There are some great advantages to be gained by keeping your cat confined indoors. These include decreased risk of injury and disease and as a result a significantly longer life expectancy. Not to mention the benefit for wildlife and the appreciation of the non-cat lovers in the community. With a bit of extra effort, these cats can still have a lifestyle that meets their needs.
Even cats that spend some time outdoors can benefit from additional opportunities for mental and physical activity in their home environment. This is particularly true for individuals prone to anxiety disorders. The following suggestions allow cats to focus their energies in a healthy, positive way that helps to relieve stress. Cats are individuals so it is important to trial as many of the following as possible, so that you can identify the elements that your cat appreciates the most.
Cats are very sight sensitive to moving objects, so providing toys with an element of motion will help to attract your cat’s interest and enthusiasm for play. These can vary from simple home-made items such as scrunched up pieces of newspaper on the end of a piece of elastic, attached to a stationary object or tied to your belt so they bobble around on the floor behind you as you walk.
Various types of toys are also available commercially and these include such things as balls containing bells, cat dancers and various furry items such as mice.
Some cats have a genetic predisposition to respond pleasurably to catnip. Toys are available that contain this substance or you might like to grow your own indoor garden and include catnip, catmint or catgrass.
Simple items such as table tennis balls or non-toxic soap bubbles can provide avenues for fun interaction.
Interacting with the outside world
Cats will often be content with a view of the outside world, even if they cannot venture in to it. Some are quite happy with access to a window ledge while others may be more satisfied with an enclosed outdoor run that extends out into the garden area. There are companies that specialise in erecting and designing these structures with cats’ particular needs in mind. Supervised access to the outdoors on a harness is another alternative