The Benefits of an Indoor Life
There are many benefits associated with keeping cats indoors all of the time. Indoor cats cannot kill or injure wildlife, and are less likely to be involved in car accidents or to be injured in fights with possums and other cats. Bites from other cats can cause nasty abscesses that sometimes requires surgical drainage and antibiotic therapy. Cat bites are also the most common means of transfer of Feline Immunudeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) between cats..
How To Create A Stimulating Environment
Cats can adapt very successfully to living indoors if you provide them with daily environmental enrichment. There are a number of things you can do to make life interesting for your indoor cats as you can see from the following list of suggestions, kindly supplied by Dr Robert Holmes, an animal behavioural specialist.
- Provide areas such as shelves, window ledges or a screened enclosure where
- they can lie at different times of the day to get sun, fresh air and a view of the outside world.
- Provide a scratching post.
- Take them for excursions outside your home either in your arms or using a harness and leash.
- Provide lots of individual attention – carry them around, give lots of cuddles and get into the habit of grooming them regularly with a soft brush.
- Play hide and seek around the house
- Blow non-toxic bubbles for them to chase and burst.
- Provide an indoor “tree” – a thick tall post with platforms at different heights and angles on which they can climb and rest. For added excitement you can place toys and dry food on the different platforms for them to find.
- Get them to chase things – small fast moving objects hopping along the ground or flying through the air are best. Attach furry toys or a hollow plastic golf ball on the end of a string or piece of elastic and attach this to a pole – you can leave this at such an angle that the cat can bat the toy around or you can run around trailing the object behind you with the cat in hot pursuit!
- A light spot from a torch or laser pointer is also a good thing to chase.
- Throw hollow plastic golf balls around and leave them lying around the house.
- Hide treats such as high quality dry cat food around the house for them to hunt and discover.
- Provide a regular supply of cardboard boxes or paper bags to explore.
- Have pot plants containing grass, alfalfa or catnip for them to chew.
Installing a Cat Run
Also worth considering is having a cat run installed – these can be individually designed to suit your cats’ needs and your property – they can run around your house, balcony or verandah, in your garden, along fences and around trees and bushes. Runs can be permanent or made to be dismantled. Please ask us for further details and contact numbers if you are interested.
Tips for Feline Fun
For more ideas on environmental enrichment as well as cat behaviour, basic training and more why not come to our “Tips for Feline Fun” seminar. Call the clinic for more details on 9510 1335.