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Top FAQS About Keeping An Indoor Cat Happy
February 15, 2024

Our feline buddies can be pretty adventurous. Many cats enjoy going outside and participating in fun kitty activities, such as leaving paw art on your windshield, rolling in the driveway, and, of course, leaving presents–typically small, dead animals–on the porch. However, they are much safer staying indoors. In fact, grounding Fluffy is one of the best things you can do for her. A local Southern Lake County, FL veterinarian offers some advice on keeping an inside cat happy, healthy, and purring in this article.

Do Cats Like Staying Inside? 

It depends on the kitty. Cats tend to be homebodies: even those that are allowed to go out usually stay pretty close to home. Purrsonal preference also comes into play here, though. While some cats just can’t stand to stay inside, others are scared of the outdoors. Fluffy can change her mind here. In time, even former strays can lose interest in going outside.

How Do I Make My Cat Stay Inside?

At the end of the day, your best bet is convincing Fluffy to love the indoor life. A cat that likes staying in is much easier to ground than one that is more adventurous. Otherwise, you’ll be constantly trying to corral your feline friend and keep her from getting out.

Spaying and neutering can go a long way here. If your pet hasn’t been fixed yet, schedule that appointment right away.

It’s best to start young. If your feline friend is just a kitten, raise her to be an indoor cat from the beginning. Establish these ground rules from the day you bring your feline friend home. This is extra important with kittens! 

To make Fluffy wary of going outside, try using some trickery. Whenever she investigates the door or the area around it, do something that will startle her. You don’t want to hurt her or scare her: that will only make her more determined to escape. The point is to annoy her just enough for her to become wary of the door. Try squirting her with water. You can also make a loud or jarring noise. 

Other options include:

  • Using a bicycle horn
  • Setting off an alarm on your phone
  • Shaking a change jar
  • Clapping your hands

What Can I Do to Keep My Cat Healthy Indoors?

Our feline pals all have the same primary care needs. Regardless of whether she lives indoors or outdoors, your feline friend will need age-appropriate food, fresh water, and a comfortable shelter.

Fluffy will also need proper veterinary care. Regular exams and screenings are crucial. We also strongly recommend microchipping and spaying or neutering. 

Additionally, you’ll need to keep your pet current on vaccines and parasite control as well. In between visits, watch for signs of illness. Detecting and treating potential issues early on can be highly beneficial!

Ask your Southern Lake County, FL veterinarian for specific advice.

Should I Keep My Cat Indoors All The Time?

This isn’t just okay: we actually recommend it. Fluffy is much safer inside. As soon as she sets her adorable little paws outside, she is at risk from several dangers.

These include:

  • Cars
  • Weather
  • Wild Animals
  • Parasites
  • Chemical Exposure
  • Unsafe Plants
  • Stray Dogs
  • Viruses and Diseases

Unfortunately, cats that go out are much more likely to get lost, stolen, or even killed.

This is safer for local wildlife as well. As it turns out, Fluffy is, well, an adorable little serial killer. Cats kill billions of small animals each year, primarily birds, reptiles, and rodents. When so many native wildlife populations are threatened, anything you can do to help matters.

How Can I Keep My Indoor Cat Safe?

It is important to petproof your home. As we all know, our feline pals are curious, playful, and sometimes a bit reckless. This makes for a fun and adorable combination, but it can also be a deadly one. Address or secure any objects that could be dangerous to your pet. That includes small or sharp objects, such as fishing lures, pens, safety pins, craft kit pieces, and pins; ropes and strings, plastic bags and wrappers; and any toxic chemicals or plants. We would also advise that you  keep large appliances closed when not in use, and make sure your windows and screens close securely.

How Do I Make Sure My Kitty Doesn’t Get Bored?

Fluffy really, really loves doing nothing at all, but even the laziest kitty can’t spend all of her time snoozing. Pets need ways to entertain themselves and practice their lioning skills. Your furry pal can’t sleep all the time! Play with your cat every day, and offer plenty of toys. Fluffy will also appreciate having some good kitty furniture, and perhaps a window seat. 

Our feline buddies do benefit from exercise and stimulation they get outdoors. A catio, of course, is the perfect option for providing the best of both worlds. This will offer Fluffy a safe, secure area where she can enjoy the entertainment and enrichment of being outdoors without risking her health or safety. 

It isn’t hard to create this purrfect space for your pet. You can use a screened porch or patio, a spare room, or even a sunny corner. Then, just add some kitty furniture and toys. Voila! 

You can also include some pet-safe plants for your kitty to sniff at and nibble on. Catnip is an obvious choice, but there are many other options. Wheatgrass is rich in vitamins and nutrients, including riboflavin, Vitamin E, and folic acid. You’ll have fresh ingredients for smoothies as well. Herbs are another excellent option. Some that are safe for our feline pals include rosemary, basil, lemongrass sage, thyme, mint, dill, and cilantro.

Many flowers are also fine. Some safe flowers for cats are zinnias and marigolds. African violets, which are easy to grow and non-toxic to cats, are also safe, as are asters, freesias, Gerbera daisies, orchids, roses, snapdragons, and sunflowers. As for houseplants, Boston ferns, prayer plants, ferns, bromeliad plants, cast iron plants, peperomias, and friendship plants are all suitable options.

Potted trees are another good choice. Some safe options for Fluffy include ponytail palms, money trees, and Areca palms. Rubber trees are also safe, and are great for bad gardeners because they’re almost impossible to kill.

The ASPCA has more information about what plants are safe and unsafe here.

Consider safety when setting them up. Don’t put a heavy plant on a thin stand that Fluffy might knock over. Kitties often enjoy peeking out at their humans from behind big leaves!

Should I Walk My Indoor Cat?

This really depends on the cat! Some bold and adventurous kitties enjoy going for walks. However, a more timid kitty may be afraid of the outdoors. If your furry friend seems to be content as an indoor pet, let sleeping kitties lie. Otherwise, you can give it a shot. Talk to your Southern Lake County, FL veterinarian about training and safety tips.

Conclusion:To keep Fluffy happy, comfortable, and safe indoors, provide her with plenty of fun toys and give her a good scratching post or board. Cat furniture, such as a cat tower, can also keep her motor running. It’s also a good idea to offer your cat a good window seat. In addition to that, spend time with your pet, and make sure she feels loved by talking to her, petting her, playing with her, and snuggling up with her.

Here at Royal Oaks, your local Southern Lake County, FL veterinary clinic, we are dedicated to providing excellent care. Feel free to contact us at any time!