How do you keep a cat indoors happy? Is it cruel to keep cats indoors? There is no absolute rule that utter feline happiness relies on outdoor activities. Some owners may feel guilty when they keep their furry friends indoors; however, zoologist John Bradshaw claims that there are cats who find experiences outdoors stressful. This is due to the fact that cats are naturally territorial and is, therefore, likely to find ‘rival felines.’ Whilst this may not be the case to all cats, creating a perfect environment for them will keep your cats away from unnecessary stress and troubles. Here are some cat-friendly house ideas that will keep your indoor felines happy and safe.
Provide a vertical space.
Firstly, it is very important to remember that cats seek the comfort of any hiding spots or areas that have safe vantage points. Vertical spaces are ideal when creating a cat-friendly room. Perching high on top, it allows them to survey and monitor their world on their own terms. It also encourages them to exercise through jumping on vertical spots. Keep in mind that the lack of challenges of exploring, hunting, and social contact prompt cats to entertain themselves in grooming, sleeping, and eating. Fortunately, there are many specially designed furniture that is not only functional, but also beneficial, and comfortable for your cats.
Here are some ideas for creating vertical spaces at home:
- Cat shelves
- Cat trees
- Cat climbing wall
- Wall shelves
- Swinging ropes
Look for the perfect space that has a view. Make sure that it is positioned in an appropriate and safe location, which can either be on a shelf or a bookcase. This will give your cat the opportunity to climb on a sunny window perch as well as some alone time.
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Provide stimulation for your cat’s well-being.
A laser pointer can create some great exercise opportunities for indoor cats. However, it is important to note that cats will not be happy over the same old toys over time. Seek different types of toys that allow your cat to meet her natural instincts and have fun indoors.
Provide her with a hidey-hole.
You may have noticed that some kitties enjoy a good hiding game under the bed or behind curtains. Create a safely screened porch for your cats to give them space to hide when they feel the need to. This is especially beneficial to cats that are more timid and anxious.
Consider improving your multicat toilet.
Remember the ‘plus one’ rule when providing litter trays to multicat households. For example, if you are rearing three cats, you should provide them with four litter trays situated in different areas. Keep them in quiet places away from the busy areas of the house. Also, keep them away from the shower room. There are some cats that despise water and may easily associate litter trays as something inconvenient when they are kept wet.
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Additional tips in creating a cat-friendly house
- Despite carpets providing warmth in a room, it might pose a threat to you and your cat’s well-being. Cat hair may remain tangled on the carpet, which makes it hard to clean. Some cats also like to sharpen their nails on the carpet. If you persist on having carpets, make sure to keep it clean at all times and teach your cat to use the scratching pole instead of furniture.
- Be sure to keep all fragile utensils and equipment stored in a safe place. Avoid placing them on open shelves, which are a welcoming sight to your naughty feline.
- ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ is an adage applicable up to the present. Your kitchen rubbish bin is a temptation in the eyes of your cats, which can be filled with leftovers. Place it on an inaccessible area or choose one with a firm lead.
- It is important to be mindful of what indoor plants you are keeping in the house, all plants should not pose a threat to your felines. Here are some plants that are considered as a red flag: azalea, caladium, elephant’s ear, lily, mistletoe, philodendron, and poinsettia.