Keeping your feline friend indoors may seem cruel on the surface, but in fact, indoor cats live longer, healthier lives. Kitties allowed to roam outdoors are not only exposed to disease, traffic, and the presence of other animals, but they also stand the risk of becoming lost or stolen. That’s why the team at Summeridge Animal Clinic strongly advocates for an indoor life for our whiskered friends.
Unfortunately, though, indoor cats can also miss out on a lot of opportunities for normal expression of behaviour, mental stimulation, and overall wellness. To help your cat live the best life possible, we offer some tips and recommendations for an amazing life for your indoor cat meow pal.
8 Great Health and Well-Being Tips for Caring for Your Indoor Cat
- Mental enrichment – Indoor cats need things to occupy their instincts, such as a window perch, cat trees, and a variety of toys which can be rotated each day to avoid boredom. You can even try your hand at training your cat!
- Snuggle time – Although they’re viewed as more independent than dogs, cats still need your time and attention. Spend at least 20-30 minutes each day brushing, petting, and interacting with your feline friend.
- Grooming – While cats are impeccable when it comes to self-grooming, overweight, ill, and senior felines may need some assistance. Plan on brushing your cat at least a few times a week (and don’t forget that tooth brushing is essential to dental health).
- Fresh water – Cats are particularly fussy about their drinking water – and who can blame them? To encourage hydration, place multiple shallow bowls of water (cats dislike getting their whiskers wet) around the home.
- Food stations – In a multi-cat household, consider feeding your cats in separate areas to avoid discord and to minimize stress and disruptions while eating. Do not place food bowls near litter boxes.
- Litter boxes – Speaking of litter boxes, keep them clean by scooping each day, which reduces the likelihood of accidents. You’ll need one box per cat plus an extra one. Place these in rooms that are private, away from main living areas, high foot traffic, and noisy appliances.
- Scratching posts – Cats need to scratch. This is a normal behaviour which helps transfer their scent and create a visual mark of their territory. It also keeps nails in good condition. To keep your cat from scratching the furniture, provide several scratching posts or pads in places where he or she spends a lot of time.
- Hiding spots – To minimize stress, cats require places where they feel safe and are hidden from view. This includes napping cubes, a spot in the closet, or a place under the bed that can offer refuge from other animals and noise.
Keeping your indoor cat healthy and feeling great also relies on preventive health care. Because cats are more easily stressed by car travel, many pet parents will avoid trips to the vet, which can result in a reduced quality of life and poor health.
As a Cat Friendly Practice, we want the experience of wellness care to be a positive one for our cat patients and their families. If you have questions about your kitty’s health or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us.