We posted previously on tips to keep your outdoor animals safe this winter, but what about our indoor cats!? Hopefully you have been enjoying our relatively warm winter so far, however it is evident that the temperature will start to drop soon, making it a perfect time to curl up with a good book, a warm blanket and an even warmer family pet! So here are some tips to help keep our feline friends safe, happy and healthy!
- Know the mantra of your cat! Hunt-Catch-Kill-Eat-Groom-Sleep! This is what cats want to do, in this order, every day (cat mantra courtesy of Jackson Galaxy). You can help your cat get in touch with their inner ocelot by setting up playtime at the right times of day. Engage your cat in vigorous play right before meal time, feeding them after they have had a chance to “kill” the toy they are hunting. This will inspire the cat to spend 30-60 minutes grooming after the meal followed by a nice long nap. If your cat is disruptive at night, timing this ritual before you go to bed can buy you a few extra hours of shut-eye.
- Add some cat-friendly furniture! Invest in a good quality cat condo that you cat can scratch, climb and sit on. Cats LOVE to sit up high and survey their territory, so the taller, the better!
- “Cat up” your living space! Once you’ve chosen an awesome cat condo, don’t hide it away in the basement! Territory is VERY important for cats, so getting the most out of your cat tree usually involves sacrificing some prime real estate – like in front of a living room window. This gives your cat a chance to enjoy your company when you are around but also gives them access to cat TV (the great outdoors) when you are away. Hanging a bird feeder in the front yard can provide even more visual stimulation for cats.
- Toys! Having some good quality interactive toys as well as some foraging toys (like treat balls) that you can leave out for your cat to solve helps you cat from becoming bored easily. If your cat is easily bored an interactive feeding dish , such as a puzzle dish can be a great way to keep feline brains busy.
- Catnip! But must be done responsibly! Not all cats like catnip, but if your cat does then catnip is a great way to occasionally spice up your cat’s life. Catnip can be a great way to encourage cats to play more and it can also be used to reinforce the use of specific items in a home (like a new cat tree!). Consider purchasing some catnip scented toys or rub a bit of catnip into the cat tree from time to time to keep things interesting. Some words of caution: Overusing catnip can cause your cat to become bored with it, and if your cat gets aggressive when given catnip you will want to ensure their catnip time is well-controlled.
We hope this helps you keep your indoor feline happy this winter! Do you have another suggestion? Is there something you would like to see featured on the blog in future? Let us know on our Facebook page!
Melissa Topham, RVT
Swift Current SPCA
P.O. Box 1163 Stn Main Swift Current SK,S9H 3X3
Phone: (306)-773-1806 Fax : (306)- 773-2035