Keep your house cat happy through good diet, exercise and a suitable home to prevent stress, inactivity and obesity.
Why do indoor cats have different needs to outdoor cats?
Although cute and cuddly with eyes to die for, cats can be a challenge to care for - especially if they’re indoors all the time.
Those whose cats live outdoors will know better than most that felines are natural hunters, bringing you “presents” at every opportunity, so it’s in their blood to be curious creatures.
Add that to the climbing, exploring, roaming of territory and communicating with other cats in the neighbourhood, and it’s obvious that cats have energy that needs to be burnt.
For indoor cat-owners, that can cause some problems…
Keeping kitty inside will, of course, help keep them away from the hustle and bustle of “real life”, but being inside at all times can lead to stress, inactivity and obesity.
[Of course, some with a disability or medical problem may feel more comfortable living indoors.]
If you understand your house cat’s basic needs and give plenty of time and effort to Felix, it’s easy to live in healthy and peaceful harmony.
These simple tips for keeping your house cat happy will help show you how…
Now, we’ll give you a choice - either get a scratching post or say goodbye to the corners of your sofa!
Much like the vertical spaces, cats need to exercise, and scratching is normal natural behaviour which keeps claws in good nick and strengthens muscles.
FUN FACT: Did you know it’s also a method of catty communication? According to the RSCPA: “Cats have scent glands in between the pads on their paws which produce a unique smell – this smell is deposited on whatever the cat is scratching.
“Cats may choose to leave this smell as a reminder to themselves, for example to make somewhere more familiar or as a message for other cats.”
Raised areas in the home are good for a number of reasons - but two are very important when it comes to keeping a house cat happy.
Firstly, cats are naturally great climbers, so having a vertical space is perfect for them to get good exercise.
But they also like to rest up high when they feel afraid or uncomfortable, so these resting places should be large enough for them to lie down or sleep, if needed.
These don’t have to be fancy or expensive, and can be made by adapting existing furniture - for example, putting a soft blanket on top of a bookcase or wardrobe.
Cats also love a good view, so make sure it’s aesthetically pleasing for them - or you might be subject to some cat-titude!
When something spooks poor little Felix, all he wants is to bury himself in a hiding place.
Providing your house cat with somewhere to shy away is very important, as it gives them somewhere to relax if feeling fear or anxiety.
This can be something as simple as a cardboard box, furnished with blankets and toys, and should allow your cat to be almost completely concealed. Just make sure it’s also in a quiet part of your home.
Five more tips:
There are so many ways in which you can help keep your house cat happy, fit and healthy - but if we listed them all this could end up the length of a novel!
So here are five more tips on how to keep kitty content:
- Make time for playtime: By creating new ways for your cat to stay active, both physically and mentally, you will keep their fervour and well-being at a peak.
- Maintain human contact: Unless you have other pets, your cat won’t regularly interact with other animals outside. That means that YOU become their main companion. Make plenty of time for cuddles, grooming, even just an occasional stroke!
- Give them space: No, we’re not contradicting ourselves by saying leave them alone - we mean for you to ensure your cat has enough space in the house. Indoor-only cats should have access to several rooms, if not the entire house.
- Don’t leave them alone: You shouldn’t leave cats alone for long periods during the day. However, if you have to, make sure they have toys and food devices to stop them getting bored.
- Provide a litter tray: This is a given, but a top tip is to make sure it’s left in a quiet place and cleaned regularly. Cats don’t like a dirty toilet in a busy place - who does?!
And that’s it from us! We hope this blog has helped you get to know kitty a little better, but if you have more questions don’t hesitate to get in touch!