Stimulation of your cat’s natural instincts is an imperative part of house cat care. As we have identified on previous pages one of the most common issues of keeping your pet indoors is having a bored house cat or an overweight house cat that develops further medical problems.
On this page we will give you the information you need to identify and more importantly rectify the problems you have.
Is keeping house cats cruel?
If you have a bored house cat you should make the time every day to correct the issue that is causing the underlying problem. If you don't it can lead to further medical problems such as indoor cat anxiety or behaviour problems, you can also end up with an overweight house cat and the health issues that come with it. As part of good house cat care this is something we all want to avoid.
Domesticated cats whether highly strung like the Egyptian Mau or mellow and subdued like the Persian all have natural instincts. The instincts to hunt, chase, pounce, climb and escape will be imbedded into your cat and a lack of these scenarios where these instincts can't be stimulated will be detrimental to your cat’s health. These detrimental health problems make house cat care as important as any other type of cat care.
It is therefore important to give your cat the opportunity to use their hunting skills and stimulate their natural instincts. This is a very important part of house cat care.
If your house cat is getting fat you need to give your cat the best type of food for that specific breed. You can buy special food for indoor cats that has less calories and subsequently helps prevent your house cat putting on weight.
How to take care of an indoor cat
So what can we do to make our cats happy while also safe indoors?
Play with your Cat
It may sound simple and obvious but playing with your house cat is a great way to satisfy their instincts . One important thing is to mix up your cat games, don’t just do the same thing as your cat will soon loose interest.
How do i stop my indoor cat getting bored?
Who said good house cat care wasn't fun?!? Cats love string but firstly let’s establish one thing! WHEN PLAYING WITH CATS ALWAYS SUPERVISE YOUR CAT WITH STRING TYPE TOYS. String toys make fantastic ‘Play Time’. Cats will love to chase, catch, and bat string toys. The thicker and furrier the better, once the toy is caught then they can stimulate another instinct, KILL. String toys should be moved around the floor for chase but if you just do this the toy will soon get boring. You need to get inside your cats mind and imagine the toy is a squirrel in the wild. What does your cat want? Try putting some cushions or obstacles on the floor this will allow your cat to hide and pounce. Don’t make it easy. Mix it up. Try and take the string behind an obstacle away from view; this makes the game more life like. Don’t just stop on the floor take your string up the wall, this will allow your cat to jump as if they were chasing a bird. Make it difficult but do occasionally allow them to catch and kill, they may get quite aggressive but this aggression will satisfy their natural instincts and make your cat a happier cat. After 15 minutes stop before it gets boring, this will make the next session just as enjoyable. Never allow your cat to run off with the string toy or be left alone with the toy as this can soon be wrapped around their neck and be potentially dangerous.
Our cats love lights. Have you ever pulled a CD or DVD out of its case and then heard the excitement of your cat? The light moving on the wall will drive them crazy as if it was a butterfly in the wild. This is a great way to stimulate your cats hunting instincts without even purchasing products. Turn the lights on in the room and hold a CD in your hand. Move the light around on the wall, on the floor and on the ceiling. Your cat will fly around the room like an Olympic sprinter, but in the case of an Egyptian Mau a lot quicker!!!! Remember to change the movements, sometimes quick, sometimes slow and sometimes staggered. Try sending the light under the sofa or behind the bed. This will help your cat use their brain and intelligence as they will have to try and work our where it’s gone! Once done your cat will be searching for the light for a while but this is normal and a great natural way to stimulate your cat’s natural instincts. Remember Sylvester didn't always catch Tweety!
You can now buy lasers that are specially designed for cats. These laser pens or devices can often be a small intense spot or images such as birds or mice. These like the CD make a fantastic toy that not only stimulate the instincts of chase, pounce and jump but also introduces physical exercise into your cat’s life. Just be careful when sending it down the stairs so your cat doesn’t have any accidents. One thing to remember with any light based products is to be careful with your cats sensitive eyes, always avoid direct contact with your cats eyes.
So we have looked at what we can do to play with our cat is there anything else?
It is important to give your cats access to toys that they can play with without your supervision. Your cat won’t always use them but an accidental knock and rattle can easily turn into a half hour chase and kill game.
Most cats love playing with cat safe balls, this is a great way of cat mental stimulation while playing with cats. It’s important to try out different types of cat balls to see what they like. Some cats like balls that rattle, others like balls with feathers sticking out the side. Cats will like nothing more than a ball being safely thrown into the air or across the room. This stimulates their catch instinct while also burns calories. But don’t stop at physical exercise; try putting a ball behind the sofa where they can’t reach. They will spend hours trying to get it out, and most likely will eventually find away! Just like they will often catch the mouse that’s hiding in the pipe! It’s beneficial to take their favourite ball away from them so playtime becomes a treat. It is however recommended to leave some safe balls around the house. An accidental knock can soon become half an hour of fun.
Small lifelike toys are a fantastic addition to the house. Your cat can not only practice pounce and kill but they will also run off with the kill in their mouth or up the cat tree like a leopard. This would be like in the wild where if they caught a bird they would then protect or hide it. Life like toys can also contain catnip. If your cat reacts to and enjoys catnip this can be a great addition to their life.
Under supervision a safe box with no staples or dangerous items can be a great addition to the house. Remember curiosity is something that all cats have in abundance and sometimes you will buy your cat an expensive toy but there more interested in the box! Cats love to hide, they love to experience new things and this is something they often miss within the home. If you get something delivered and the box is safe give your cat supervised access, something as simple as a box can bring hours of fun.
Create your own safe fun!
Like your cat be creative! Be unique! Curiosity is an important part of your cats nature and if you can stimulate this then boredom will not be part of your cats life. For example try getting a box and cut four small holes in either side big enough for your cats arms. Put your cats favourite ball or treat in the box and watch them spend hours trying to get it out, remember don’t make it easy, they want a challenge! Once they do get it out they will most likely run off like the cats got the cream, just like if they caught a mouse in the wild. This is the kind of stimulation that your cat will love and the kind of stimulation they would receive outside.
House Cat Care Summary
We hope we have given you some good indoor cat behaviour advice. Remember 4 Key Words to stop a bored house cat or a overweight house cat: Hunt, Chase, Pounce and Kill if you can introduce these activities into your cats life safely you can have a happy house cat and provide good house cat care.
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