An outdoor cat has a 2–5-year life expectancy, but an indoor cat has a 15- to 20-year lifespan. Also, indoor cats tend to be healthier than their outdoor counterparts. This saves money on medical expenditures for communicable illnesses, parasites, and infections resulting from interactions with other animals. Cats adore the outdoors, but they don’t necessarily need to go out there to get their daily dose of sunlight, fresh air, and exercise. With a little forethought on the part of their human caretakers, indoor cats’ quality of life may be improved.
Regardless of the time of year, the sights and sounds of nature are a feast for a cat’s senses. Cats, even those who spend most of their time inside, have lots to see, smell, and experience if they are given a chance. Here are six ideas for bringing nature inside for your cat, for all of you humans out there.
Grow Cat Garden
Has your cat ever been caught eating houseplants? Yes, it is a common occurrence. Using a window planter and organic soil, cultivate a cat-friendly garden at home.
Most houseplants aren’t safe for cats to eat, but a few feline friends like munching on them. In addition to helping with digestion and preventing hairballs, cat grass (or pet grass) is a niacin and B vitamin supplement safe for cats to eat. To get your cat to gnaw on it, leave it near a window or next to his or her bed. You can plant catnip, lemongrass, or wheatgrass; the options are almost limitless. Make certain, however, that the plants you choose are not poisonous to your furry friend.
Let in Some Natural Ventilation
In certain seasons of the year, you may let some fresh air in by opening a window and letting it blow through the screen.
Cats are drawn to the scents of nature. It’s possible to get that without putting the kitten in danger by opening windows throughout the house. If you have a cat, be sure the screens are strong enough to withstand him. This method may all hear the sound of rain, birdsong, and other natural noises.
Open windows are a favorite of kitties because they let them explore the world outside of their food bowl, catnip toys, and litter box—all of which they enjoy endlessly. The nasal cavity of a cat has 200 million olfactory receptors. When the BBQ is going on next door, and a raccoon is rummaging through your trash can at night, your cat will enjoy the view from the window.
Make sure there is at least one window where your cat may bask in the sunshine. Alternatively, you might get them a window perch, a hammock, or a bed that hangs from a window. The Deluxe Play Cat Condo is an excellent perch for cats that live in apartments. Your cat will appreciate the effort you put in!
Create an Indoor Play Area That Feels Like the Outdoors
It’s possible to create a particular environment for your kitty that resembles the outside world by using cat trees made from natural materials. Further, you can use a few items that you can easily find outdoors (grass, leaves, twigs, etc.). A cat water fountain would be a wonderful addition to this area. Don’t turn on your kitchen or bathroom sink faucet when your kitten wants flowing water. Instead, get a fountain. Using a multi-cat household fountain means no arguing over who gets to drink first. Staying hydrated will be made easier by the calming noises of water.
Use a Scratching Post Made of Real Wood
When your cat is outside, he may sharpen his claws on nearby trees or pavement. He may also use the bush as a litter box. Make scratching posts inside so that you don’t have to worry about your cat ruining your furniture or urinating in the corner of your living room.
The bark of trees is a favorite place for cats to sharpen their claws. Providing high cat towers, such as Cattitude Tower, will offer the kitty a comparable indoor experience. The model that appears in certain homes around the holidays is a particular favorite of many cats. A “Christmas tree” is what we humans call it.
Scratching genuine wood can allow your cat to feel more at one with nature. For this project, an old-treated timber could do the trick. You can also find pre-built scratchers for cats made of 100% wood in the market.
Provide a Catio
Your kitten has a favorite hiding place outdoors. Some may be served inside if you so want. There is nothing better than empty Amazon boxes for this purpose. Paper bags can also serve the purpose. What a fascinating thing cats are capable of deciding to snuggle up in.
A closet or the area beneath the bed may also appeal to your cat. Cats instinctively seek out a haven, so it’s a good idea to provide them with many possibilities.
A catio is a terrific way to introduce your cat to a safe haven of its own. Access to the outer environment may be provided inside via these structures, which can be linked to the main home.
It’s possible to get inspiration for a catio design on the internet or look for smaller, more portable alternatives. The catio might be your cat’s own lanai, and he could live like he’s on vacation all the time. Like a butler at a five-star resort, he’d expect you to bring him cat cake.
Cats, we get it; they are fascinated with birds and even attempt to imitate their adorable chirps. Perhaps the weather isn’t cooperating, or you live in a place where wildlife is scarce. Don’t worry; you may still provide your cats with hours of amusement by letting them view videos of birds and other animals. Watching wildlife movies piques their natural predatory impulses and keeps their minds active. Hence, allowing them to remain attentive and cheerful at all times.
The fact that cats like spending time outdoors is undeniable! However, keeping them as indoor cats is the safest and best option for their well-being. Allowing them to explore outdoors might lead to the following dangers: car accidents, predators, parasites, and diseases.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t get the pleasures of the great outdoors from the comfort of your own house. Finding the indoor version of what they like most about being outside is all that’s required here.
About the Author
Pet expert Anna has spent 20 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet publishing industry. Prior to starting her career in publishing, Anna spent eight years working in veterinary hospitals where she assisted veterinarians as they treated dogs, cats, rabbits, pocket pets, reptiles, birds, and one memorable lion cub. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two sons, and miniature poodle Jäger.