Cats that go outdoors unattended are at great risk to injury from attack by animals (other cats, dogs or wildlife) or physical injury from things like cars.
They are also exposed to parasites (fleas, ticks, intestinal worms) as well as infectious diseases such as Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodefficiency Virus.
For these reasons, cats that are indoor pets, or that go out on supervised walks only, are safer and live longer lives (outdoor cats on average live about two years while indoor cats live to 15-20 years).
There are a number of ways to enrich the lives of indoor cats, satisfy their instinctual needs and give them the exercise they need.
- Playing with cats using mobile toys or laser pointers provides them mental stimulation and exercise.
- Putting some of their food in food dispensing toys keeps them occupied.
- Creating multiple feeding stations which you move randomly around your home on a daily basis helps satisfy their hunting instinct.
- Cats love perches and scratching posts, providing perches on book shelves, stairways, window ledges or cat trees is very satisfying for them.
- Many cats will walk outdoors on a leash, particularly if introduced to a leash and harness at a young age. This allows your cat exercise, stimulation and fresh air but minimizes the risks that unattended outdoor cats are susceptible to.
- Using appeasing pheromones like Feliway can help keep stimulate positive associations with your cat’s environment.
These are just a few measures to help keep primarily indoor cats content and healthy. Do not hesitate to ask us about how to keep indoor cats content or about the line of products that we carry that can help!!
Thank you, Dr. Tom Honey