Boredom Busters: Tips to Help Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy

Safe Outdoor Experience

You may even go so far as to give your cat actual outdoor time in a safe and secure way. Some cat owners build custom “catios,” which are enclosed patios designed to allow cats to safely spend time outside. Catios are secure, with no spots for wily cats to escape and usually include perches and lounging areas, so the cats can spend the day happily watching the world go by.

Another way to give them an outdoor experience is on leash. Believe it or not, cats can be trained (when they want to be) to walk on a leash,MikkelBecker says. Special cat harnesses are made specifically for this purpose. Imagine yourneighbors’ surprise when you go trotting down the street with your cat on a leash!

Some owners even like to attach the leash to a patio chair, fence post or stake in the ground and allow their cats to roam, supervised, of course, in the yard.

However, even if you're planning to supervise your cat, you should remain aware of potential exposure to outdoor cats. If there’s a possibility that outdoor cats may come up to the catio screen or come up to the cat when he’s out on a leash, then there’s the possibility of disease transmission (like feline leukemia). Discuss this with your veterinarian and consider vaccination before letting your cat outdoors; you'll also want to consider your cat's increased risk of exposure to parasites, such as fleas and ticks.

Don't Forget the Greens

If you’ve noticed that your cat loves noshing on your houseplants, he's just doing what he'd likely do out in the wild. Instead of living with chewed-up plants, why not offer your cat potted cat grass or a catnip plant to nibble on? You can purchase seeds or potted versions at most pet and garden stores and re-pot at home so you never run out of safe greenery for your favorite feline. Just be sure to choose something completely cat safe and check the ASPCA Pet Care poisonous plant database when in doubt.

There's no need to feel guilty for keeping your cat from the excitement of outdoor living. Make sure to create an enriching, stimulating environment in your home, and your kitty is more likely to live a happy, long life right by your side — indoors.

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