Indoor or Outdoor?

Indoor cats can live just as a fulfilling lives as outdoor cats, without the numerous risks to their health and safety.

Many cat owners to let their cat outside during the day, so they can roam the yard and lock them securely inside at night. This eliminates nocturnal hunting and protects native wildlife. Cats who are allowed outside should wear a bell on their collar to alert native animals/birds to their presence.

Outdoors

There are plenty of safe ways to give your cat access to the outdoors:

  1. Build a cat walkway – enclosed ramps from window to window on the outside of your house will provide your cat with some basking time and a great view to watch what’s going on, without being exposed to all the dangers of outside play time.
  2. Cat proof your yard – if you can’t bear the idea of keeping your cat inside, building cat proof fences isn’t as hard as you might think. Chicken wire at a 45 degree angle will prevent all cats from being able to scale fences – just make sure that the surrounding trees are cat proofed too and there are no platforms to leap from. Alternatively, string some plastic tubing threaded on a wire around the top – they won’t be able to get a footing as it spins around.
  3. Build a cat enclosure – having a cat flap that leads out into a completely sealed enclosure with cat trees and toys is the best way to provide them with safe, outdoor access.
  4. Teach them to walk on a lead – most cats can learn to love being outside on a lead. Make sure to tailor your walks to suit your cat – some will want to explore, whereas others will just want to bask in the sun.
  5. If none of these are an option for you, keeping your indoor cat happy and content is simple with these tips and tricks:

 Indoors

  1. Use an interactive feeder – having to work for food will keep the cat busy, tired and quell her hunting instincts. There are many options available and rotating a few will ensure that boredom does not become a factor.
  2. Build cat trees or climbing places – cats like to have the majority of their territory high up where they can’t be ambushed and can keep an eye on what’s going on. Try to have platforms close to windows where they can look out and make sure that they have perches available in the centre of the house, where they can watch everyone’s comings and goings.
  3. Windowsills – they love to sunbathe and windows are like a TV for cats. If you have narrow windowsills, install a cat perch or place a climbing tree close by so they can watch the outdoors. Consider installing a bird feeder to attract birds close to the window, where your cat can watch.
  4. Hiding places – having a place to crawl into and feel safe is an important part of being a cat. Even something as simple as a cardboard box will provide them with endless hours of entertainment.
  5. Playtime – all cats can be coaxed into a game, if you have a variety of toys available. Try and find something that they find interesting, whether it’s material to suck on, crinkly paper to scratch or moving toys to chase. Have a few different ones available and rotate them to keep the novelty
  6. Bring the outside in – provide them with grass or plants to roll around in and chew on. Kits are available to buy, allowing you to grow your own catnip or cat grass for indoor cats.
  7. Companion – if you have a single cat, try introducing a friend. Having a companion for grooming, playtime and to help guard the territory can greatly enrich a cat’s life.