Why ‘Indoor Cats’ Are the Happiest Cats
Are you lucky enough to share your life with a feline companion? If you’re like us, your kitties mean the world to you, and their health and safety are super-important!
Cats are playful, curious animals, so letting them go outside to roam alone can get them into all kinds of trouble. However, the outside world can be a dangerous place for felines. Kitties belong indoors for lots of reasons, including these:
- Cats left outside alone are more likely to get sick with diseases and parasites like worms that can be passed to other animal companions, as well as family members.
- Kitties who go outdoors are also more likely to get fleas!
- Not everyone is nice to cats (hard to believe, we know). There are people out there who are mean to animals, including people who actually tease, hurt, and steal cats. You never know who your furry best friend could come across.
- Cats are also domesticated animals—meaning they aren’t “wild”—so they shouldn’t be left to go outside alone. Leaving a cat outdoors can cause harm to the environment because they scare and hurt small animals, like birds and squirrels, who are just trying to take care of their families.
The bottom line: The outdoors world is too dangerous for cats, so it’s best to keep them indoors with you and your family. But that doesn’t mean they have to live a life of boredom without any fun! There’s a ton of easy ways to keep them happy.
1. Spoil them with toys.
From paper bags and rolled-up balls of foil to electronic “mice” and laser pointers, toys perk up even the laziest kitty.
2. Let them scratch.
Cats love to scratch. It helps them to remove broken claws, stretch their muscles, and mark “territory.” The best way to make sure your cat isn’t scratching the furniture in your home is to give your furry BFF lots of places that he or she is allowed to scratch. Cat “trees” and posts, cardboard scratching boxes, and circular tracks (a toy that has a ball and a cardboard scratching pad) are big hits. Sprinkle catnip on the toys once a week to keep cats interested, and be sure to replace cardboard when it gets worn out.
3. Give cats a room with a view.
Windows are like TVs for cats—and a birdbath or bird feeder that’s placed outside a window can provide cats with entertainment for hours. If windowsills aren’t wide enough for a cat to sit on, ask your parents to help you build or buy a cushioned perch (sold in companion-animal supply stores and catalogs) to attach to the sill. For safe windowsill perching, be sure to tuck the cords of blinds up and out of the way so that the cat’s neck and other body parts don’t get entangled in them.
4. Take your kitty on walks.
Cats can be taught to walk on a leash—just be sure to use a harness, not a collar, and attach an ultra-lightweight leash. Let your cat first get used to wearing the harness by having your parents help you put it on him or her for short periods of time indoors, and then when the cat seems comfortable, pick a safe outdoor area to explore together.
5. Plant a garden—of catnip.
Cats will nibble on it and roll in it—they LOVE this stuff! Other healthy, cat-safe snacks include wheatgrass, alfalfa, and oat grass. You can even buy seed-starter kits at companion-animal supply stores.
Your kitties are part of your family, so you should always make sure you’re treating them that way!
Want to discover more ways you can help your furry BFFs? Pledge always to adopt your companion animals and never buy them!