Because today is the International Cat Day we have prepared a few tips for you to keep your cat both indoor and outdoor. It’s a myth that going outside is a requirement for feline happiness. Playing regularly with a cat and providing their entertaining toys can easily satisfy their stalking instinct, keep them stimulated and provide the exercise they need to stay healthy and happy. It also keeps local wildlife safe!
Install a perch indoors near a sunny window; padded perches can be purchased at many pet supply stores or through catalog retailers. Another option is an enclosure that sits in a window frame (much like an air conditioning unit) and provides a secure space in which your kitty can hang out. Larger perches can attach to the side of a house or ground-floor apartment patio.
Walk this way
If you live in a peaceful neighborhood in which you can walk without encountering loose dogs, consider buying a harness and training your cat to walk on a leash. This training takes time and patience, for both you and the cat, and it’s easiest when your cat is young. Some cats can even be harnessed and tied to a stationary object to enjoy the outdoors while you are gardening nearby (but be sure to never leave your cat alone while they are tethered).
Play with your cat each day. Try different types of toys that allow your cat to stalk, chase, pounce and kick. When you’ve tired out your cat, store toys that could harm them (such as toys with strings attached) out of reach. When you can’t be there to supervise, leave out “toys” such as paper bags (with the handles removed) or cardboard boxes. Be sure to switch the toys from time to time so that they seem “new” and more interesting to your cat.
Even indoor cats should still be outfitted with a collar and visible identification. The occasional open window (make sure your windows have secure screens) or door offers a tempting opportunity for your cat. And your cat may become frightened and make their way outside if strangers come to work on your house or if there is a fire or similar disaster. The collar and visible ID could help someone get your pet back to you.
Let them scratch
Give cats places to stretch and care for their claws. Cat scratching is an important aspect of feline behavior. Providing a long and sturdy scratching post in a vertical, horizontal or angled position is a good way to keep your cat happy … and your sofa, too!
Cats are smart and can be trained to do fun tricks just like dogs, and the mental and physical stimulation is great for felines. Teaching your cat to sit, for example, is easy, and training your cat to sit on stools instead of counters will make you and your cat much happier. An added bonus is that training will strengthen the relationship between owner and cat, which will certainly make a cat happy.
Set us hiding places
Cats like to hide and the ability to do so can be a valuable stress reducer. Locate the best hiding places in your house to encourage a timid or fearful cat to stay in the room. The hiding place lets the cat feel invisible and gives him time to calm down and gauge the situation. Hiding places can be created by using high-sided beds, cave-style beds, boxes on their sides, or open paper bags.
Regular veterinary checks
Cats are very good at hiding signs of pain and illness. Don’t skip annual wellness checks, and if your cat is a senior or geriatric kitty, increase the number to twice-yearly exams. Pay attention to changes in your cat’s behavior because that could be a red flag signifying there’s a medical problem.