Cat owners might be tempted to let their cats outside from time to time. However, there are some very good reasons why they should be keeping their cats indoors instead. For starters, a pet cat can come into contact with a wide range of potential threats while outdoors, thus increasing the chances of them coming to harm. One excellent example would be other cats. Sometimes, this is because feral cats can carry infectious diseases, which can be spread to pet cats through their interactions. Other times, this is because cats can get into fights with one another with very unpleasant results. Having said that, cats face other threats besides cats, with examples including but not limited to cars, poisonous substances, and bigger predators.
Besides this, it should be mentioned that cats are excellent predators in their own right. Unfortunately, this is not a good thing because loose cats are estimated to kill hundreds of millions of birds on an annual basis. Never mind the other small animals that can be targeted by them. This issue is particularly problematic in places with birds as well as other small animals that are already struggling on the brink of extinction, meaning that they don’t need one more stress factor in the form of loose cats. Summed up, it is clear that there are some very good reasons to keep cats indoors, both for their sake and for the sake of everything around them. However, should interested individuals choose to do so, they will need to be prepared to keep their cats as happy and as healthy as possible.
Here are some tips that can be used to keep an indoor cat both happy and healthy:
Build an Enclosure
One option for letting a cat experience the outdoors without letting them either be a threat or become threatened would be letting them out into a purpose-built cat enclosure. Be warned that this can be more complicated and time-consuming than what interested individuals would expect, not least because they will need to make sure that there is absolutely no way for a cat to make their escape from the cat enclosure. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the measures that can stop a cat aren’t guaranteed to stop other animals, meaning that it is still best for cat owners to monitor their cats while the latter are outside in the cat enclosure.
Teach Your Cat to Be On a Leash
Another option for letting a cat experience the outdoors would be training them to walk on a leash. Despite the stereotypes, this is something that can be taught to cats, particularly when it is done when they are still young. However, it will still take a fair amount of time and effort, meaning that interested individuals might want to look up effective ways to do so before proceeding further. In any case, while there are some cats that take well to being tethered to something before being let loose, they should still be monitored the entire time to prevent any potential complications that can pop up.
Get a Companion
Getting the cat a companion could be a good way to keep them occupied throughout the entire day. Generally speaking, this means another cat provided that cat owners introduce the new cat in the right way. However, it is possible for cats and dogs to get along as well, meaning that is another potential option. Please note that cats are by no means guaranteed to get along with one another right away. Never mind with other animals. As such, interested individuals will have to be prepared to put in serious effort to coax their cat if the latter seems to be reluctant so as to minimize potential issues.
Play-time is one of the best ways to keep cats stimulated so that they will stay out of trouble. Getting cats more cat toys can be very helpful. However, it can also be a good idea to switch out toys from time to time, which can be very useful for making the toys seem new and exciting for the cat without actually having to buy more toys on a regular basis. Cat owners should make sure to use cat toys that can harm cats only when they are in a position to monitor their cat so that they can step in as needed. In contrast, if they are not available, they should remove those toys while leaving out nothing but those options that can be considered perfectly safe.
Get a Cat Tree
Climbing is a pretty powerful instinct in cats. As a result, it can be a good idea to provide them with a way to indulge those instincts by setting up a cat tree. One option for getting a cat tree would be just buying one from the right source. However, people with a fair amount of confidence in their carpentry skills might be tempted to set up something on their own, particularly if they are seeking something more unusual for their cat. Having said this, a cat tree can provide cats with more access to more points in the home, meaning that interested individuals should do a pass to make sure that it won’t introduce any new exits for their cats.
Be Prepared For the Potential For Cats to Get Out Anyways
On a final note, cat owners need to be prepared for the potential for their cats to get out in spite of their precautions. Perhaps they will underestimate their cat’s climbing skills or perhaps they will overlook a cat-sized exit at some point. No matter what, interested individuals need to remember that their precautions aren’t guaranteed to be perfect, meaning that they will want to outfit their cat with a collar plus clear identification. This way, they can increase the chances of their cat getting back to them even if the cat manages to get out. Of course, if interested individuals want even more peace of mind, there is the even surer option of having their cat microchipped, which won’t provide perfect results but can still make for much better outcomes than otherwise possible.