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How To Keep An Indoor Cat Happy And Healthy
February 15, 2024

Our feline pals can be quite adventurous. Many cats indeed love going outdoors and participating in fun kitty activities, such as leaving paw art on your windshield, rolling around in your driveway, and dropping dead animals on your porch. That may be cute, but unfortunately, it’s also dangerous for them. In fact, grounding kitties is one of the best things you can do for them. Fluffy will be both safer and healthier staying indoors! In this article, a local Saginaw, MI vet offers some tips for keeping an inside cat happy, healthy, and purring.

How Do You Keep Indoor Cats Healthy?

It doesn’t matter if Fluffy lives indoors, outdoors, or freely roams between the two: her basic care needs will remain the same. Kitties require good, age-appropriate food; fresh water; a clean litterbox; and a warm, dry, comfy place to sleep.

Veterinary care is also essential. We recommend all cats be microchipped, spayed or neutered, and kept up to date on vaccines and parasite control. Fluffy will also need regular exams and screenings.

 Consult your Saginaw, MI veterinarian for specific advice.

What Are The Best Ways To Keep My Cat Safe At Home?

Petproofing is the top priority here. Our adorable feline pals are curious, playful, and a bit reckless. Although this combination is certainly very cute, it can also be deadly. Make sure that anything that could cause harm to your pet is addressed or secured. That includes many small or sharp objects, such as fishing lures, pens, safety pins, craft kits, and jewelry. Ropes and strings can also be dangerous, as are plastic bags and wrappers.

You’ll also need to be careful about toxins. Poisonings are a top reason for emergency veterinary visits. Many common chemicals and household products are toxic to cats. Unsafe plants are a concern as well. 

We also advise keeping large appliances closed when not in use, and making sure your windows and screens close securely.

Ask your Saginaw, MI veterinarian for advice on this.

What Is The Best Way To Keep My Cat Inside?

Our feline pals can be quite determined. Fortunately, many are homebodies, who have no interest in leaving their kingdoms, with all of the beds, warm laps, toys, and other kitty luxuries they contain. Others, however, are furry little adventurers. If your kitty falls into the latter category,  you may have to constantly corral her.

Our first tip? If your furry pal is just a kitten, raise her to be an indoor cat from Day One. Set down these ground rules the day you bring little Fluffy home. As your tiny ball of fur grows up, she’ll probably be happy to remain indoors.

If it’s a bit too late for that, well, you may have to use a bit of trickery. One thing that may work is to startle Fluffy whenever she sniffs around the door. You don’t want to hurt her or scare her, as that will just make her even more determined to escape. The point is to annoy her. You can try squirting her with water. You could also make a loud noise. Try a sounding bike horn or an alarm on your phone, or rattling a jar of change. Banging two pots together may also do the trick.

Should I Keep My Cat Inside All The Time?

We’d answer this one with a hard yes. Your cute pet is much safer indoors! As soon as your feline buddy steps outside, she’s exposed to many dangers. 

Among them are:

  • Automobiles
  • Weather
  • Wild Animals
  • Insects
  • Parasites
  • Chemicals
  • Plants
  • Stray/Loose Dogs
  • Diseases
  • Other Cats

Cats that go out are unfortunately far more likely to get hurt, lost, stolen, or even killed.

Keeping your feline friend inside is also safer for local wildlife. Fluffy is actually a furry little serial killer! House cats kill billions of small animals per year, mostly birds, reptiles, and rodents. This is very concerning, because in many cases they are adding stress to already-strained wildlife populations. Your efforts matter a great deal in protecting native animals and the ecosystems they both live and support.

Making Your Home Into A Kitty Palace

We know, Fluffy loves to do as little as possible. However, even the laziest kitty cannot spend all her time snoozing. Cats need entertainment and enrichment.  Play with your pet every day, and provide a lot of toys for your cat to bat under the sofa. It is important for kitties to be able to practice their hunting skills on catnip mice and the occasional moth!

Your kitty will also appreciate some pet furniture. Cat towers, beds, scratching posts, and window seats will all get that motor going. Don’t forget to give Fluffy the occasional empty box to conquer!

Bring The Outside In

There’s no denying that our feline friends get a lot of exercise and stimulation from being outside. Providing your kitty with a safe, secure environment that offers a few of the benefits of being outdoors is a great way to give her the best of both worlds. 

You don’t need anything fancy. This can be a porch, a patio, a spare room, or even a sunny spot.

If possible, pick a spot with a good view. Add some kitty furniture and toys. Voila!

You may also want to include some pet-safe plants. Catnip is the obvious choice, but there are many others as well. Wheatgrass is one good option. It contains nutrients, such as riboflavin, vitamin E, and folic acid, all of which are beneficial for pets. Your kitty can safely nibble on some greens, and you’ll have fresh ingredients for smoothies. Herbs are another great choice.  You’ll get to use them for cooking, and your kitty can munch on them. Several herbs are safe for our feline friends, including rosemary, basil, lemongrass sage, thyme, mint, dill, and cilantro.

Safe plant options include Zinnias, Marigolds, Asters, Freesias, Gerbera daisies, orchids, roses, snapdragons, and sunflowers.  Spider plants are attractive, easy to grow, and safe for cats, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get attacked by your cat: many kitties just can’t resist them! Boston ferns, Prayer Plants, Ferns, Bromeliad Plants, Cast Iron Plants, Peperomias, And Friendship Plants are other suitable options.

If you want something bigger, consider getting a Rubber Tree plant. This is a good one for people with brown thumbs: they’re almost impossible to kill. Ponytail palms and Money trees are also safe for Fluffy. Areca palms are also acceptable.

Be careful not to include any toxic plants. Lilies, for example, can be deadly to kitties. The ASPCA website lists more information about safe and unsafe plants here.

A last word on this: consider Fluffy’s safety when setting them up: don’t put a heavy plant on a thin stand your cat could knock over onto herself.

What Is the Best Way to Keep My Kitty Happy Indoors?

Your furry pal needs to feel comfortable, happy, and safe, so provide her with lots of fun toys and scratching posts or boards. 

In addition to that, just spend time with Fluffy. Talk to her, pet her, play with her, and cuddle up with her. Making sure your pet feels loved will help keep her going. if you won’t be back home before dark, turn on a light and TV for your cat before leaving.

As your Saginaw, MI animal clinic, we are here to provide great care to your pets. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

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