How to Have a Happy Cat Indoors
There's nothing worse than a bored cat
Are you an inside cat? Perhaps you share a high-rise apartment with your staff people but there are all sorts of reasons for cats to live indoors.
I'm an inside cat not just because of my advanced age, but because I live next to a Nature Reserve. The woman who feeds me makes sure I'm not out slaughtering the local wildlife, being inside means I can't get my teeth into the Rakali in the creek or snack on an Eastern Rosella.
So most of my day and all of my nights, I'm inside. But I get bored.
In the interests of everyone, here's a few tips to keep your cat happy indoors.
Safety for Cats while you're away
If you're going to go out and leave a cat inside all day, make sure
- all the windows are closed
- curtains are closed on hot days
- cables are tied up and out of view
- plenty of fresh water is in the bowl
- a bit of kibble is left out in a bowl
- the litterbox is fresh
A cat needs something to play with
Have you ever watched a cat outside? If you do, it will be fairly obvious that we're constantly looking for something to stalk, chase or jump upon. We do this to keep alert and sharp, to maintain our peak physical fitness and also because it's fun!
If we're stuck inside then you better provide some different types of toys for different activities so we can continue to hone our natural hunting skills. Otherwise we may just start ripping up some cushions and ripping down some curtains. Maybe there are a few little precious ornaments around your house we can break too.
Did I mention scratching the furniture? Gouging deep furrows in antique chairs is a satisfying antidote to boredom.
A Simple Cardboard Box for Hours of Fun
Bags and Boxes are Excellent Cat Toys
Paper Bags, we are told, are good for the environment but, even better, they're absolutely irresistible for cats. It's that enticing, rustling, crinkling noise they make, so like the sound of some little prey animal scurrying inside a burrow. They're pretty handy as cat lurking spots too.
Cardboard Boxes are the best cat toys ever invented! If you can get your hands on an empty cardboard box I can get my paws on a great hiding place to use as an attacking spot. From the depths of the trusty cardboard box I can lie patiently in wait for an unsuspecting unshod human foot to walk past. Cardboard boxes are cozy napping areas too. Next time you get a delivery, keep the box for me please.
Simple Cat Toys are Cheap
Through play, we exercise our natural instincts to explore and thrive in the world around us. Simple little toys help keep us healthy, active and engaged.
Make Your Own Cat Toys
Reducing your cat's carbon paw print has never been easier!
Cats don't want expensive toys
You don't have to spend much, or even any, of that money you're always so concerned about.
There are numerous inexpensive cat toys to keep us busy - ping pong balls, balls with bells inside, balls hanging from rope, soft mice for stalking, batting and pouncing.
My favourites are those cat toys which dangle from doors.
A Room with a View
I want to look out the window
Oh my how we love to look out the window!
The whole world is out there and we can sit and stare for hours at a time. It's alright for people to gaily go off and join in the outside hustle and bustle but even a senior cat like myself needs to look at what's going on.
A bit of wood, a hammer and some nails and you have a cat perch on the windowsill. Too hard? Rented apartment? No worries, you can still manage a comfortable perch.
Arrange your furniture so that a cat can climb up easily to a window. First step a chair, then a table, dresser or bureau under the window.
Make a Cat Perch yourself
Really easy with a small ladder
Use your imagination!
You can construct climbing perches yourself with no carpentry experience whatsoever.
This clever woman has made a cat's perch, ideal for looking out the window.
She used a four foot tall stepladder and 500 feet of 1/4" sisal rope.. The ladder is reinforced by struts at the base for safety.
The Cat Ladder has carpeted pieces, these ones are parts of a 12" diameter cardboard concrete mold bought at a building supply store, but rope would do just as well.
The Perfect Cat Platform - You could relax here all day!
P.S What's a Rakali?
What are these things?
Wondering what a Rakali is? They're rats! I thought one of my jobs was to keep the place clear of rats but apparently not these ones. Rakali are water rats, native to Australia, and have nothing to do with those nasty critters who carried the Black Death.
And what's an Eastern Rosella?
An Eastern Rosella is an Australian parrot and totally out of bounds to me. These days I just watch them from the window.
© 2009 Vladimir