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How To Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy

Updated on March 13, 2015

Keeping your loved one happy

Us cat lovers always want to keep our family members safe and happy, and whether we have a kitten or adult cat; the object is always the same.

Having an indoor cat doesn't mean having a boring life not worth living, but it does ensure our kitties will be safe from a lot of harm.

Vehicles from the city or highways and wild animals out in the country aren't very forgiving to our beloved pets, not to mention the increased amount of animal cruelty out in the open world.

Here are some of the things we can do to keep our loved ones happy and healthy when they are strictly an indoor pet.

All photos found on this article are ©Jolene Belmain

Converting an Outdoor Cat to an Indoor Cat?

There are a few extra things in store for you!

This can be very tough and tricky, depending on how stubborn your feline is, but depending on the dangers in your area, it just might be well worth your while.

**Remember: This is a HUGE adjustment for the both of you, but only you will understand fully why this change is happening.

First thing is first, you have to stick to your guns and have a lot of patience. Just like raising kids, consistency is the key to success. It will most likely take a lot of time before your "outdoor" cat will be content and happy as an "indoor" cat.

Second, give them a lot of love and positive reinforcement. If they don't try to run out or are behaving very well while inside, give them praise (whether it be with a treat or just some good old fashioned love). Cats work amazing under positivity rather than negative support.

Third, keep them occupied. Find what they love to keep busy with, and buy or make it for them. Some cats love lasers, while others love to chase a battery operated mouse. Maybe it's a ball with treats inside that happen to spill out as it is rolled around. My cat personally loves to chew up paper and boxes (which, yes, cat get messy... but it keeps him happy and that's what is important).

Fourth, make sure they have a window they can sit up to and see out of. If they can see what's happening in the world around them, it will ease their mind (over time) to be able to know that they can watch and smell what is going on in their territory.

Don't forget the little things...

Cats need their little luxuries too.

Leave a window open for me when you can, even if it's just a crack. I love to smell the fresh air.

Gama's sniffing the fresh air

An indoor tree might be nice. I love to climb things.

Cats love to sit up in high places.

If you can't open the window at least open the curtains, I still love to watch the world around me.

Gama's bird watching

Give me lots of love to let me know that I am wanted.

We got home from our vacation - Gama's missed us so much

We love to get treats too, plain food gets boring.

Cats enjoy a reward.

Speak to me in a kind voice, you may not realize it but I understand you more than you know.

Soakin up the love

What is your favourite housepet?

What is your favourite housepet?

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We can sleep for up to 20 hours a day... make it comfortable for us

This is her favourite blanket - No other one will do

I was very cold one day, so while I was curled up on the couch, I grabbed the comforter from the bedroom. Next thing I knew, it no longer belonged to me. Gama's had completely adopted this blanket as her own and wherever the blanket went she went, so I decided to leave it folded up on the couch for her to sleep during the day. That is where it now stays.

Give me a warm and comfy bed to rest in.

Cats need plenty of nap time.

Play with me I love to interact with you

Play

Gama's has lived with us for over a year now, and she has never seemed to be interested in any play. I just chalked it up to her age and figured that she was just too "mature" to be interested in any type of play time.

One day, my mother took my children to the dollar store to grab them each a treat. The kids decided that they would get me a stick with a mouse of the end of a string, for when the time came to get a kitten, such thoughtful children I have :)

I decided to take it out of the package and play around with it, and to my surprise, Gama's actually perked right up and was chasing and playing around with this mouse. I laughed so hard watching her act like a little kitten, since I've never seen her behave like this. It was amazing. She now waits for me to grab it, and as soon as she hears the knocking sound the mouse makes, her eyes open right up and she's ready to try to catch it.

Oster Sunny Seat Window-Mounted Cat Bed, 50 Pounds (034264445611)
Oster Sunny Seat Window-Mounted Cat Bed, 50 Pounds (034264445611)

No kitty can resist that warm and beautiful sun shining through the window, it's like a magnet that lures them in. Give your loved one a bed that they won't be able to live without right in their favorite spot in the house.

 

We are clean freaks, but there are some ways that you can help us out.

Gama's washing her face

Help us with the hairballs before it becomes a problem.

Cats have their own very distinct health issues.

