Outdoor cats have more options for expressing their natural behavior, such as climbing trees, exploring, communicating with other cats in the area and dealing with their territory. However, this is only possible if, for example, you have an enclosed garden (and there are certainly good options for that), or live in a quiet neighborhood where there is little traffic.
Unfortunately, going outside for research is not an option for many cats. Keeping your cat indoors requires more time from you as the owner and also more effort to keep your cat happy. Because living for a cat indoors can become predictable and boring; this can cause stress, inactivity and being overweight.
Certainly there are cats who have a lot of trouble with living indoors if they have a lot of energy, are crazy to go out for research and are used to being able to go outside with their previous boss / house.
But don’t grieve, keeping your cat at home doesn’t mean he has a bad life! I can give you all tips to keep your indoor cat happy and stress-free.
Tips to make an indoor cat happy
#1 You can create more space in the house
Consider making more spaces available for your cat, but also by thinking more three-dimensionally!
For example, you can lay “book shelves” on which your cat can climb and thus suddenly get more room in the house. Be creative with this and create a route that they can take while making smart use of cupboards on which they can also sit and climb.
#2 Play together
Make time to play with your cat and make him move; this way you ensure that he remains healthy and fit and can lose his energy.
For some cats, playing is not that exciting, but keep looking for what your cat likes and my experience is that they like the simplest toys: strings, rubber bands, plugs and fishing rods with something attached to it.
#3 To much energy?
You can also make very energetic cats exercise with the CatWheel or OneFastCat, a treadmill for cats. With the right training and guidance, many cats enjoy this very much and this also gives them a lot of exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Always find new ways to keep your cat busy, both physically and mentally. Cats can get frustrated and bored when kept indoors. There are many great videos on YouTube to do brainwork games with your cat, for example, to keep them mentally busy.
#5 You are his buddy
Your indoor cat has no freedom to interact with other people / animals outside the home. That means you will be his buddy, so make time every day to interact with your cat.
#6 Resting places
Create two types of resting places: one at floor level, but closed on three sides (such as a pyramid basket) and one that is higher up where they can see everything. A resting place must really be a quiet place in the house!
#7 Look outside
Making sure that your cat can see what happens outside can be an advantage anyway. For example, make a place by the window. Please note that there are no outdoor cats that can cause stress, because this can manifest itself in sudden spraying / peeing outside the box. Your cat will feel threatened by the cat that is always walking past the window!
#8 Scratching posts
Also provide scratching posts in different places so that they can mark their territory, at the same time be able to maintain their nails and stretch for a while without starting the bench. Choose both vertical scratching posts and horizontal variants and that they stay in place.
#9 Litter box
The rule is still two trays per cat. Cats prefer their small and large needs in different places. Also place the container where it is quiet and not everyone continuously passes by. Just because your cat is doing fine with one litter box does not mean that this cat will find it a pleasant experience. Also ensure a good cat litter policy: more than enough grid and keep the litter super clean, read: clean once or twice a day.
#10 Multiple cats in the house
Also make sure there are possibilities, such that the cats can shut themselves off from other cats. A cat flap (with chip) in a door can take care of this and is also useful for allowing them to eat separately and quietly. This gives a feeling of having your own secure territory inside; put a litter box in your own room.
Even more tips
Do you have a balcony? There are all kinds of ways to safely deposit them. This way the cat can go outside a bit.
Teach a young indoor cat to walk on a harness. You can then walk your cat outside in a safe place. This is something you have to learn step by step.
Don’t leave your cat alone during the day for too long, an indoor cat needs more interaction with you than an outdoor cat that can entertain itself.
Keeping a cat indoors requires more work, attention and time from you as the owner, and it is certainly not impossible to make and keep an indoor cat happy!