By Jane Wardle
Cats can live very happily indoors, and many owners choose that lifestyle for their feline friends for numerous reasons. A cat can live a long and happy life with a few considerations to satisfy their natural instincts and keep them active.
Do cats like playing by themselves?
Play is a great stress buster: it relieves tension and raises mood. Not only that, an active cat is less likely to be overweight.
Treat dispenser toys are designed to conceal treats, piquing your cat’s interest and making them earnt their treat. Keeping them entertained whilst they delve into nooks and crannies for their favourite goodies provides lots of fun and stimulation and helps your cat use their natural born instinct to hunt. You could have different types of dispenser toys situated in various rooms in your house.
There are lots of types of treat dispensers or puzzles that can be laden with cat treats, but make sure they are factored into their meal plans to avoid overeating.
Honeysuckle wood is a natural toy for cats and makes a great alternative to catnip that your cat will enjoy over and over. Find out more here to read the latest research on how cats respond to the properties in honeysuckle.
Paper bags (handles removed) make simple yet effective boredom busters to bounce on and tear. Place round the house, with a treat inside, so your kitty can discover them throughout the day.
Simple balls with bells will grab your cat’s attention. They are lightweight and can be thrown around without fear of damage to the furniture. Perfect for your feline friend to play with on their own or with company.
What are the best toys to play with your indoor cat?
A fishing rod-style toy may look just like a piece of fabric on a stick, but it is a long-enduring toy that has been a staple in cats’ repertoire of toys. It satisfies a cat’s instinctive desire to stalk and hunt.
Blow bubbles with your cat, but make sure the bubbles are non-toxic, and watch them chase and bounce after the bubbles.
Play hide-and seek by hiding one of your cat’s toys under a blanket and watch them uncover their treasure.
Change toys on a regular basis
A cat will lose interest in a toy when it has ‘killed’ them, but you don’t have to buy new toys each week to keep your cat stimulated. Instead, rotate the toys by locking them away and then bring them out at a later date to keep your cat interested.
Do cats like dens?
Oh yes, they do. Cats find comfort and security from enclosed spaces, making a cardboard box a perfect hideaway. They are a safe zone where predators can’t sneak up from behind, and a place to hide where they can hunt and ambush prey. A cardboard box is multifunctional: not only are they a hideaway, they are a great place to sleep, and we all know how much our furry felines like to sleep!
A possible downfall is the texture of a cardboard box is ideal for biting, chewing and scratching, so the life of the box might not be that long. At least in these times, with so many home deliveries whilst we avoid shops, there seems to be a never-ending supply of cardboard boxes arriving in our homes. A good tip is to let them have the boxes without the print: the less ink consumed, the better.
Is sunbathing good for cats?
Cats and kittens are naturally inquisitive. Find a safe spot to let your kitty watch the world go by next to a window so they bask in any sunshine that may filter through. Just like humans, a cat’s temperature drops whilst it is sleeping, so lying in the sun and keeping warm is an easy way to regulate their body temperatures.
Should I have two cats?
Having a second cat can lessen the loneliness and boredom a solitary, indoor cat may experience. This has to be weighed up with the extra cost and effort needed with two cats and the fact that the cats might end up fighting over their shared indoor territory and resources. It’s important to note that where practical, the rule of thumb is one litter box per cat plus one in a separate location.
A happy indoor cat
So, if you have an indoor cat, make sure they have enough stimulus to keep them active and happy when you’re not home. When you are home, spend time with them and your bond will grow and grow. Your cat can be just as happy as their outdoor friends.