We all know that cats live longer, healthier lives indoors. But just because a cat has food, shelter, and is safe from cars and predators, it doesn’t make them happy. In fact, a cat could be inside and very much loved but still be missing something. Because at heart, cats are still a bit wild and not fully domesticated. So what can you do to satisfy their deeper instincts?
Bring the outside inside, of course!
No, you don’t have to build a whole catio for your cat. And depending on your living situation, that may not even be an option. There are many simpler ways to acknowledge your cat’s wilder nature and keep that side of them happy. Here are four suggestions.
Give your cat a window to the outdoors
There’s a whole world out there for cats to watch daily. Even city views have some sort of nature to see. Make sure there’s a perch by the windows with the best views. This is easily done with cat trees, a cat bed on a table, a throw on the back of a sofa. You can also find perches that attach to the windows themselves. Make it even better by hanging a bird feeder or two near the window.
Fill your home with kitty fun and adventure!
If your cat has lots of places to explore and hide, they won’t miss the outdoors so much. Cats love vertical space, so give them places to climb like cat trees, or shelving made specifically for cats. Scratchers or scratching posts in their favorite spots are good too. When you get deliveries, leave out the empty boxes for a few days, especially if they have crinkle paper inside. Look around your house or apartment and think about what you can add or arrange that would be fun for your cat.
Play interactive hunting games with them
Cats love prey play. We love chasing anything that imitates birds, mice, or bugs. Interactive wand toys are a favorite around here. You can even toss treats for your cat to chase. In fact, combine treat tossing and a box, and you have a really fun game to play with your cat. And of course, leave out toys that your cat can toss around and hunt on their own, like tiny mice or crinkle or sparkle balls.
Show videos made specifically for cats
There are lots of nature videos now on YouTube for cats. Paul Dinning has a bunch, and so does Red Squirrel Studios. There are loads more too. And these bring nature scenes right into your living room or bedroom. If your cat’s a TV watcher (not all of them are), they will appreciate these videos.
With just a little bit of thought and planning, you can make your home a kitty playhouse that your cat will love. And a happy cat is less likely to be destructive or get into trouble. So it’s a win-win situation all around.
Do you use any of these ideas with your indoor cats? Are there other things your cats enjoy? Let’s discuss!
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