, another option is Cat Fence-In, a netting kit that attaches to the top of the fence. No existing fence is necessary to install another escape-proof system called Purrfect Fence, although it is advisable to supplement it with sturdy fencing of some kind to keep dogs and other predators out.
5. Take your kitty out for cat walkies.
Cats can be taught to walk on a leash—just be sure to use an ultra-lightweight, retractable leash that’s attached to a harness, not a collar. Let your cat get used to the harness for short periods indoors, and then pick a safe outdoor area to explore. KittyWalk Systems also makes a “pet stroller” that allows for longer, brisker walks and provides a measure of safety from free-roaming dogs.
6. Plant a garden of catnip.
Cats will nibble on it and roll in it. Other healthy snacks are wheat grass, alfalfa, and oat grass. (You can buy seed starter kits at companion animal supply stores.) You can also find catnip toys at the PETA Catalog.