There are many cat owners who falsely assume that they need to allow their cats to go outdoors in order to keep their cats from getting bored. It is true that a cat would love to frolic in the grass and bask in the sun’s rays. However, your cat will be just as content living indoors as long as we enrich their lives.
Cat’s have unique quirks and are interested in various things. While all pets and fur balls love a comfortable place to nap, cats especially love to find comfort in all sorts of places. Cats love sleeping next to windows, sleeping under the sunbeam, sleeping in secluded areas, sleeping on your lap, sleeping right in the middle of the busiest hallway in your house, and what have you.
Cats also love pouncing, playing, zooming, and running around the house like a madman. Your cat doesn’t necessarily have to go outside in order to experience a fulfilling life. As long as we provide places for cats to hide, things for them to scratch, and toys to play with… your cat will never get bored and will simply love living the indoor lifestyle. Here are some fun ways to enrich your cat’s life!
Utilize Vertical Spaces
Cat’s think vertically. Humans think horizontally. Usually, when humans decorate their homes, they fill a lot of the space on the floor while leaving the corners of the ceiling bare and open. If your cat had her way with the interior decorating, she would most likely put pieces of furniture that reach all the way to the top of the room!
Cats love being high. Cats love catnip! Cats also love being in high places! Your cat has a physical superpower in which endows her with the grace and agility of a feline. Cats are ninjas. They can leap, pounce, climb, and do all sorts of things with their bodies.
Back when I adopted my feral, Diba, she was quite the eccentric character when she was first introduced to the indoor lifestyle. She went completely bonkers! She would hide in the closet, under the bed, and quite literally anywhere you could imagine. You think you cat proof a room but I promise you… cats will always find a way to find a crack in your defenses.
When I was transitioning her to being indoors, I left her in a cage for the first couple of days. I left the cage open one night in order to let her out. Upon her release, she began exploring the room in the safety of darkness and she was not thrilled. At some point, my alarm rang which immediately terrified the poor furball and caused her to leap and climb up my curtains!
I mention this story to give you a real-life example of why cats like to climb to high places. It gives them a sense of comfort. Cats feel safe up in high places as they are able to ward off many predators (unless we are dealing with a hawk or something). Cats may climb up trees in order to have a nice resting place where they have a nice vantage point to observe their surroundings. Similarly, your cat will climb high places in order to rest and look down upon her kingdom.
As such, it is enriching to give your cat places to climb and places to perch! I personally recommend investing in cat trees so that the vertical spaces in your homes are used effectively! Be sure to read up on the best cat trees in my article here! If you’re the crafty type, you could always look into building cat walkways or cat shelves to give your cats more places to traverse, explore, and rest!
Dark, Secluded Areas
While cats like high places, they also enjoy being in quiet hiding places where they could relax as the darkness envelopes them. So hardcore! There are many things that could trigger a cat to become stressed and anxious. Being in a quiet area and in the dark actually helps a cat to calm down!
If you ever have to bring your cat to the veterinarian, you will know how most cats absolutely hate being forced into a carrier and going to unfamiliar locations. They will yowl, scream, and complain the entire ride there!
Placing a towel over the carrier or cage will help relieve your cat of some anxiety. You will find that being covered and in dark places will have a calming effect on a cat.
With this in mind, I recommend that you give your cat lots of places to hide and rest her days away in your house. A covered cat bed, tunnel toys, or some do-it-yourself cat furniture will definitely delight your feline companion! Be sure to read up on the best cat beds in my article here!
I personally like to leave out boxes, grocery bags, and newspaper strewn out across my floors to give my cats plenty of things to do. You will often find one of my cats, Cornelius, dashing from under one newspaper to another like a mad cat.
Cornelius also likes to hide out at the side of my bed after eating. My bed frame is shaped where there is a little crawl space right under it, creating this long dark tunnel for my cats. I can only imagine the amount of fur and toys that are hidden there!
So, in order to have a happy cat, be sure to give her plenty of places to hide! You will often see her pouncing out from the darkness in playful delight!
One of the best ways to enrich your cat’s life is actually a simple one. All you have to do is incorporate timed feeding into your cat’s daily meal routine!
