Part of the Bay Area News Group

Tricks and Treats to Keep Indoor Cats Happy

By Gary Bogue
Monday, October 17th, 2005 at 2:19 pm in Animals, Cats, Pets.

In the endless debate on the merits of keeping cats indoors, or outdoors, or indoors AND outdoors, one of the most common arguments against keeping cats permanently inside is that they’ll get bored. Here are a few tricks and treats used by Jill Behpour of Concord, Ca., to keep that from happening. She has two brother cats that have lived happily inside ever since they were kittens.

  • Play with the cats a couple of times a day; laser pointer, rattle toy on wand, rolling balls.
  • Play videos of birds for them. Play other videos that capture their interest. One cat likes to watch horses, the other will watch dogs. One likes the Muppets on Sesame Street, seeing them as prey (maybe he’s learning something, too).
  • Buy grass for them to eat at the grocery store (cheaper than at the pet store and similar).
  • One cat loves boxes. Put a new box out for him to curl up in. Vary the sizes. He got stumped by a Kleenex box!
  • Place cat in a sturdy bag and carry him around, talking to him. It’s like an amusement park ride for him!
  • If there’s a bug inside they can see but not reach, knock it down for them. They satisfy their hunting cravings this way, and we have 68% fewer bugs around!
  • One cat loves to "help me make the bed" by sitting in the middle of the bed while I place the sheet and covers over him. Then we play, "where’s kitty?" as he is under the covers in a big lump, hiding.
  • Always have a place for them to sit or lie in front of a window or windows, so they can see and hear outside. Make sure the windows are locked and screens securely fastened!
  • Always provide them with lots of love and sweet words and tons of petting. If you pay them enough attention, they may lose their appetite for the not-so-great outdoors, and put their focus back in the household.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

3 Responses to “Tricks and Treats to Keep Indoor Cats Happy”

  1. Pat in Antioch Says:

    With the exception of the moving “cat in a bag”, I’ve done all of these. No one will ever convince me that I’m depriving my cats of anything by keeping them inside, and they’re all very well adjusted. (Well, as well adjusted as a cat can be anyway!!)

    Pat in Antioch

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Indoor/outdoor–debate could go on forever! I have had cats all my life and they have always been allowed the option. Born and raised on a upper midwest farm, I have the philosphy of let Mother Nature take her course. I currently have 2 cats (sisters) and they are indoor/outdoor. ASD they grow older, One choosed to spend most of her time indoors and the other about half and half. For her that is increasing her time indoors.

    Really enjoy your column.

  3. JULIE SMITH Says:

    JILL PLEASE CALL , WE TALK A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, YOU TOLD ME WE COULD SPAY THIS CAT THAT WAS DROP OFF IN THE NEIBOR HOOD, MY NUMBER IS 935 689 6624, THABKS JULIE.

Leave a Reply