There’s an ongoing debate over whether cats can happily spend their entire lives indoors or whether they need some outside time to truly be content. If, like me, you’re in the indoor cat camp, you can choose certain supplies to ensure that your household pets are happy and enriched.
1. Window Seat
Just because your cat stays indoors doesn’t meant it can’t keep a watchful eye on all the activity outdoors. You can buy a wide variety of cat towers that combine perches with scratching posts to keep your feline scratching in an appropriate spot as well as providing windowside entertainment. You can even buy window seats that attach directly to the glass, with no base needed.
2. Fresh Grass
Many outdoor cats love to nibble on grass. Some cat foods provide greens right in the food, but nothing satisfies the feline palate like chewing on fresh grass. All four of my indoor cats come running whenever I bring a fresh pot of organic grass home from the pet store. You can purchase ready-to-eat grass or kits that let you grow it yourself.
Cats are lazy creatures by nature, but they have occasional high-energy bursts and need to fulfill their natural instincts, like stalking and catching prey, even when they’re confined inside the house. Cat toys give your feline friend an outlet, and some don’t even require much effort on your part. Certain selections offer solitary entertainment, like dispensing treats, if you’re away at work or school and your pet is home alone all day. Try catnip toys occasionally to get a rise out of even the most complacent indoor kitty.
4. Harness and Leash
Indoor cats can get a safe taste of the outdoors on a harness and leash if you have the time and patience to leash train them. Never walk your indoor cat on a standard feline breakaway collar because of the escape risk. I’ve had bad luck with regular cat harnesses, since my feline know how to defeat those, too, but products like the Kitty Holster make escape more difficult. The Kitty Holster has wider closures and Velcro fasteners for a snug fit.
5. Identification Tag
Even indoor cats need a ticket home just in case they manage to escape someday, and identification tags serve that purpose. Nothing is more terrifying than seeing your feline friend whisk out the door and wondering if you’ll ever be reunited. My cats all wear breakaway collars with engraved ID tags that include the notation “Indoor Cat, Return for Reward.” Otherwise, the finder might assume your pet is an outdoor cat on its normal stroll. Many pet stores have automatic pet tag engravers that let you choose a style and customize your message. My cats also have microchips, but the finder must bring the animal to a vet or animal control officer with a scanner to get your address.