Don’t let the cat out!
Cats are a polarising animal, people either love them.... or not. Some people call them aloof, selfish while some even call them independent. If people understood cats better I think that many people would become admirers.
The best place to start in understanding cats is to look back at their big cat ancestors and although we have domesticated them, they have a lot more in common with these wild guys than our dogs do with wolves.
In the big cat world, territory is a big deal, and big cats with the exception of lions live a solo life and that’s really how our domestic household cats like it too. Domestic cats are territorial creatures as well and will scratch trees, mark and scratch furniture to remind other cats to keep away. Interestingly, once a cat has established its territory, it will spend time defending that territory from other cats. In the case of domestic kitties, this can mean fighting other cats, urinating inappropriately or even being forced out of a territory by another cat.
You have probably gathered from this that it can be difficult if not impossible to contain a cat within an area without some form of physical barrier. So how can you do this?
Keep them inside
The best way is to give your cat an indoor lifestyle and not let it out. An indoor cat is safer from other cats, can’t get infection diseases like feline aids and is typically less stressed because it can defend and patrol its territory easily as other cats can’t enter it. If you are going to keep your cat indoors, make sure it receives 20 minutes of engaged play a day. This can be with toys that you interact with, or with self-interaction toys including balls and laser pointers.
Most cats also get plenty of stimulation from looking out of a window and slightly opening it lets them enjoy the sounds and smells of the outdoors. A window hammock that attaches to most glass windows is an ideal way to help a cat be elevated and observe its outside domain.
You will need to watch out for hairballs and weight gain as indoor cats tend to groom themselves about one third more than outdoor cats and are also susceptible to eating a little more.
What if you can’t keep your cat inside all the time?
If you have an older cat, or just can’t keep the cat inside for other reasons, there are other options available. You could have a cat run constructed that ideally attaches to the house via a pet door. Or if you want something less permanent, you could use one of the portable runs that are available or if you only have a small area you could use a cat tent.
Ultimately there is nothing wrong with having you cat indoors all of the time and you’ll be less stressed about where your cat is, keeping our wildlife safe and your cat will live a happy, healthy and long life.
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