Keeping Your Indoor Cat Happy

Did you know that one of the most beneficial things you can do for your feline companion is to ground her? Our feline companions can be rather adventurous. Many of them enjoy going outside and engaging in exciting feline activities, such as leaving paw prints on your windshield, rolling around in the driveway, and, of course, proudly dropping dead birds and mice on your porch. However, cats are definitely safer remaining indoors. In this story, a local Hutchinson Island, FL veterinarian shares some tips for keeping an inside furball happy, healthy, and purring.

Do I Have To Keep My Cat Indoors All The Time?

We always recommend keeping Fluffy inside at all times. She’ll be much safer! As soon as your cute pet steps outside, she is vulnerable to a variety of risks.

This includes:

  • Cars
  • Weather
  • Wild animals
  • Parasites
  • Chemical Exposure
  • Unsafe Plants
  • Stray dogs
  • Viruses and Diseases

Kitties that go out are also much more likely to be injured, lost, stolen, or murdered.

Keeping Fluffy indoors is also safer for the nearby fauna. Man’s Second Best Friend is actually a cute little serial murderer. Fluffy may look innocent, but she actually kills billions of tiny creatures each year, primarily birds, reptiles, and rodents. With so many native wildlife species in jeopardy, every effort to help them counts.

How Can I Keep Fluffy Healthy Indoors?

Fluffy’s basic care requirements will be the same whether she is an indoor cat, an outdoor cat, or is free to roam: she’ll need nutritious, age-appropriate food, fresh water, a clean litterbox, and a comfortable shelter.

Proper veterinarian care is also important. We recommend that all cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and always kept up-to-date on their immunizations and parasite management. Fluffy will also need to come in at least once a year for checkups and screenings.

Ask your Hutchinson Island, FL veterinarian for particular guidance.

How Can I Get My Cat to Stay In?

One of the best things you can do here is to start young. Kitties that were raised inside are usually content to stay there as they grow up. Set these ground rules from the day you bring your feline friend home.

You may need to use some cunning to make Fluffy apprehensive about going outside. When you find her sniffing near the door, do something to scare her. You don’t want to injure or terrify her; that will only make her more determined to escape. Try squirting her with water. Making a loud noise could also work. Sound a bike horn, set an alarm on your phone, rattle a jar of change, or simply clap your hands.

How Do I Keep My Indoor Cat Happy?

Entertainment and stimulation are the keys here. Even the laziest cat can’t spend all of her time sleeping. Give Fluffy lots of entertaining toys and a good scratching post or board. Cat furniture, such as a cat tower, can also keep the motor running. We’d also recommend giving your cat a good window seat.

Kitties also enjoy having scratching posts and boards. Cat furnishings, such as cat towers, can help keep his motor working. It’s also a good idea to have a window seat for your cat. Beds, crates, and window seats are optional, but they do help to get the engine going.

Aside from that, simply spend time with Fluffy. Talk to her, pet her, play with her, and allow her to snuggle up with you. Making your pet feel appreciated will help keep that motor working. Small conveniences can go a long way. If you won’t be home before nightfall, turn on a light and television for your cat before you leave. Contact your Hutchinson Island, FL veterinarian for further information.

How Do I Make My Home Fun For Fluffy? 

It is true that our feline friends benefit from the activity and excitement that comes from being outside. There is a way to give your cat the best of both worlds: provide a safe, secure environment with some of the pleasures of being outside. A catio, of course, is the ideal solution. This can include a screened or enclosed porch or patio, an extra room, or even a sunny corner.

Regardless of where you place the space, you’ll want to include some cat furniture and toys. You may also want to include some pet-friendly plants for your cat to investigate and chew on. Catnip is the obvious choice, but there are many others to pick from:

Here are some good ones:

Wheatgrass is a popular supplement. It turns out that it’s also beneficial for Fluffy. Wheat grass contains important vitamins and elements such riboflavin, vitamin E, and folic acid. Your cat can safely eat some greens, and you’ll have fresh ingredients for smoothies. Many herbs are fine, too. You’ll be able to use them for cooking, and your cat can safely nibble on them. Rosemary, basil, lemongrass, sage, thyme, mint, dill, and cilantro are all acceptable.

As for flowers, zinnias and marigolds are both suitable for cats. African violets are also non-toxic to cats and quite easy to grow! Other safe choices include asters, Freesia, Gerbera daisies, orchids, roses, snapdragons, and sunflowers. 

A word of caution: avoid getting lilies. These are extremely deadly to our feline pals. Fluffy could get very sick just by drinking the water or nibbling on a single leaf!

As for houseplants, Spider plants are extremely popular houseplants, and for good reason. They’re lovely and easy to grow. They are also safe for cats. (Note: this does not mean the plant will be secure from your cat; many kitties simply cannot resist them!) Boston ferns, prayer plants, ferns, bromeliads, cast iron plants, peperomias, and friendship plants are also viable possibilities. Many potted trees are also fine. If you want a larger plant, consider purchasing a rubber tree plant. These are ideal for bad gardeners because they are nearly impossible to kill. Ponytail palms and money trees are also safe for Fluffy. Areca palms are also acceptable.

The ASPCA website contains additional information regarding safe and dangerous plants here.  

Another note on safety? Keep Fluffy in mind when arranging them: don’t place a large plant with trailing leaves on a tiny stand that your cat could knock over upon herself.

Should I Walk My Indoor Cat?

This cannot be rated as universally positive. While some bold and adventurous kittens enjoy going for walks, a more timid kitty may be too afraid of the outdoors to appreciate them. If your furball appears to be satisfied as an indoor pet, simply let sleeping kittens rest. Otherwise, you can give it a try. Ask your veterinarian for training advice.

Should I Get My Cat A Buddy? 

That’s really a purrsonal choice. You’ll need to consider the ages and temperaments of both cats. If your feline pal is a kitten, she’ll probably enjoy having another furball to grow up with. A senior cat that has never had furry roommates, on the other hand, may be less than thrilled. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for advice.

Make An Appointment At Your Hutchinson Island, FL Pet Clinic

As your local Hutchinson Island, FL veterinary practice, we are committed to providing excellent care. Please feel free to contact us at any time!

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