Are Indoor Cats Happy Cats?

There are many benefits to keeping your cat contained in your home. Sadly some of us have learned the hard way about the risks of roaming pet cats. Let’s talk about it a bit more so we can all understand why it’s so important to keep our cats safe at home and how we can do it while making sure they are happy and their needs are met.


A Safer Environment For Your Cat

Sadly for our cats, there are a lot of health risks and dangers associated with the great outdoors! When a cat is allowed to roam outdoors they are exposed to the risk of being hit by a car, being attacked by a dog or another cat. On top of this, there is also a greater chance of them catching fleas, getting catfight related injuries such as an abscess, or catching diseases like Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Cats that are kept safe at home are far less likely to become injured or lost.


Less Impact on Wildlife

There’s no doubt that cats have a strong instinct to hunt. Because of this, we have seen a huge impact on our wildlife and natural environment which we covered in another blog here. So not only does containing your cat keep your cat safe, but it also keeps wildlife safe too!


But can I meet all of their needs indoors?

If you give your cat an enriching environment with plenty of stimulation in their everyday life, your cat can live very happily at home.


Provide the right equipment

  • Cats need plenty of stimulation and toys to unleash their instinct! Scratching posts replace climbing trees and chasing fluffy toys replaces mice, birds & bandicoots! Cats love climbing so give them a climbing post and high up perch so they can watch the activity around the home from a good vantage point, keeping your feline friend happy inside.

  • Always provide fresh food and water for your cat, in separate locations. Cats love choice, so providing more than one source of water is a good idea. Water fountains made for pets are a great way to provide your cat with both fresh running water and enrichment.

  • Making feeding time fun by giving frequent small amounts of food, introducing different textures and flavours, and placing food in different locations, will keep your cat in good shape for body and mind.

  • Make sure you provide litter boxes in quiet areas, and if there are any issues with your cat’s use of it, test your cat's preferences in terms of location, litter box size, and style & litter types.


Make your home comfortable for them

Cats love a cozy spot to snuggle up and snooze the day away! Remember to provide your cat with comfortable bedding, they love sunny spots as well as dark small spaces! Allowing your cat to access the majority of the house rather than containing them to one room or area is important to give them plenty of space to roam in the safety of their own home.


Interact with your cat regularly

Cats are part of the family so remember to spend some time each day playing with them, helping them to use their instinct in a safe way at home, getting their body moving so they can exercise and just spend some quality time together. Cats are most active at dawn and dusk, so this can be a great time for play.


Enjoy the outdoors from a safe distance

Your cat may enjoy the outdoors and prey on wildlife from behind a window! Cats love to sit at a window and watch the day go by so remember to provide them with a comfy spot to sit & relax by a window while they enjoy watching it all from a safe distance!


Supervised outdoor time

Now we’re not necessarily saying NEVER let your cat go outside, we’re just recommending you don’t let them roam outside on their own. Plenty of owners love to take their cats outside for a play whether they take them out on a leash and harness, or they build the purrfect catio for their cats to enjoy some outdoor time.


We hope this blog has given you some ideas about how you can keep your cat happy inside by providing it with a loving and enriching environment to live in. If you currently have an outdoor cat and you’re now inspired to work towards keeping them safe & healthy at home, we recently wrote a blog for owners who want to transition their cat indoors.

If you have any questions about cat containment or responsible cat ownership for yourself or someone else, check out our resource page or FAQ’s from our expert cat team!

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular cat tips and of course a daily dose of feline cuteness!

© Tasmanian Cat Management Project 2019

TassieCat is a state-wide initiative to promote and facilitate responsible cat ownership and management in Tasmania. The project is supported by Cradle Coast Authority NRM, Kingborough Council, and NRM North through funding from the Tasmanian Government.