We love to have our fur brushed often too... (every day if you can). Brushing your cat helps prevent hairballs, fur snarls, and provides your pet with extra attention.

Do you have a special family member?

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Keep us happy, active, and healthy so we will live a long life.

Don't forget to spay or neuter your cat too.

She won a free cone from her trip to the vet! - (she wasn't too impressed at first)

Hide-and-Seek

I feel a tickle from whiskers

and a little wet nose,

I look down at my feet

and yep, there she goes.

I can feel my face,

my lips give a grin,

I get up from my chair;

here we go again.

I tippy-toe quietly

down the hall,

stop by the door,

press up against the wall.

Peak into the same room

she went to before,

there she is in the corner

curled up on the floor.

Paws over her eyes

tail up in the air,

since she cannot see me

she thinks I am not there.

I creep up behind her,

finger is ready,

I'm almost there

just hold it steady.

I tap on her back

she jumps up in the air,

she turns and then stops,

giving me that same stare.

She just tries so hard

but can't figure it out,

I give her a giggle

cause it's the fun it's about.

©Jolene Belmain

February 9, 2012 at 18 years of age (88 in human years) our beautiful Gamas passed away.

This is the card that we received from our vet. We miss you so Gamas.

Why not rescue a pet?

Help out your local animal shelter or SPCA by saving a feline or canine and help an animal find their forever home TODAY!

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Do you have any pet stories?

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    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      5 years ago

      @Otto Phillips: We just adopted a new family member less than two weeks ago, he is a 2 year old neutered tabby... and he is gorgeous :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      5 years ago

      @Flowerchild1946: That's amazing to find an animal that will enjoy the same interests that you do... great job of finding your perfect pet :)

    • Otto Phillips profile image

      Otto Phillips 

      5 years ago

      Great Lens! I too am a cat lover.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @bilafond lm: I'm sure he will be the joy of your life. Enjoy your first adopted family member, and may you guys have years of fun :)

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 

      6 years ago from Florida

      My dog, Shadow and I used to live on a sailboat. Check out my lens, Shadow the Boat Dog! I enjoyed your lens.

    • bilafond lm profile image

      bilafond lm 

      6 years ago

      Our first ever pet is a cat we have named hime BOOTS and he is two and half years old. In short he is joy of the family. This is a very good lens for cat lovers

    • natalier1210 profile image

      natalier1210 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. I love cats! I'm sorry to hear Gamas passed.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @aesta1: I have a friend that has 2 trees (one tall one and one small one) and her cat doesn't use them, so when we find a kitten at our local SPCA she is going to give them to us :)

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      6 years ago

      None offhand - but I quite enjoyed yours! Blessed by a SquidAngel! :)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have no pet now but my niece has two cats and they are indoor ones as well. She had a cat house built which is attached to her room but she can use one of these tall trees.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @nightbear lm: Thank-you so much! Gama's deserves the credit for this purple star as she is my inspiration!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @Blonde Blythe: Yes, Gama's was a beautiful cat indeed. She had such beautiful markings on her fur, and her wonderful nature made her so easy to fall in love with :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: I lost a cat to a car as well when I was very young, and it crushed me. Gama's was allowed to go out once in a while, but it was only when I was outside for a bit, and she never ventured far from me (she was a big chicken lol). But she loved being indoors and I don't think she really missed anything on the outside of the glass.

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 

      6 years ago

      Having a cat is a big job. Everytime I travel (which is often) I look for someone to live in my house and care for my cat. Fortunately, I live in a place where everyone wants to visit, so I have great success with sitters. But I really do miss my cat when I'm away.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @Teapixie LM: I am the same way, when we have to go out of town I always find someone who can come and visit with my cats every day and give them some love for me. I miss them terribly whenever I leave.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @robertzimmerman2: Lizards? That would be awesome to watch, I would be right there beside him watching them too lol.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @StewartClan: I love the markings on cats (and other animals alike), they make them so different and distinguish them totally. Even though cats act all tough, they are so soft on the inside when you find their sweet spot.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @belle88: Cats are wonderful creatures, they just light up our lives, don't they?

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @miaponzo: And they all sure have an attitude of their own as well... Gama's never let us forget that she was part of the family, and I always talked to her like she was one for sure.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @captainj88: Thanks... I put what I think my Gama's would have loved to say.

