Cats are better off to be kept indoors. This is to ensure that they can stay safe. Since cats are very curious and active, they might end up harming themselves if they are left to fend for themselves. There are so many hazards waiting for them outdoors so if you really care for your cat then you should keep them indoors.
Common Outdoor Hazards for Cats- There are plenty of hazards that are faced by cats when they roam outside. If you live near a road or a busy street there is always the danger of them being hit by a vehicle. There is also the chance of them eating or being exposed to harmful chemicals. This is especially true during the colder months when we use a lot of antifreeze. This chemical is very poisonous but a cat might be tempted to taste it. Finally there is always the danger of them falling to the hands of a person who likes to hurt animals.
Keeping Your Cat Indoors- Anyone who has cared for a cat knows that keeping them indoors is not the easiest thing to do. They are naturally curious animals and they are not going to be satisfied for long being restricted to the inside of your house.
Give Them Visual Stimulation- Since cats are naturally curious you would have to provide for their visual stimulation. This is to ensure that they do not end up getting bored. You just have to think up of some ways that you can catch their attention through some visual means. You can give them a nice perch near the windows from which they can see nature which they love. To help create a better view for them you can place a bird feeder near your house.
Give Your Cat Refuge- Most animals whether they are cats or dogs need a refuge. This is a spot where they can turn to once they feel any threat or danger. You can use a box or a small bed for this purpose. This should be a corner that can provide rest and relaxation to your furry friends. This is crucial in a household with more than one cat or those that have other pets.
Scratching- Scratching is not a result of any destructive instinct on cats. Rather scratching itself is a natural behavior in them. They do it in order to have their claws sharpened which they can put to good use out in the wild. This is why you need to have space where they can practice this instinct of theirs. Even cats whose claws have been removed feel the need to go through the motions of scratching. You can provide a specific place for them to practice this behavior so your furniture does not end up getting damaged. You can use a tree bark for this purpose. There are also some commercially available pads that can be laid on the floor.
Playing- Cats are active animals and just seeing them at play will prove this to you. You have to allot a couple of minutes everyday to them and that involves playing. That can serve as your bonding time as well.
Toys- Which now leaves us to the kinds of toys that your cats would love to play with. They are just like kids who have their own preferences with their playthings. Still, you have to provide them with enough variety so that they can develop several aspects of their behavior and ability. Usually cats prefer toys that can simulate and mimic their behavior when they are out hunting. The best way to determine the best toy for your cat is to buy several at one time and then toss them at your cat so you can see which is the one that they prefer.
Cat Grass- Cats are carnivorous animals but most of them love sampling some fresh plant food from time to time. You can grow some cat grass for your pets so that you know that the grass that they are eating is safe and not exposed to chemicals. Besides if you want to maintain them as indoor cats this is going to be the best step for you to take so that they can still enjoy their green food. You can buy seeds for cat grass at your local pet shop. It is actually a combination of oats, rye and wheat. You can plant these seeds on a container. Once they have grown enough you can place them on a spot where your cats can easily find them.
Litter Box- What I like the most about cats and I am sure that there are a lot of people who feel the same way is the fact that they are very clean. There is never a need for you to wash them because they can do that themselves. Another great thing about cats is that they have this instinct to bury their poop which saves a lot of trouble for their owners if they can go outside. This might be a problem with indoor cats however that is why you need to provide your cats with litter boxes.
You need to have a litter box for each cat that you have and an extra one just in case. You have to maintain these boxes and make sure that they are cleaned daily and that they are replaced at least every six months. Personally I find plastic storage boxes are ideal for this purpose.
Fencing Them in- Although you want to keep your cats indoors for their own safety you need to recognize the fact that they still need to go out from time to time. The best way that you can do this is to provide a fence for them. There are cat fences that are available which you can set up in your yard. You just have to be extra vigilant and make sure that there is no way for them to sneak out. Another thing that you have to make sure is that there are no stray animals that might get into the fence.
Leash- Another way that you can let your indoor cats enjoy the outside air is to train them to walk with a leash on. This involves a lot more trouble compared when training a dog but it is possible. For best results it is better to start this while the cat is still very young. Just be sure that you do not leave them alone when they are tied as cats are prone to being attacked by other cats and other animals and they can not escape with a leash on.
Cat Tree- This is an excellent accessory that will let your cats exercise and develop their physical movements to their maximum potential. There are commercially available ready made cat trees. You can also choose to make one if you want to, just make sure that it extends from the roof to the ceiling and that there are plenty of ways that they can exercise themselves.
These are just some of the things that you can do in order to ensure that your cat can stay happy even though you are going to keep it indoors.