Providing the utmost care to ensure your cat is happy is the most satisfying feeling ever. Nevertheless, no matter how far you’ll want to go, your cat won’t be the happiest until you understand their needs and wants. When you bring a feline home and keep them indoors, it becomes crucial for you to provide the best resources and opportunities to your cat that they would normally get in the wild. This will allow your cat to execute species-specific behavior.
How to Ensure Your Cat is Happy Indoors
Providing for your cat who has a charming and peculiar personality is one of the pleasing aspects of owning a pet. See what things you can do to keep your cat as happy and healthy as possible.
Ensure Your Cat is Well Fed
Obesity in domesticated animals is a common source of medical conditions. If you’re free feeding your cat, you can easily provide them more calories than they require. Also, cheap and low-quality food has ample calories but isn’t nutritious; this causes malnutrition and obesity.
Choosing the best cat food for your feline is of utmost importance. You should consider your cat’s age group, breed, activity level, and existing medical conditions before choosing your kitty’s food. If you’re not sure, you can seek your vet’s help.
Once you have chosen the right food for your kitty, look for a feeding recommendation on the bag of food. The feeding recommendation is not the same for every cat. The meal size should be decided considering your cat’s weight and overall health.
Limit treats, because getting carried away with feeding more treats can result in a high-calorie intake. In addition to that, leaving any leftover fish or meat dishes unattended will end up in your cat’s tummy.
Set Up the Litter Box the Right Way
The litter box is one of the most crucial parts of a cat’s life. It not only lets your cat eliminate but also is a big territorial signpost. By relieving in the litter box, cats leave their scents in there and mark that space as their own territory.
If your cat does not get a clean litter box, they will likely suppress their urge for as long as possible before eliminating at random spots. This can ultimately lead to stress in cats. Moreover, stress has a correlation with many other medical conditions and chronic diseases. Don’t forget to scoop the litter boxes on a daily basis and clean them regularly.
If you own multiple cats, one litter box for all cats won’t work. You’ll need more litter boxes placed at socially important places in the house so that cats can relieve themselves when they want and also feel territorially secure. A thumb rule to decide the number of litter boxes your cats need is the number of cats plus one. That means, for example, you should place four litter boxes if you have three cats.
All in all, ensure you’ve set up the litter boxes the right way.
Keep an Eye on Their Health
You need to observe your cat for any early signs or symptoms of a disease or a disorder. Anything suspicious in your cat’s behavior warrants a vet visit. For example, if you find your cat eliminating outside their litter box without any apparent valid reason, your cat may have kidney disease or a urinary tract infection.
If your cat is territorially insecure, they may spray at different places in the house. If this starts occurring frequently, you should keep a note of the time, spot, and frequency. This is applicable to all the suspicious activities of your cat. This might not seem to be meaningful to you, but it can be of much help to your vet for diagnosis and treatment.
You should bring your cat to a vet twice or thrice a year for an overall medical checkup. This is crucial for your cat’s health and happiness.
Make Sure Your Cat’s Environment is Enriched
Cats can live strictly indoors. Considering this fact, you must replicate the resources of the outside world so that your cat is able to express themselves and get enough opportunities to live by their species-specific nature.
Failing to do so, your cat won’t feel being home and will want to escape. Providing opportunities for your cat to live a happy, healthy, and active lifestyle is called enrichment. However, it’s not limited to just providing good cat food and litter boxes.
Cats view their space in three dimensions, unlike we humans do. They will want to have access to the vertical space as well. Cat caves, shelves, trees, condos, etc., or, in general, cat furniture make that possible for your feline furball. Cat window perches are exceptionally beneficial among all the cat furniture pieces. It provides cats a territorial watch space, a spot to rest, bask in the sunlight on cold days, and enjoy breezes on a hot day by a window.
Furthermore, you will also need to place scratch posts at different appropriate spots. You should appreciate their scratching behavior by providing scratch posts instead of discouraging them by using deterrents and declawing them. Scratching provides mental stimulation, exercise, and improves their gripping strength. Scratching is a visible and pheromonal territorial marking.
‘Catifying’ your house in this way will let your cat run, jump, scratch, play, and rest at their favorite spot.
The next thing you will need to take care of is entertainment. Keeping cats entertained throughout the day is easier said than done. Whenever you feel your cat is not getting enough entertainment, you should look for some ideas to make their surroundings more interesting and entertaining.
A fish tank, bird feeder, bird bath, insects flying around a lamp at night, and staring out of the window at rodents or butterflies (or anything, really) are good entertainment sources for a cat.
Also, you should ensure that your cat is getting enough playtime. Imagine how quickly a cat would catch their prey in the wild and how many skills it requires! When your cat is living indoors, they will want to spend pent up energy and would require enough mental stimulation. A nice playtime will provide them both. In short, a tired cat is a happy cat.
The End Note
You must take care of everything from your cat’s necessities like food and litter boxes to providing scratch posts and enrichment. It may sound expensive and compromise the aesthetics of your house. But in fact, that is not always true. You should enrich your cat’s surroundings that add to the aesthetics of your house and choose cost-effective alternatives. Consider it as the price you pay for the beautiful bond you share with your buddy.