How to look after house cats
Keeping your cat indoors will 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 - such as those with a disability or medical problem - living indoors could be a better option, and they may feel more comfortable.
How to keep house cats happy
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. That means that an indoor cat will require lots more of your time and effort to be happy and healthy.
Here's what you'll need to remember:
- Provide a litter tray in a quiet place and 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.
- Give them at least two types of resting place - 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.
- Keep them active - provide opportunities for daily exercise to keep them fit and healthy, and dream up new ways for your cat to stay active, both physically and mentally. Cats can become frustrated and bored with indoor-only lifestyles.
- Make plenty of time to interact - as your cat won't have the freedom to interact with people/other animals outside, you'll be their main companion.
- Don't leave them alone too much - you shouldn't leave cats alone for long periods during the day.
For more tips on caring for your house cat, have a read of our guide to meeting the needs of indoor cats.