How to Keep Kitty From Developing Cabin Fever
Many cat companions will tell you that it’s impossible for a cat to be happy if the animal is kept indoors all the time. They will point to the cat’s natural position as an apex predator in many food chains worldwide, but they will actually be wrong. It is quite possible to keep a cat entertained, happy, and healthy while the live exclusively indoors.
In fact, indoor-only cats typically live longer than outdoor cats, and for several obvious reasons. The trick comes with understanding feline psychology, as well as your cat’s needs as a predator living in an artificial (if very pleasant) environment. Here are five tips to keeping your 100% indoor kitty from getting cabin fever.
1 – The Cat That Grows Up Indoors Is Happiest Indoors
Okay. This one may not be possible, especially if you have an adult cat that’s already spent considerable time out of doors. But if you are bringing home a kitten, then keeping it inside consistently from its very young age will make staying indoors far easier on it in the years to come.
2 – Give Your Cat a Window on the World
Consider installing a squirrel feeder, a bird feeder, or a birdbath within easy viewing distance of a special perch for your cat in one (or several) of your windows. Cats love to be able to watch potential prey frolic around. Keep in mind though, that seeing other neighborhood cats, dogs, or other larger animals can be upsetting for some cats, causing undesirable (spraying, clawing, fighting) behaviors.
3 – Play Hard and Often With Your Indoor Cat!
Play with your cat as much as possible, especially prior to leaving them for long stretches of time. Your cat may seem like it would just as soon sleep all day as have anything to do with a feather tied to the end of a stick. But the truth most likely couldn’t be further from this perception.
It may take a bit of time and experimentation to see what types of toys your kitty responds most enthusiastically to, and you may need to establish a play rotation to keep them from getting bored. But playing with you and other cats can make all the difference between content indoor kitties, and bored pent-up cats.
This is yet another area where SHRU really comes in handy. Because of the toy’s randomized settings, activating SHRU is like bringing a living toy into the home with your indoor cat. And if you plan to be away from the home all day (at work, for example), SHRU will continue to engage with your indoor cat throughout the play cycle that you set.
4 – Provide Your Indoor Cat With the Tools to Occupy Themselves
You most likely can’t be home all the time. And when you’re home, you probably can’t afford or don’t necessarily want to spend all of your time playing with your cat(s). That’s why making an investment in a few simple toys, a cat perch or tree, and a scratching post can make a serious difference in your indoor cat’s quality of life.
5 – Make Your Home a Cat Oasis
Many people don’t know this, but cats actually like to graze on a variety of plants outside the home. Do your indoor cat(s) a favor, and bring the outside in by planting some cat-friendly herbs such as catnip and cat grass.
The reality is that cats get folic acid from grass, and use it to keep their bones healthy. And though their diet of kibble or canned food should provide them with everything they need nutritionally, their desire to graze doesn’t go away.
Happy, Content, and Healthy Indoor Kitties
Happy cats tend to be much more content with their living situations; as such, they are healthier cats and have a tendency to live longer lives with fewer health problems. Keeping your cat indoors is a great first step toward keeping your feline friend(s) safe.
Providing them with the means to stay healthy, entertained, and happy inside your home is a great way to double-down on both their quality of life and your pet’s longevity.