Tips for Keeping your Indoor Cat Stimulated

Keeping cats indoors is becoming more popular in New Zealand. If you’re considering this for your cat, here are our top tips to keep them entertained.

Overseas, it’s quite common for cats to be kept indoors, and it’s slowly gaining in popularity in New Zealand. Keeping your cat indoors has several benefits; they’re less likely to get lost, injured, or get up to less than desirable activities (like leaving the remains of a bird on your clean carpet). But, if you’re planning to keep your kitty indoors, you’ll need to make sure they have plenty of stimulation.

So, whether you’re looking to keep your cat indoors to protect it or our native wildlife, here are some top tips for keeping it stimulated:

1. Give them plenty to play with

Cats are active creatures that are primed to hunt. If you don’t give them something they can play with or sharpen their claws on, they’ll turn to whatever they can find. So, if you’re planning on keeping your kitty indoors invest in a good quality scratching post and buy some toys that you can use to play with them – like a wand they can chase.

Be sure to swap the toys out reasonably often so your cat doesn’t get bored with them. You can also buy automated toys that will keep them active while you’re away. You can also set up a treasure hunt to keep them stimulated, or hide portions of their food around the house, rather than feeding them from the same bowl each day.

2. Make their environment exciting

Alongside exciting toys, you can make your cat’s environment more exciting and inviting to keep them stimulated. Cat trees, for example, are a great way to let your cat develop their natural instincts to climb and survey their kingdom. You also consider cubbies that your cat can hide and sleep in.

Catios are a great option if you have some space outside that you can set aside for your cat. These are outdoor enclosures set up especially for cats so they can enjoy the great outdoors safely. And they can be as big or small as your space allows, so even an apartment-bound kitty can still get some fresh air.

3. Teach them to walk on a leash

Did you know you can teach your cat to walk on a leash? While some cats will take to this more naturally than others, this is a great option to consider if you want your cat to explore the outdoors and get yourself outside at the same time.

To start with, slowly introduce your cat to a size-appropriate harness and get them used to being on a leash indoors before heading out. Once outdoors, give them plenty of space and time to sniff and explore, but be sure to keep a firm hold of their leash so they don’t run away.

While it may seem a bit alien to begin with, cats can have an enriching life indoors. Just make sure they have plenty to keep them stimulated and entertained.