Keeping a cat indoors? Make sure it gets enough challenge and exercise!
Because of the increasingly busy and dangerous traffic situation, a lot of people opt for keeping their cats indoors. Generally speaking, this shouldn’t be a problem as long as your cat has enough room and challenges. Considering keeping your cat indoors? Read our recommendations below about how to keep your cat healthy and stress-free.
Can a cat be kept indoors?
Cats are natural hunters. They enjoy hunting almost anything that jumps, runs or crawls. An outdoor cat can spend hours doing just that. So it sounds a bit contradictory to keep a cat indoors all the time. And yet, they do really enjoy an indoor setting (with all those warm sleeping spots). Especially when you keep it indoors from a young age, your cat probably doesn’t mind. Indoor cats generally live longer too, because they aren’t exposed to dangers as much. Do make sure your home offers enough challenge and stimuli to make sure your indoor cat can satisfy its instincts.
Recommendations for enough challenge and exercise
Toys are very important, especially early on in life. Cats are often satisfied with the smallest of toys: a little ball, a fake mouse or what about an empty toilet paper roll, cardboard box or paper bag?
The mandatory scratching post
You cannot do without a scratching post; a cat must be able to sharpen its nails. If you don’t provide it with a scratching post, your couch, carpet or beautiful chair will most likely suffer.
A cat enjoys watching something from a distance and being able to retreat into a quiet corner every now and then. That is why a home with at least two rooms or a large room with a quiet corner is a must.
Another thing that makes cats happy: looking out the window! Make sure your cat is able to sit on the windowsill or has a spot for looking out the window and keeping an eye on everything that’s going on outside.
Feed your indoor cat in an elevated spot. This stimulates exercise and stirs its hunting instinct.
Playing with the cat: good for both cat and owner
Cats love playing with their owners. Challenge it with a rope, ball, fake mouse, some scrunched-up paper or a cardboard box with newspaper shreds. Having an indoor cat hunt a moving piece of rope or chase a ball or a mouse, stimulates the cat to exercise and stirs its hunting instinct. This contributes to good health. Especially kittens need a lot of play. Playing with them for about twenty minutes a day will help you bond and ensure they get enough exercise. Alternating between different toys will keep it exciting and challenging.
Did you know that… playing with a cat is also very healthy for humans? It takes your mind off things, plus a happy cat makes for a happy human, wouldn’t you agree?
Don’t forget about the litter box!
An indoor cat needs a litter box. Read more on how to select and install a litter box here.