Top Tips for Keeping your Indoor Cat Healthy and Happy
As responsible cat owners, we want our feline friends to live long, health and happy lives. For many of us, we worry that enabling our cat to roam puts them in danger – from being injured, being lost or even being stolen. Studies show that on average, cats who are kept inside do live longer than those who go outside, although this figure is largely a result of the number of cats that are killed by vehicles each year.
Despite the majority of cats being given access to the outside world, others who live indoors can be just as happy, particularly if they are used to having more confined living quarters. The earlier a cat gets used to living their lives indoors, the easier they will find it. Nevertheless, if your furbaby doesn’t have access to the great outdoors, you will need to take steps to ensure that they are properly entertained and stimulated, and that remain healthy and active.
Here are our top tips for keeping your indoor cat healthy and happy.
Ensure that they have their own space
Whether you feel that your cat is particularly sociable or prefers their own company, it is important that they have their own space to retreat to. Territory is something that is vitally important to cats, particularly if there are other animals living in your home. Provide this by giving them their own litter box, feeding space, scratching post and bed.
Choose a healthy and nutritious feed
Nutrition is just as important for pets as it is humans and getting the perfect blend of nutrition based on the age and health of your feline is essential to help them live long and active lives. Your vet will be able to advise you of the best brand of feed to provide for your furbaby. Where possible, try and choose canned or pouch-based food since these provide essential moisture and protein. Watch portion sizes and don’t give too many treats.
Provide water not milk
It is a common misconception that all cats like to drink milk. In fact, many felines are found to be dairy intolerant and forcing them to drink milk by not offering any alternatives could actually be causing your furbaby some unpleasant symptoms. Water is the healthiest thing that you cat can drink and they should have access to it 24/7.
One of the biggest problems with having an indoor cat is ensuring that they get enough exercise. Felines who live predominantly inside are far more sedentary, and this can cause them to gain weight fairly easily. Like us, pets that are overweight are more likely to experience health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis and more. Since your cat won’t have to work for their food, you can’t rely on this instinct to ensure that they get enough exercise. Instead, you will need to encourage this by playing games that get your cat moving again. You can also prompt your feline to play by placing boxes and tubes around the room, or by providing a cat tree with multiple perches for your furbaby to jump onto.
Be hazard aware
You might think you are ensuring your cat’s safety by keeping them indoors, but there can be just as many hazards inside the home as outside. Looking out for hidden dangers is an important responsibility and there are a variety of things that could potentially harm your pet. Some of the most common indoor hazards include the following:
- Poisonous plants and flowers
- Leaving human medications within reach of your cat
- Exposed wires that could be tempting to chew
- Cleaning products that could be toxic to your pet
- Unsafe human foods and hot drinks left unattended
- Small toys/trinkets that could pose a choking hazard
- Open flames
Being aware of these hazards is essential for the safety of your pet, your home and your family.
For more tips on keeping your indoor cat healthy and happy, please contact our experienced veterinary team who will be delighted to assist you.