There are multiple reasons why people keep their cats indoors. Some cats live in crowded cities or are close to dangerous roads. Others may still be weak due to illness and need recovery time at home. Whatever the reason is: here, we have a few ways to make indoors more fun for your cat!
#1 Have a companion
What's better than one cat? Exactly. Two cats. Having two cats is often perfect because they are more likely to play with each other when you are away, whereas a single cat will probably only lie around and sleep all day when there's no one at home. A bigger step would be a dog, however, this is something you should consider carefully as not all cats and dogs will get along. The best way to get two pets used to each other is when they grow up together.
#2 Lots of cat toys
You should always provide some fun toys for your cat to play with. Cats usually go crazy about catnip toys. Catnip targets your cat's "happy" receptors causing them to roll, flip, and rub around the floor. Eventually, it'll get your cat tired so make sure to switch things up with regular toys too, for example, a small robotic mouse that moves automatically. This will usually satisfy your cat's urge to hunt.
#3 Racing and jumping games
Fast racing and jumping games are important so that your cat can get some exercise. A simple string with a small toy attached at the end that is quickly pulled across the floor is perfect for this. Alternatives to this are braided ribbon that you wind or throw through the air in rapid movements or a small rubber ball that is thrown across the apartment. A laser pointer is another great way to get your cat moving. Be extra cautious when using a laser pointer and don't point it into your cat's or anyone else's eyes since that can be harmful.
#4 Make feeding more fun
Puzzle feeders are fun ways to challenge your cat while giving them a treat. They are containers that hold food and must be handled in different ways to release food. This helps to extend the mealtime, increase the physical strength required to obtain the food, and are great brain-teasers for your cat. Puzzle feeders can be easily made at home with a box and a few empty yogurt containers. There are great YouTube tutorials on it.
#5 Let them climb
Cats appreciate vertical space more than horizontal space. They are also excellent climbers, and the best way to support that skill is cat trees. There are several cat trees on the market. You can get one that's mounted from floor to ceiling or a regular standing cat tree with a few houses and baskets. The higher the cat tree, the more fun it will be for your cat. You can be certain that your cat will rest in the highest basket of the cat tree overlooking his or her world.
#6 The classic cardboard box
Every cat owner has come across this phenomenon of getting their cat a very nice present and the cat ending up liking the box it came in more than the actual item. Take this to your advantage and collect all the cardboard boxes you can to DIY a fort or house. Or whatever your cat uses it for. Fill it with paper, leaves, or other materials and toss a treat in with your cat around. If that's not enough to encourage the cat to search, you can help and awaken its hunting instincts: Just use a string and pull it through the box - if the toy rustles in the box, it's even better.
#7 Offer hiding spots
Most cats love to be able to crawl in or under somewhere. You should therefore build a den for your cat from time to time! It's very easy, for example with a box and a cut-out hole. Increase the urge to explore by putting a blanket over it and leaving a small cave entrance free. Inside, a reward can be waiting for your cat or a warm, fuzzy blanket they can sleep on. The cat will probably be watching you curiously while you are setting up and will roam around you.
#8 Have cat-friendly plants at home
When roaming around outside, cats will usually nibble on grass here and there. Provide some pet-friendly plants around your house to mimic an outdoor feeling. Moreover, plants might help your cat release any gastrointestinal issues and ease an uncomfortable feeling. The grass can provide a substance that fills the stomach or, in some cases, it can induce vomiting to get rid of something in the stomach that makes your cat feel nauseous. While vomiting from time to time is not something you should be worried about, it is still important to keep an eye out for your cat if you notice it vomiting more frequently. See a vet if necessary.
#9 Create a safe area outside
If you live in the city this might be more difficult. But if you happen to have a balcony or a little garden, create a safe space outdoors for your cat to go to. You can purchase wired fences and nets to protect your cat from falling or escaping while still allowing them to explore the sounds and feel of nature.
#10 Spend time with your cat
This one is a no-brainer. Cats sometimes get clingy and the person they will turn to is obviously the person they spend the most time with. This can range from playing with your cat to just snuggling up with them while watching TV. Spending quality time with your cat is very important for your bond to your pet. Make sure to always take time out of your busy day to give your cat some love and attention!
If you'd like to read more about ways to keep your cat busy, check out these cat exercises from our previous blog post. Until next time, stay healthy!