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Keeping Inside Cats Happy Disclaimer

With pressure to keep cats inside, both for the welfare of wildlife and the cats themselves, many cats nowadays are confined inside. The main problem with keeping a cat inside is behavioural problems related to boredom.

How do I know if my cat is bored?   Top
If there is insufficient stimulation for cats, they will become bored. This boredom can lead to destructive and aggressive behaviour, to urinating or defecating outside the litter tray, or to overgrooming and other stress-related behavioural problems.

How do I make sure my cat doesn't get bored?   Top
The majority of cats love interacting with their owners, so give them as much attention as possible. Give them scratching posts and play structures with hanging toys, toys on springs, and activity treat toys that you can hide food inside.

It is highly recommended when obtaining a kitten to get 2 littermates so they can play, groom each other, and keep each other company when the owner is away.

Cat toys and games   Top
There is an amazing range of toys and chase objects available. Some cats love chasing a light dot produced by a small laser pointer, Ping-Pong balls, or mechanical mice.

Most cats like playing hide-and-seek with their owners (as a cat owner, I can tell you that it’s as much fun for the owner as for the cat!). They also like investigating cardboard boxes and paper bags, and cats love catnip, which can be grown or bought in small stuffed toys.

Scratching posts are mandatory for inside cats, unless you want them to use your furniture.

Outdoor play centres   Top
There are several companies that make confined outdoor areas for cats where they can sit in the sun, watch the birds and the traffic, and play, without leaving their property.

Check out:
  • Catmax Clearnet Enclosures (www.catmax.com.au)
  • Catnip Modular Parks (www.catnip.com.au)
  • Classic Pet Enclosures (www.classicpetenclosures.com)

  • Walking your cat   Top
    Kittens can be trained to wear a harness, which means you can take them for outside excursions. Supervised trips in your garden for older cats that won’t tolerate a harness may be suitable.

    Favourite resting spots   Top
    You have probably noticed some favourite areas where your cat likes sleeping. These are usually secure and comfortable spots, often enclosed, and sometimes high up on wardrobes or shelves. Make these areas more appealing for them by providing some bedding, or an enclosed bed. They will stay in these safe havens for hours.

    Behavioural problems   Top
    Despite all these measures, some cats still exhibit signs of stress such as spraying, urinating on the new laundry, or pulling out their fur. Consult your veterinarian to obtain advice, as anti-anxiety medication may be beneficial.

    Editor: Dr Julia Adams BVSc

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