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Tips For Keeping An Indoor Cat Happy

February 15, 2024

Here at Fayetteville Veterinary Hospital, we always recommend is keeping cats indoors. We know, our feline friends are very adventurous. It’s cute seeing Fluffy enjoying popular outdoor kitty pastimes, like leaving paw art on the windshield, rolling around in the driveway, and, of course, dropping dead animals on your porch. Unfortunately, that sense of adventure can actually backfire on your cute pet. In fact, grounding Fluffy is one of the best things you can do for her. Kitties that go outside are more likely to get hurt, lost, stolen, or even killed. Read on as a local Fayetteville, NY veterinarian offers advice on how to keep your furry friend healthy, happy, and purring inside.

What Is The Best Way To Keep My Cat Healthy Indoors?

Indoor cats have an advantage: they’re less prone to illness and injury in general. As far as basic needs go, Fluffy will need good, age-appropriate food, fresh water, and a cozy place to sleep. 

Proper veterinary care is also a must. We recommend that cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept up-to-date on vaccinations and parasite control. Fluffy will also need regular exams and screenings. You’ll also need to watch for signs of sickness, and contact us if you notice anything amiss. Ask your vet for specific advice.

What Can I Do To Keep My Cat Safe At Home?

Petproofing is key here. Our feline buddies are curious, playful, and a bit reckless. That combination of traits can be cute, but it can also be deadly. Anything that could be dangerous to your pet should be secured or moved out of paws’ reach. Some things to address include fishing lures, pens, safety pins, craft kit pieces, and pins. Other threats include plastic bags and ties, ropes and strings, chemicals, and medicines. Additionally, many toxic plants can pose a threat.

You should also keep large appliances closed when not in use, and make sure your windows and screens close securely. Consult your Fayetteville, NY veterinarian for more information.

What Can I Do To Get My Cat To Stay Inside?

Kitties can be quite determined. It will be easier to get Fluffy to stay in if she actually prefers it. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly corralling your feline pal, and trying to keep her from running out.

If you’ve just adopted a kitten, start early. Raise her to be an indoor cat right from the beginning.

No matter how old your pet is, you’ll want to make her a bit wary of going out. You can use some trickery here.  Whenever you see Fluffy sniffing around the door, do something that will startle her. Don’t hurt her or scare her: that may only make her even more determined to escape. You can try squirting her with water. Or, make loud noises, such as sounding a bike horn, setting an alarm on your phone, rattling a jar of change, or even just clapping your hands. Taste deterrants can also work. With time and consistency, even former strays can lose all desire to go out.

Keep Your Kitty Entertained Indoors

Many of our feline pals enjoy doing as little as possible. However, it’s important for cats to have ways to entertain themselves and practice their lioning skills. Even the laziest kitty can’t sleep all the time!

How Do I Make My Place Fun For My Cat?

You can offer your feline friend the best of both worlds, by giving her a secure and protected space that provides some outdoor-like benefits. These are often called catios. You can use an enclosed porch or patio for this, but you can also utilize an unused room, sunny nook, or even a big window. If you want to go all-out, make Fluffy an enclosure.

Regardless of where you put the spot, you’ll want to incorporate some kitty furniture and toys. Consider incorporating some pet-friendly greenery for your cat to investigate and snack on. While catnip is the classic choice, there are plenty of other options at your disposal.

The following are a few good ones:

Wheat Grass: In addition to being a popular supplement, wheat grass also contains nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to Fluffy. Your kitty can safely nibble on some greens, and you’ll have fresh ingredients for smoothies. Wheat grass is packed with vitamins and minerals like riboflavin, Vitamin E, and folic acid.

House Plants: Spider plants are among the most popular houseplants. They are attractive, easy to grow, and safe for cats. You can also opt for Boston ferns, Prayer plants, ferns, bromeliad plants, cast iron plants, peperomias, and friendship plants 

Herbs: Several popular herbs are safe for our feline pals. You can also use them for cooking! Rosemary, basil, lemongrass sage, thyme, mint, dill, and cilantro are all fine.

Flowers: African violets are also non-toxic to cats and are very easy to grow. Asters, Freesia, Gerbera daisies, orchids, roses, snapdragons, zinnias, marigolds, and sunflowers are also safe for your cat. However, always check before getting something. (Note: We would definitely suggest avoiding lilies, as these pretty plants are highly toxic to cats.)

Potted Trees: If you want a larger plant, consider a rubber tree. These are great for bad gardeners: they are almost impossible to kill. Ponytail palms, money trees, and Areca palms are also fine.

The ASPCA has more information on safe and unsafe plants here. You’ll also want to consider safety in how you set them up: don’t put a heavy plant with trailing leaves on a thin stand your kitty could knock over onto herself.

Is It Necessary To Walk My Indoor Cat?

We can’t give a universal thumbs-up o thumbs-down for this one. Some kitties are bold and adventurous, while others may be too afraid to go for a walk. If your furball seems content as an indoor pet, then there’s no need to rock the boat. However, if she’s super frisky and active, give it a shot!  Ask your veterinarian for training and safety tips.

Can I Keep My Cat Indoors All The Time?

Yes! In fact, it’s actually recommended. Fluffy will be much safer indoors.  As soon as your pet steps outside, she’s vulnerable to a variety of hazards.

Some of these include:

  • Traffic
  • Wild Animals
  • Parasites
  • Weather
  • Chemical Exposure
  • Unsafe Plants
  • Stray Dogs
  • Viruses and Diseease

Some people also pose a threat, unfortunately. 

Grounding Fluffy  is also safer for local wildlife. As it turns out, Man’s Second Best Friend is an adorable little serial killer. Each year, cats kill billions of small animals, mostly birds, reptiles, and rodents. In an age when native wildlife populations are under threat, every little thing makes a difference.

What Is The Best Way To Keep My Kitty Happy Indoors?

If you want your furry pal to be happy, comfortable, and safe, you’ll need to provide both TLC and entertainment. Provide your cute pet with lots of toys, and take time to play with her daily. Kitties also appreciate having scratching posts and boards. Cat furniture, like cat towers, will help keep that little motor running. It’s also a good idea to provide a window seat for your kitty. Beds, boxes, and window seats are optional, but they do tend to get that motor going.

Apart from that, spend time with Fluffy. Talk to her, pet her, play with her, and let her snuggle up with you. Making sure your pet feels loved will help keep that motor going.

You can also provide small comforts for your cat. For instance, if you won’t be home before dark, leave a light and radio on for her, so she isn’t left alone in a dark, empty house. Ask your Fayetteville, NY veterinarian for more information.

Do you have cat care questions? Feel free to contact us anytime. As your local Fayetteville, NY veterinary clinic, and we are dedicated to providing great care.