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Keeping cats indoors

Cats with outdoor access benefit from more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviours like climbing, exploring, roaming their territory and communicating with other cats in the area.

Keeping your cat as a house cat will help keep them away from busy roads, but some indoor environments can become predictable and boring, leading to stress, inactivity and obesity.

It can be particularly hard for cats to cope with living indoors if they have lots of energy, love to explore and have previously been allowed time outdoors.

However for some cats, for example those with a disability or medical problem, living indoors could be a better option, and they may feel more comfortable.  

Bear in mind that indoor cats require lots more of your time and effort to be happy and healthy.

Tips for keeping house cats happy:

  • Provide a litter tray in a quiet place; clean it regularly. Cats are often reluctant to use a dirty tray or one located in a busy area.
  • Ensure your cat has enough space. Indoor-only cats should have access to several rooms.
  • Allow your cat access to a minimum of two types of resting places, one at floor level, enclosed on three sides and another higher one with a good view - this should be safe for your cat to access.
  • Provide scratching posts in several locations so they can mark territory, strengthen muscles and sharpen claws.
  • Provide opportunities for daily exercise to stay fit and healthy.
  • Provide/create new ways for your cat to stay active, both physically and mentally. Cats can become frustrated and bored with indoor-only lifestyles.
  • As your cat won’t have the freedom to interact with people/other animals outside, you become their main companion; make plenty of time to interact.
  • You shouldn’t leave cats alone for long periods during the day.

For more information, please download our guide meeting the needs of indoor cats (575 KB)