Most of us keep our cats indoors — we fear that our dearly loved furfriend would be infected with pathogens or parasites; we fear our cats dashing into the street and being run over by a vehicle; we fear our feisty cat picking a fight with another feline and sustaining abscessed wounds.
Keeping our cats indoors is perhaps the best thing we can do for them if we want our cats to live a long and healthy life. But it is also imperative that we provide enough so that our cats stay mentally stimulated and physically active. Limited stimulation could lead to our cats becoming bored and/or stressed which could then result in many behavior problems!
1. Indoor cats need exercise too!
Cats sleep from anywhere between 16 and 20 hours a day. In the time that they’re awake, cats are either eating, grooming, or…chilling. It’s a pretty sedentary lifestyle – one that I can’t deny that I’m not envious of! But this rather mellow way of life makes cats especially susceptible to obesity. Obesity in itself is a nutritional disease that poses several other health risks such as liver failure, diabetes, arthritis and more. To prevent obesity and its debilitating effects, it’s important to make sure your indoor cat stays active! Keep them moving with teaser wands for a game of hunt & chase.
2. Cats can get bored
When cats are bored, they exhibit some attention-seeking and compulsive behaviours such as suddenly becoming aggressive, over-vocalizing, peeing where they usually don’t, scratching and tearing at furniture. To prevent them from clawing out the stuffing of your new sofa or howling into your eardrums, you gotta keep your cat mentally stimulated and physically active. Some things you can do to keep them mentally stimulated are:
- Letting your cat work for food with a food dispenser toy
- Building a simple obstacle course for your kitty with a cat tree, wall shelves and boxes!
- Getting your feline a puzzle toy.
3. Playtime as a form of stress relief
Cats do not deal well with change. Major changes in the household such as the introduction of a new pet or a new family member stresses a cat out immensely. Even subtle changes such as a minor deviation in its usual routine can cause anxiety in your cat! Playtime is a way to keep your feline engaged and deal with boredom. Your cat may be an adorable ball of fluff, but we mustn’t forget that they’re still predators! Play simulates the innate prey stalking instincts in cats which helps them to stay mentally healthy and stimulated.
Read more: 6 Signs Your Cat is Stressed
How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Active
- Make sure that playtime appeals to your cat’s natural instincts
- Most of us are away from home for the better part of the day so our cats are left to their own devices. It’d be good to leave out some toys around the house while you’re away! Consider leaving out food puzzles, cardboard boxes or even invest in a cat condo!
- Some cat behaviour consultants recommend scheduling playtime twice daily — around 15 minutes each time. Most cats love playing with feather teaser toys and are intrigued by laser pointers. All that jumping and pouncing is sure to help your cat stay trim and you entertained.
- You don’t have to leave your cat’s toys out all at once. Try rotating a couple of them every 1 to 2 weeks! Besides, cats tire of the same old toys very easily so switching them up would definitely keep things fresh and interesting for your kitty.
As one of the best cat hotels in Singapore (as featured on Pet Lovers Centre: The Complete List Of The Best Pet Boarding Centres In Singapore 2019 (Based On Reviews)), we dedicate daily private playtime with our feline guests to ensure that they stay active! What else do you do to ensure that your indoor cat stays active? Let us know in the comments!
*Featured Image Source: Anton Darius | Unsplash
“4 Reasons Why You Should Play With Your Cat Right Now | Diamond Pet Foods”. 2019. Diamond Pet Foods. https://www.diamondpet.com/blog/health/regular-playtime-is-good-for-kitty/.
Primovic, Debra. 2015. “Is Your Indoor Cat Bored? 12 Ways To Prevent Boredom – Petplace”. Petplace. https://www.petplace.com/article/cats/pet-care/is-your-indoor-cat-bored-12-ways-to-prevent-boredom/.
“Top Tips For Keeping An Indoor Cat Active – Fluffy Kitty”. 2017. Fluffy Kitty. https://thefluffykitty.com/top-tips-for-keeping-an-indoor-cat-active.