How to keep a happy cat indoors

behaviour cats educational obesity Pet Bonds spoil your pet

A “catio” is ideal for your feline

Alex Rose-Innes

Animal trainers will be the first to tell cat owners that not going outside would make your cat unhappy. Thinking that a cat needed outside time is apparently a myth. If training your feline child to be happy and stimulated indoors would not necessitate it roaming outside (and adding to your worries.)

So, what is the correct way of ensuring your cat-child is content to be indoors?

Playing regularly with your cat and providing entertaining and stimulating toys will provide all the exercise they need and satisfy their stalking instincts. Kittens which are kept indoors while growing up are usually happy to stay inside, but it does mean that one should start training them at a very early age.

A screened porch would provide enough opportunity for your feline to experience the outdoors safely. Called at “catio” (as in human patio), would be ideal without the risks. But do not leave a cat outside by themselves if you have to leave for work as other animals could enter the yard and kitty’s safe place.

Cat-proof the yard and regularly check for escape routes in a fence. Ensure no toxic plants, garden chemicals or other dangerous objects are in close proximity.

If you would like to take your cat for walks and you live in a peaceful neighbourhood without roaming dogs, consider a harness and train kitty to walk on a leash. It does take time and patience, so once again, start young and do not make it an issue or be nervous. Be calm so that your kitten can learn that it is safe with you. This way, even if a harness is taken off, it would stay by your side, say while you are gardening.

There is always the exception to any rule and just as certain dogs, some cats may not take to a leash or harness. With owners starting to train their cats very young, some felines even enjoy driving around in the car. And some human kitty moms invest in a see-through carrier bag, (similar to a back pack or papoose), having a totally content and safe cat inside but able to enjoy the outdoors and being close to its “parent.”

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