We’re here for all stages of your furry friend’s life. In fact, we even created lifestyle guidelines for your cat’s entire life just to make sure you’re covered! Indoor cats enjoy many health benefits, including reduced risk of contracting an infectious disease or parasites or suffering from a traumatic injury. But, they also can experience increased levels of stress and anxiety as a result of being denied some of the behaviors that come naturally to them, like hunting, seeking, and pouncing.
Adult cats can still be full of energy and need to play! This energy can be overwhelming and even turn into unwanted behaviors very quickly. Cats do not inhibit their play behaviors with humans as much as we would think is natural.
To keep indoor cats happy and healthy, here are 5 things every home with an indoor cat should have:
- A feeding system that mimics hunting — According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 59 percent of cats are overweight or obese. When we free-feed our cats in bowls, we’re eliminating the cat’s need to hunt and seek its prey, which means it consumes too many calories and spends more time eating and sleeping and less time being active. There are several alternative feeding options to consider, including the Indoor Hunting Feeder, the AIKIOU Thin Cat, and the Catit Design Senses Food Maze.
- Scratching posts — Cats have an innate need to scratch, and if you don’t provide appropriate scratching options for them, they’ll likely choose your couch. Be sure to have stable and secure scratching posts available wherever your cat seems to like to scratch. If she’s been scratching your favorite chair, place a scratching post next to the chair and spray it with a product like Feliscratch to encourage her to scratch it.
- Perches — Cats love elevated perches. They provide a good view of the surrounding environment, which helps the cat feel safe, and they help to keep the cat out of reach of other family members, like children and dogs. Elevated perches also allow the cat to have a “look-out spot” for hunting opportunities and provide a favorite spot for catnaps.
- Toys — Toys help to keep cats active, and when cat owners play with their feline friends, the human-animal bond is strengthened. Try wand toys (like the “fishing pole” type), ball toys (which encourage cats to chase), food-dispensing toys (see No. 1 above), or catnip toys.
- Litter boxes — While this one might seem like a no-brainer, many cat owners don’t realize that they should have at least one litter box per cat. The litter boxes should be scooped daily and washed weekly to prevent your cats from choosing a cleaner place to do their business, like on your carpet or sofa.
Many adult cats are happy and well adjusted. However, we can help with emerging and/or chronic behavior issues as the need arises. We see kittens grow out of some behaviors such as hyperactivity and overzealous play. However adult cats can develop behavior issues secondary to obvious and even very subtle stress. Cats will perceive many major or minor changes in and outside of the house as stressful. Read more about our healthy cat care guidelines here.
If you have any questions regarding your cat’s health or behavior, please contact our office today.