Many cats these days are kept indoors as house cats due to the sheer number of dangers in the outside world. Losing your beloved pet to a road traffic accident or just never seeing them return home again is heartbreaking. Thankfully, house cats can be just as happy and content as any other cat if you provide them with plenty of physical and mental stimulation.
Cat activity scratchers are, in my opinion, the cat’s whiskers! Not only do they provide something for your cat to keep their claws in shape but they’re also great for sleeping on and jumping and playing around on. Kittens tend to play endlessly on them, jumping from one level to another, whilst older cats prefer to snooze the day away on one of the higher levels. Activity scratchers come in hundreds of shapes and sizes, some as tall as the ceiling, and are perfect for larger cats and those that love jumping. Others are smaller but offer more sleeping quarters and hideaways. The choice is endless and there is something for every cat.
Catnip-filled-toys, cat-safe laser pointers and all sorts of other interactive cat games are available too so having a few dotted around the house for your cat to play with is a great way to keep them fit and occupied. Cats also love to climb and jump, they’re experts at it in fact! Providing lots of shelves for your cat to explore is always a winner. I have used ordinary wooden shelves in the past and stuck soft fleece on top of them so that they’re not only fun to jump on but comfy too! Catnip spray, catnip herbs and plug-in Feliway diffusers are also great things to use around the home to keep your cat as happy and content as possible. Catnip is adored by almost every cat and they usually go crazy for it! They rub their scent everywhere and roll around on their back as if they don’t have a care in the world. Plug-in Feliway diffusers also emit pheromones to help soothe and calm nervous cats. They’re good for bringing a new cat home or for stressful situations like a house move or fireworks night. However, they’re also good for day-to-day use just to keep your cat as relaxed as possible.
Another great thing to invest in for your house cat is a catio - which is basically a cat patio (surprise surprise). They are puuurfect for house cats who would like a little bit of fresh air and sunshine but in the safe confines of their very own world. They are actually just like a huge outdoor aviary and are typically filled with shelves, a box or two (cats LOVE boxes) and maybe a tree branch to climb on. You can kit your catio out as much or as little as you like. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from small box type runs designed to sit outside a window to more sophisticated examples comprising multiple enclosures connected by bridges!
Cat harnesses are also a good choice if you’d like to give your cat some fresh air secure in the knowledge they can’t run off and disappear. It’s worth letting your cat get used to the harness indoors for a few weeks first as some cats can be very sensitive to things like this so getting them acclimatised from a young age is best.
Lastly, never underestimate the sheer fun and enjoyment a cat can derive from a good old cardboard box! I can’t even keep count of the number of times I have bought my cats a new toy or bed only to find that they’re more interested in the cardboard box it came in! Throwing some cat treats or dried kibble in the box along with scrunched up newspaper balls, also with treats inside, can make a great low-cost cat toy - and you usually end up with a very full and tired kitty who then falls asleep in their box rather than their new bed!