Many of us are living busy lives and we have a lot of responsibilities to attend to. As such, we resort to feeding our cats in a very unnatural way. We tend to leave food out for our cats all day due to the efficiency of feeding our beloved pets! This is called free feeding.
However, free feeding goes against the cat’s natural instincts and behavior and could even induce stress. Think for a moment about the wildcat and how they find food. Cats will go for a good amount of time without a meal until they stumble upon an opportune moment for their next hunt.
Cats will then exert their energy in hunting and catching their next meal. Then the cat will then rest to save up her energy until she needs to hunt again. When you think about it, the cat’s daily meal plan consists of smaller meals throughout the day.
This is what a cat owner should do for their cat. You should feed your cat to mimic nature as much as possible. That’s why I recommend you feed your cat smaller meals 3 or 4 times a day.
It would be even better if you play with your cat for a little before each meal time. This will resemble the catch and kill method that cats employ in the wild very nicely. This will not only satiate your cat’s natural instincts, but it will also help your cat work up an appetite!
Cat Toys And Play Time
Speaking of playing before eating, playing is another great way to enrich your cat’s life. Not only will it physically and mentally satisfy your cat’s needs, but playing with your cat will also strengthen the bond between the two of you!
You’re probably thinking… “I already knew this… of course playing with your pets will enrich their lives!”
And this is exactly why I placed this on my list! Because it is that important! Playing with your cats will not only keep them entertained, but it will give them something to look forward to. Cats love sticking to a routine and they are also very good at keeping time.
When you start playing with your cat at the same time each day, you will soon find that they will begin to wait for you at that time! One of my little cats, Baby or Gami (her name changes depending on my mood), will always go to my mother around 9 PM to 10 PM each night and start meowing. This is her way of telling us humans that she wants to play and be entertained!
Be sure to provide your cats with plenty of toys and trinkets to play with. I tend to leave out multiple little fuzzy balls for my cats to play and frolic with during their free time. (Free time meaning all the time! Cats are so lucky!) I will often find my cats pawing and chasing after these little balls in such delight!
I also recommend you leave out many toys as you will find that they will go missing. Cats have a habit of being hunters, even while being indoor-only cats! This means that these cats will “hunt” their toys and carry it off to a safe den. Much like a wildcat would hunt and carry their kill off to a safe place to eat.
Adopt Another Cat
One of the best ways to enrich your cat’s life is to… well, adopt another cat! Adding another feline into your household with certainly make things interesting. Whether it is a kitten or an older cat, with proper introduction and guidance, giving your cat a companion is always a grand idea.
However, the most important thing is to implement slow introductions! This is absolutely vital! You can not expect to just dump your cats into the same room and expect them to behave and get along. This is very unlikely.
Cats are very territorial creatures and get upset when strange things enter their space. Cats will often get curious if you bring home something new or interesting. My cats will always get up in my face if I ever bring home a package or a box-shaped object. Cornelius always likes having the newest box model to add to his collection.
That’s why when you bring home a newly adopted cat or any other animal, your cat will get visibly upset or frightened. That’s why it is a good idea to keep your pets in separate rooms, feed them with the use of a barrier between them, and give your cats plenty of time to adjust to each other. Lots of new smells going on!
With enough time and guidance, your cats will learn to adjust with one another and become good companions. Some cats may even end up becoming the best of friends! Cats speak their own language and are able to easily and effortless communicate with one another.
Introducing a new cat to your household will certainly liven things up. Your cats will learn to play and frolic with each other. You will certainly enjoy watching your cats chase each other around and getting into mischievous situations. I personally love watching my cats wrestle with each other! It’s really funny to see a 6-pound baby kitten tackle a fully grown manly cat to the ground!
As you can see, there are many ways to enrich your cat’s life. If you supply your cat with plenty of things to do and ways to occupy her time, you will find that your cat will live comfortably indoors.
It’s up to you if you want to let your cat go outdoors, but just be wary of the dangerous risks that could come of it. I have heard many stories of cats coming home injured, bleeding, or dying from one of their outside adventures. As always, I wish you and your feline companions all the best! Be safe!