Subscribe to Your Pets UniverseNews Feed

How to Keep Your Cat Indoors and Happy

December 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Life With Cats

Cats are naturally curious and active creatures, and with  so many different personalities among the feline population, they can be incredible and fun companions. Depending on where you live, you may want to keep your cat indoors or let it go outdoors. Many people choose to keep their cats indoors because it is definitely much safer for the cat, and for the wildlife in the area.  Dangers to cats that live outdoors include getting picked up by a humane shelter or another person, getting run over by cars, getting in fights with other animals, getting killed by dogs or coyotes, being chased away by other animals, getting lost, being exposed to outside temperatures, climate changes, and bad weather conditions, and contracting illnesses among other things, including accidental pregnancy if the cat is not fixed, which, I hope you already know is absolutely necessary in this day and age. In any case, while having an indoor cat requires a bit more responsibility, you'll soon learn that sharing your life with a feline is simply… awesome.

However, it is not always easy to condition a cat that has had a taste of the wild to live indoors.

how to keep your cat indoorsIndoor and outdoor cats are practically two different species. Indoor cats are much more dependent on you for food and water, and you should always provide and keep clean areas for them to use the bathroom and sleep. Outdoor cats, on the other hand, are much more independent as they adapt to their surroundings. While they still rely on you for food, water, and shelter, they also know how to hunt their own prey and find alternative places to sleep if it so pleases them. The world is their litter box, so you don’t have the responsibility of keeping one clean for them (unless, of course, they choose to use your garden for this). But, how to keep your cat indoors once it's used to being outside?

Now, you may wonder, are indoor cats happy? The answer to this question is yes, but you have to consider different situations. A cat that has never lived outside, or is very young, will adapt to indoor life just fine. As long as they have food, water, a clean litter box, and their own special areas to sleep and play, they are easy to keep happy and typically won’t attempt to leave the house as they are content in their own space.

When you bring an outdoor cat inside after they have already lived outside, you may face a bit of trouble. Outdoor felines already have a system down, and are accustomed to going wherever they please. Now that they are confined to a smaller living space, they may, at first, be hostile and upset towards their environment. This is why helping them adapt to their new area is vital.

Establish a feeding time, keep fresh water, and make sure you keep the litter box in the same place and out of the way of human traffic, at least until they get used to their new home. Allow them to explore and recognize the scent of your house, and let them find corners for them to snuggle into and claim as their own. Make sure you use cat condos or shelves on the walls where they can climb and observe their new world.

For a few days after he or she has been brought into your home, keep an eye on them and note their behaviors. Do they seem distressed? Distract them with play toys and let them continue exploring their space. Getting them accustomed to all of the new sights and smells will help them to adapt better.

The thing that you must remember when thinking about how to keep your cat happy indoors is that every feline is different. Some cats will be just fine in their new environment right away, while others will take a little longer. Either way, cats can be happy indoors as long as you maintain and keep their living areas clean, and show them the nurturing love and care that they need and deserve to survive. Don't make the mistake of thinking that once you own a cat you should just "let it be" because they are so independent. Cats need stimulus and attention too. Provide them with scratching posts and toys, play with them every day, and any outdoor cat will soon know that it's always a good thing to be inside.