Keeping a cat permanently indoors away from all the potential hazards outside may sound like the ideal solution, however you should be very cautious and measure up the change you are about to make against the needs of that particular cat.
Cats are hunters, carnivorous hunters who will pounce on you quicker than you can say “meow” it’s in their nature.
Interesting fact, There is a much higher occurrence of anxiety-related problems such as urinating to mark territorial perimeters with cats in the USA compared to cats in South Africa and this is possibly due to the fact that in South Africa cats are allowed out way more whereas in the USA they are more commonly kept permanently indoors.
There are many stress-linked psychological problems in indoor cats, I will do my best to address some of them.
This is sort of what I explained earlier with the urinating, other behavioural problems will also occur such as complete loss of appetite, one of the more common signs of behavioral problems associated with anxiety is less interaction with family members. Another common behavioral change I have personally seen is excessive grooming (which may result in a condition known as psychogenic alopecia)
Fear of change:
Cats are natural hunters, alpha animals who prefer dominance of territory, indoor cats may become over-reactive to changes within their small territory (the house) and become unable to cope with the rapid changes like new people or objects or even new smells ( smell plays a very important role in the animal world ), It can be very difficult for the cat if you introduce a new animal or person to your cat’s already restricted territory remember there is no neutral ground to retreat to for either party. Keep that in mind when you introduce new things to the only territory your cat will ever have and think how it might affect a ferocious bundle of love that is already compromising his or hers natural evolutionary primal instinct to accommodate you as a ForeverHuman.
With so many outdoor pets being kept primarily indoor people tend to forget what these animal were made for, as stated so many times before cats are hunters they prowl through the wilderness stalking and hunting for prey, they are extremely physical and need to move A LOT.
A lack of exercise can lead to weight problems that in turn can result in major health problems such as heart disease, osteoarthritis and diabetes.
It’s your job as their ForeverHuman to be creative in this space to mimic their ideal environment.
As solitary indoor cats, they will become completely dependent on their ForeverHuman to provide stimulation, companionship, feeding and exercise.
An active indoor cat will explore crevices that an outdoor cat would probably not bother to investigate.
Boredom and curiosity can be a dangerous combination. Washing machines, toilets, medicines, cleaners, small holes, exposed wires and wobbly shelving are all particular hazards for curious kittens.
While outside, cats will often nibble grass or herbs. If there is no access to this they may turn to indoor plants, some of which are poisonous.
Possibility of Escape:
An indoor cat that gets out may be disorientated and will not have any street skills. Escape from a high rise flat could be fatal. The cat may also be highly stressed to find itself suddenly in an unknown environment.
The main problem faced by indoor cats is due to their limited environment in which they often lack the opportunity to display their normal repertoire of behaviours which defines them as cats.
Cats are hunters and if they cannot go out they will become frustrated and develop behaviours which stimulates this activity and primal need.
That is why it is so so so important for you as their ForeverHuman to be creative and produce new toys and games to keep your cat stimulated and exercised, physically and mentally.
Kittens and cats love newspaper tents, cardboard boxes and paper bags, not to mention various cat play centres, that is why I am buying a box tomorrow to create a little cat castle for them, fishing rod toys/laser pointers, etc, which encourage stalking and pouncing.
It is best to get two kittens instead of one from the start in a totally indoor situation. That is why we have Meow Meow and Bubbles so they can keep each other company and pounce on the odd human foot when we are not looking.
Having two kittens provides companionship and also helps to get over feelings of guilt associated with leaving one kitten on its own while you are at work.
Also having two kittens relieves you of some of the burdens of having to stimulate and exercise them as they will happily wear each other out playing and then collapse in a heap to sleep.
When/whilst they are small:
Make sure that you have regular visitors and life is not too quiet when your kitten is small, because this is what it will come to see as normal.
Remember the cat’s whole world may be made up of a couple of rooms in a flat which it knows inside out, it can become hypersensitive to change. Human or animal visitors or even changes in household routine can introduce a potentially huge novelty to the cat’s day to day environment and cause stress.
Don’t punish a cat guys, prevent rather than regret, Your cat WILL act out its natural behavioural repertoires such as sharpening claws within your home.
Outdoor cats usually use a tree or garden post. That is why your indoor cat MUST be provided with a good scratch post and even with this it is likely to use the furniture occasionally too this is normal this is in the nature of a cat please don’t be one of those people who want to force the cat to behave and be something it is not.
If you can’t handle it, go buy yourself a pet fish.
We are always interested to hear about real world solutions to problems like these, if you have DIY cat furniture, a cat room or just general cool cat toys then by all means comment below or E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward hearing from our fellow ForeverHumans.