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Indoor Cats

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Indoor vs Outdoor debate

The decision about whether to keep your cat as an indoor cat or to let it have the freedom to come and go as it pleases can be a very difficult one. Cats have retained many of their wild characteristics and are often independent animals that do not rely on the company of other cats or humans, and it is for this reason that it is best for a cat to be able to go outside and enjoy its surroundings. An outdoor cat will receive all the mental and physical stimulation that it needs. However, many owners decide to keep their cat as an indoor cat. Sometimes this is due to a medical condition and sometimes it is just the owner’s personal choice (often to prevent their cat from being hit by a vehicle). Either way, taking on an indoor cat is a big responsibility and should be given a lot of thought. Provided you are willing to put in the time and effort involved it can be very successful and rewarding.

The indoor cat’s needs

Indoor cats need as much stimulation as possible to avoid them becoming bored and overweight! An indoor cat needs ledges to climb on, places to hide, somewhere to scratch, things to chase, new exciting smells, active games with their owner, and to be given new things to explore regularly.

The cat should be provided with plenty to do while the owner is out or busy, this can be boxes, paper bags, toys activated by a timer, food hidden in toys to make them search, and as many other imaginative things you can think of as possible. These should be renewed often otherwise they may become boring for the cat. Some people choose to designate a special play room to the cat and all kinds of ledges and scratching materials can be put up on the walls. As an owner you should be prepared to allocate time (preferably at least an hour) to play and interact with your cat every day. The indoor cat also needs a modified diet. The cat will not be burning as many calories per day as a cat that has access to the outdoors. The best way to achieve this is to use an indoor cat complete food, which most pet food companies manufacture. This has fewer calories than a normal cat food and will help to control the indoor cat’s weight. You should provide plenty of active games such as fishing rod toys and laser pens to help keep the cat’s weight down. Making the cat work for its food by hiding it around the house can also help with this.

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