Pet Health

How to keep your indoor cat happy and healthy

Keeping your cat indoors is the safest option for your cat lowering their risk of injuries, parasites and infectious diseases. If you decide to keep your cat indoors it is important that you are meeting all their needs to keep them healthy, happy and stimulated.

Litter

It is important to provide a safe and comfortable place for your cat to go to the toilet. Choose a sand-like, finely granular clumping and non-perfumed litter in an appropriate sized tray that is easy for your cat to climb into. There should be one and a half litter trays per cat in the house. Place the litter in a private area of the house. Make sure to keep the litter tray clean by scooping litter daily and washing and replenishing the litter weekly. Avoid bleaches and disinfectants to clean the litter tray as they may smell too strong for the cat.

Diet

Feed your cat in a safe zone which is low traffic and easily accessible. Feeding them a premium quality cat food that is complete and balanced and specifically for indoor cats will help maintain a healthy weight, low odour stools and a shiny coat. Cats are natural hunters so it is important to make feeding time enriching for your cat. There are a number of puzzle feeders and feeding towers on the market but a plastic bottle with holes cut out of it with a portion of their biscuits placed inside also works well.

Scratching

Scratching is an important behaviour to cats to sharpen their claws, and remove frayed worn out claws. Cats also scratch while stretching, to mark territory or during play. Choosing a large sturdy scratching post that your cat can stretch out at full length is important to ensure they will choose to use the post rather than your furniture. Marking the post with catnip or feliscratch to encourage your cat to scratch there is useful when introducing a new post. 

Environment

Cats love three-dimensional living, sitting in a high point in the house such as a windowsill, scratching post or climbing frame allows them to hide and survey without being seen. Providing your cat with one or two high points in your house will quickly become their favourite spot to sit and give them a place to relax. You could also consider providing your cat with a safe netted outdoor enclosure allowing them some outdoor access without the risks of being an outdoor cat.

Human Interaction

Spending time with your cat whether it is playing, supervised time in the garden on a harness, brushing them or just spending time patting them on your lap is really important for both you and your cat and will strengthen your bond. Spending at least half an hour with your cat every day just as you would walk your dog everyday will help expend their energy, stimulate them and is a great stress reliever for you. Studies show stroking a cat can actually lower your blood pressure!

Posted in: Pet Health at 07 August 19