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      6 years ago

      There is a little bit of kitty in all of us. Absolutely lovely page. Enjoyed myself immensely. blessed. congratulations on your purple star and front page honors as well.

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 

      6 years ago from U.S.A.

      Lovely lens! Great tips for cat lovers! Gamas certainly was a cutie!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I could imagine the action in Hide-and-Seek and love your story of how Gamma had no interest in play until the mouse came home for the future kitten....and found the kitten in Gamma! We gad outdoor cats growing up and I did suffer that loss to a car with my first kitty name Tiger so I can see the advantages of having an indoor only cat, especially when you are so prepared to make their life as wonderful as this....I'm ready to move in myself!

    • profile image

      betterbjj 

      6 years ago

      Great lens, me and the wife have two indoor cats. They are sisters but we did not get them both at the same time, so they only just about tolerate each other.

    • profile image

      robertzimmerman2 

      6 years ago

      Our cat is named "Lizard" likes to look out the sliding glass doors a the lizards on the patio.

    • StewartClan profile image

      StewartClan 

      6 years ago

      I have a cat, called Lazy Swayze. He is a ragdoll cat and he is very lazy and laid back. He is very keen on my husband and when he walks the dogs, Swayze cries at the door. However, I do like him and he is totally gorgeous.

    • belle88 profile image

      belle88 

      6 years ago

      I love this lens. I have a cat, and he is so stubborn character but still I adore him. and have funny story, smth when I sing, ifhe sleeps he wake up and come to me so closely and he looks at me curiously :-)

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      6 years ago

      Thanks so much for these great suggestions... sometimes we forget that cats have feelings, too. Blessed!

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 

      6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      I like that you wrote the instructions from kitty's point of view. Cute lens!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: I love the cat trees too. The next time we get a cat, we are absolutely going to get one for them.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      6 years ago from United States

      These are wonderful suggestions for ways to keep an indoor cat happy. I love the cat trees!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @Jazroockfree: Gama's was an extremely beautiful cat, every time we made a vet visit, they would comment on her markings and colour of her fur... she will be missed, and will always be loved :)

    • profile image

      Jazroockfree 

      6 years ago

      beautiful cat! create a happy and relaxed atmosphere where there is a cat at home.Thanks for sharing!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks so much, I just hope that this lens is helpful toward keeping cats (or animals period) in a happier home environment :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens. Great tips, lovely format!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @indigoj: She was an amazing cat, unfortunately she passed away on February 9th of this year... she will be dearly missed.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      6 years ago from UK

      Aww, these cats are enchanting and I love the way Gama shared her tips for treating our feline friends purrfectly. :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @flicker lm: So glad you enjoyed your visit, and I hope I have given you some great tips.

    • flicker lm profile image

      flicker lm 

      6 years ago

      Very nicely done! I truly enjoyed this lens.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @CruiseReady: I have always had kitties around me... and strive to give them the best life possible :)

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I have lots of kitty stories... hard to pick just one. Walker, Florida Feline os very dear to me, and I love your tips for keeping indoor cats happy.

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @anonymous: We are equally as lucky to have her in our lives as well, she is a pleasure. It's amazing how much they are different, just like all of us :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      We have four indoor cats that we love. Each one has a distinct personality. They add a lot to our lives. I enjoyed your lens. Gama is lucky to have you!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      6 years ago

      @kathysart: I had a cat years and years ago that was so bad, we actually had to de-claw her. She would climb up everything, including the door frames... up one side and down the other, she was crazy lol. Even after we de-clawed her she still chased dogs down the street. It was hilarious to watch.

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 

      6 years ago

      I just wish I could stop them from scratching up my leather couch. I have a friend who told me to use those glue on nails but wow I am just not sure about them. THUMBS UP, SQUID ANGEL BLESSED!

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      7 years ago

      @Mosoma: Thank-you so much for your support :)

    • JoleneBelmain profile imageAUTHOR

      JoleneBelmain 

      7 years ago

      @sharioleary: Thank-you, was watching my cat one day when the idea came to me.

    • profile image

      Mosoma 

      7 years ago

      Lovely lens.

    • sharioleary profile image

      Shari O'Leary 

      7 years ago from Minnesota

      Cute lens!

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