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Indoor cats have quite the cushy life as they do not have to hunt for their food, and get to snuggle around in warm laps and soft beds. They also live longer as they do not face the danger of predators, fast cars, adverse weather and deadly diseases. But their natural instincts tell them to stalk, hunt, scratch and mark their territory. If they do not have a chance to do these things, they get bored, depressed, irritated and sick.Bring in the outdoors
If your cat has always been an indoor cat, try giving him as many perks from the outside world as you can.
- Plant some cat grass or place catnip in a sunny window. You can also create a small nursery of pot pleasing plants to please your cat’s olfactory center. Make sure that the plants are safe. A lot of the green plants like amaryllis, English ivy, chrysanthemums, lilies, iris and tulips, are toxic to cats.
- Mount squirrel and bird feeders outside a couple of windows so that your cat is entertained by his feathered and furry neighbors.
- Offer perches by the windows, on the shelves so that your cat can keep an eye on the wildlife outside your house.
- Create a safe outdoor enclosure for your cat so that he can get closer to the breeze, birds and squirrels. It can be a pre-existing enclosure, like a screened porch, or you can build one that is easy for kitty to reach through a window or a cat door. To make it safe, ensure that the enclosure has a roof and walls. It would look closer to a chicken coop, but you should be able to build it with plastic fencing or wire.
There is no denying that your cat wants entertainment when he is indoors. Fortunately, it is much cheaper than what it takes to amuse humans.
- Scratching posts and scratch pads give your cat a chance to expend his energy, remove the worn out claw bits and play as much as he wants to. Make the spots a bit more exciting by sprinkling some catnip on top.
- Give your cat a lot of toys to keep his interest, keep rotating amongst them and introduce a couple of new ones every month. It does not have to be fancy. A box, a paper bag and wadded paper balls would do just fine.
- Hide a few treats throughout your house. Cats can keep themselves busy hunting for treasure for hours on end. You can also get a couple of treat dispensing toys.
- A lot of cats love “cat videos” full of close-ups of small mammals and birds. Pop in a DVD to see if your cat starts to track the motion of the other animals and swatting at the screen. You can also try a screensaver with flapping butterflies, burbling fish, scurrying mice and bouncing balls.