For me, I need to keep my cats indoors as I do not believe it is safe for my cats to wander outside. Where I currently live in Bulgaria there are a huge number of strays and feral cats. I am witness to the terrible suffering that some of these cats go through because they are roaming around and they are not neutered.
Female cats are literally taken by huge tomcats and are unable to get away to sleep, hunt or eat for days while they remain on heat. And I see tomcats with injuries that are horrible.
My little kitten Biden is around ten months old now. He escaped a few weeks ago and it was torment. My partner witnessed Biden being dragged away by a Tom cat that we think is his dad. My partner thought Biden had been killed as he heard his screams. We managed to get a terrified and ravenously hungry Biden back in the house after a tense 24 hours.
He is literally a third of the size of some of these huge unneutered tomcats. And he just would not stand a chance being outdoors at an age when he has become sexually mature but is so tiny.
So my cats are indoor cats!
But it’s important if you want a happy cat because you love her to keep her entertained. Your cat was pretty much designed to be hunting all day so boredom and depression can set in. Yout indoor cat is essentially in a luxury 5-star prison away from the dangers of the outdoors. So make it the best and most luxurious fun play park you can to make up for their loss of freedom.
I like to think of it like this…If I could move into a five star luxury hotel with the people I love and not have to worry about bills or shelter or anything. The only stipulation being I can’t leave the resort. I’m in! It’s a rat race out there trying to make a living and survive.
But I adore my cats so what can you do to keep your cats beyond happy?
Here’s a list of things you can do to make your indoor cats deliriously happy in their safe haven with you.
1 Clean litter trays
One of the downsides for indoor cats is they can’t just poop anywhere they like outdoors. Cats hate dirty litter trays which is understandable. Choose a litter they like and is environmentally friendly. And keep cleaning the litter trays preferably each day to remove poop and clumps. If your cats are okay with crystal litter you can even choose a litter that will change color and detects urinary and other problems with your kitty.
2 A Water Fountain
Cats are terrible drinkers. They are highly suspicious of stagnant water and can get dehydrated. You may find if you feed your cat wet food they rarely drink. But if they are eating dry food they may need to drink water.
Make sure your water bowl is regularly changed. On occasion, I feed my cats and the outdoor stray cats milk and they drink and drink and don’t stop. Another option is to invest in a water fountain. The running water will encourage your cat to drink and most of them look pretty cool. We like this one from Mospro.
3 A Furry Friend
While cats can be solitary they also love other cats. It can be very tricky introducing a new kitten or cat and it’s important that they are kept separate and introduced gradually over weeks.
4 Cat TV
Just like kids sometimes cats can be easily amused by Youtube videos. If your cats are getting hectic then turning on the TV for them can be just the ticket. While you could be negatively perceived for amusing your kids this way too much; the same does not apply to cats. Tune in to funny cat videos or set up an old laptop you don’t mind being damaged and run an 8-hour bird bonanza video designed to stimulate cats.
5 A Cat Tree
Outdoor cats love to climb tree. Give your cat the next best thing with a fun cat tree to climb. We love this 62 inch tree which is an Amazon bestseller. And cats seem to love the tree with an impressive 4.4 out of 5 star rating. Incorporating scratching areas too kitties will love this fun tree with two adorable hammocks and tunnels.
6 High Places to Rest
Biden likes the top of the wardrobe sometimes. Up there he feels like he can look down on people and Kinsey and he feels safe. Cats naturally seek high places to feel secure away from predators and other cats. Consider putting up some cat shelves for your indoor cat to feel King Of The World!
7 A Basket of Toys
Keep your indoor cat amused with a basket full of toys. You can buy many toys for a buck or two so why not go crazy? Look at this selection from Chewy. You can pick up colorful springs, catnip toys, toy mice, laser toys, balls, and teasers on strings for a couple of dollars.
8 Varied Food
Your cat ought to be chasing down birds, mice, and insects for lunch and dinner. So the food you provide is a somewhat different experience for your kitty.
Cats can get fussy. Both my cats will eat the last bit of jelly from their Felix and leave all the flakes. And I rarely see them drink water but they love milk.
But we change things up. There is so much talk about cats needing Taurine that the pet industry has us terrified to feed your cat anything other than their cat food. But it’s possible to make perfectly safe homemade food for your cat.
It can be something you do all the time as some of the practices of the pet food industry will turn your stomach. Making homemade food for your cat can be a treat for your cat and very rewarding as well as economical.
If your indoor cat doesn’t drink so much then try treating your cat to a delicious chicken soup every day.
9 Neuter your Cats
If you don’t neuter your cats prepare for yourself and your cats to be unhappy. Both are cats are getting neutered in the next few weeks but the issues we have encountered are numerous and certainly drivers in getting the cats neutered.
In the UK where I’m from it is commonplace to neuter cats when they are kittens. All the cats you see out and about tend to be neutered.
When we made arrangements for Biden to be neutered we were given the choice to wait until he was eighteen months old. It appears to be an option or a practice here to leave a boy kitten until he is eighteen months old to fully develop wider bigger features due to the testosterone. So that is why the tomcats here in Bulgaria are enormous! They must be way over 20 pounds.
Biden has been caterwauling excessively, he escaped because he wanted to mate, he nearly got killed because he was mating when another tom cat attacked him and if that were not reason enough. He has now started to mark territory and wee everywhere. I’m not pleased but Kinsey is wild!
The vet explained that he is literally marking what she considers to be her territory. Previously she seemed to be very happy that she had a little kitten to love. And now she is furious with him 24/7 because his behavior is saying he is taking her territory. Understandably she’s incensed.
So, if you want happy cats, neutering is the way. We are still struggling to get Biden through the operation due to a virus he has and his bloodwork is poor. But we can’t wait until he is neutered and peace is restored.
10 Your Time
Just like kids, pets value your time. It can be hard to find time especially if you work and when you get home there are things to do. If you need to fix dinner when you get home consider finding a suitable place in your kitchen so your cat can watch you do the things that amaze them. Just like you love watching your cats play, cats love to watch us do things. They are in awe of the things we can do.
When dinner is fixed take time for your kitty every day. Whether it’s sitting next to you as you work on your laptop make sure your cat knows you love her even though you are busy. And of course try to make some play time for your kitty every day.