How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy and Healthy

The great debate of indoor vs. outdoor cats makes it hard for a lot of new cat owners to know which lifestyle to choose for their cat. While both are good options, and the most important thing is keeping a loving home, there are many benefits to keeping cats indoors. These include protection from other animals, busy roads and infectious diseases.

If you do choose to keep an indoor cat, there are some things you should be aware of. Without access to an outside space, cats are more sedentary and may not get as much exercise as those who can wander further afield. On top of this, the outside world contains a lot of stimulation for cats, whereas indoor cats may become bored.

Don’t worry – there are easy solutions to these potential issues! Below, we’ve outlined some simple ways you can keep your indoor cat happy and healthy.

Involve exercise in their daily routine

Indoor cats can risk becoming sedentary as they don’t have as much a space to run around and play. However, you can easily incorporate physical activity into their everyday life by taking some time to play with them. We would always recommend investing in a range of fun toys which will encourage cats to run, jump and play.

Monitor their eating habits

One big fear associated with keeping an indoor cat is that they will eat a lot and risk becoming overweight. It is therefore important that you carefully monitor your cat’s eating habits, and let them consume only what is recommended by your vet. Since your cat isn’t going outside, there’s no chance that they’ll be getting meals elsewhere which is a bonus!

Spend quality time with them

If you are out at work all day, your indoor cat may become bored and lonely. Make sure you dedicate some time each day to playing and cuddles, as interaction with your cat will make sure that he or she stays happy. Another thing to note is that your cat may be more scared than outdoor cats if they have to go to the vet, so be patient on these occasions and spend time getting them used to it.

Create a window seat for your feline friend

Cats enjoy visual stimulation and there is a lot to see in the great outdoors! However, your cat doesn’t actually have to go outside to observe the activity in your garden or out on the street. A great idea for indoor cats is to create a comfortable place for them to sit by the window. You can place blankets or cushions on a window ledge to make a cosy space.

Take medical precautions

Although your cat is not going outside, it is still important that they get vaccinations. You never know when circumstances will change: your cat may accidentally get outside one day, or there may come a time when they come into contact with other cats. It’s also important that you get your cat wormed because fleas and other parasites can come into the house on your clothes or other fabrics.

About the author: SynergyVets is a dedicated veterinary recruitment agency, with almost 30 years of experience supporting the profession with locum and permanent personnel. They have a great blog which, alongside advice for veterinary candidates, includes useful animal care tips for pet owners.

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17 thoughts on “How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy and Healthy

    • Ruby Tuesday says:

      My kitty was feral for the first two months of his life. It took him a little time to adjust to being 100% indoors, and I know he’d love to adventure outside again. However, living in a third floor apartment, he has gotten used to being an indoor cat and is happy. We have lots of windows for him to look out, take time for play every day, and as an extra bonus, we put a bird feeder on the balcony so he gets to enjoy chattering at the birds and watching them hang out.

      That is all to say that in my non-professional opinion, they can. It just takes a little extra dedication to them and their environment!

  1. themerlinpages says:

    Thanks Ruby. It will be a while before I can have them with me anyway and I don’t know if I’ll be able to but we’ll see. They are enjoying the freedom for now…

  2. Pingback: How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy and Healthy — Katzenworld – Scooter's Tale

  3. Crystal says:

    This was a great post. I have a question about my indoor cat. She’s 12 and digs, bites, and itches a lot. Vet has no idea about what the problem is. my family and I suspect skin allergies. She even rubs places raw. What can I do?

    • Marc-André says:

      It could be food allergies. Or a skin allergy as you say. One of my friends cats has to be bathed on a regular basis as the cat is allergic to his own dander.

  4. The Hipster Kitties says:

    Charlee: “We never go outside, but we have lots of places where we can sit in the window or at the door and stare at the birds, squirrels, and bunnies that hang out in the yard.”
    Chaplin: “Not to mention a couple of cat trees and other high places we can go, like on top of the fireplace.”
    Charlee: “Yep indoor life may not be as exciting as outdoor life, but at least there aren’t any coyotes in here!”

  5. alexb2448 says:

    Eli is my third cat and he is confined to the great indoors. At 13 (or so) he has had a few health concerns, but he hasn’t had as many as my two previous cats (who were allowed outdoors) and they haven’t been as serious. So there’s a lot to be said for keeping our furry friends inside. 🙂

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