Thinking of getting an inside cat? There are quite a few factors to consider when choosing an inside cat over a free roaming inside cat. These are five of the main ones that I have personally become aware of after my daughter adopted Motsie, a Keetso cat from the RSPCA just a few weeks ago (read all about it, here).
As soon as Motsie arrived at her new home there was one thing that was very noticeable. As she walked and ran across the floor a distinctive tap, tap, tapping noise was noticeable. Not only that, several times a day her paws were getting caught on her blankets, the throws on the sofa, shaggy rug and scatter cushions. After a trip to the vets, Motsie had her nails trimmed and the vet said this was something that would need to be done every few weeks.
The reason for this is unlike outside cats, indoor cats have very few opportunities to run the claws down naturally. You can find great scratching posts but in many cases this won’t be enough. Thankfully, trimming the claws of a cat isn’t as difficult as it sounds and Motsie didn’t bat an eyelid while having her ‘manicure’. If you notice your indoor cat getting caught on fabrics, or hear the tapping sound when walking, take a trip to the vets. Watch how it is done and buy yourself a decent pair of cat nail trimmers.
Indoor cats can and often do become overweight. Obesity in cats is a problem and can lead to serious health issues. Treat your indoor cat to plenty of toys that will encourage movement and spend time every day playing games that encourage running, climbing and jumping.
Invest in activity centres, position and secure high-level furniture and cat shelves around the home and use food in games and activities such as feeding balls. Another option is to add a cat enclosure or catio onto the garden area to allow for outside playtime while still restricting outdoor exploration.
Indoor only cats require good company to help them remain happy and content. This can be a combination of people and other pets in the family home. Certain breeds require more companionship than others, but all will want social interaction.
Some breeds will want to have almost constant company during their awake time, so do make sure you are able to be at home enough for your chosen breed. Many homes are filled with at least one person at any given time in the day. Will you be able to provide enough companionship for your chosen breed? Do your research before picking the cat for your family.
Indoor cats do have fewer risks to consider compared with outside cats. You don’t need to worry about cars, theft, loss and so on. However, it is important to be aware of high-rise syndrome. All windows should be left closed or only opened enough to allow air to flow without the cat being able to fall out or escape. Child window locks are a valuable addition. Additionally, balconies and balconettes will need safety features added to prevent falls and jumps. Cat balconies are affordable and easy to install.
Other safety concerns are the same as indoor cats. Make sure all plants and flowers in the home are non-toxic to cats. Lock away chemicals known to cause health problems, such as diffusers and cleaning products. All furniture should be attached to the walls, cables hidden or encased to prevent chewing and so on.
As mentioned earlier, indoor cats often have weight problems caused by inactivity. Furthermore, they don’t get as much ‘natural foods’ that they would hunt and catch in the wild. Choose good quality foods with high protein content, low in calories and moisture rich. You can feed treats but try to involve the treats in games and training rather than simple grazing.
Do you have an indoor cat? Let us know any indoor issues and solutions you came up with thanks to your feline friend over on our Facebook page.