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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Keeping Kitty Indoors

October 15 2020

Have you recently adopted a stray? Congratulations on your new pet! Of course, It can take Fluffy some time to get used to a new household. One change that can be difficult for cats is being grounded, especially after being able to roam freely before. However, even kitties that used to go outside can get used to the indoor life after a while. Here, a veterinarian offers some tips on how to keep your furry little explorer happy and safe inside.

Plants

One thing that will help is to simply make your home fun for your kitty. Set out some pet-safe plants for Fluffy to nibble on. Some good options are Boston ferns, Rubber tree plants, Ponytail palms, and Areca palms. The ASPCA has many more pet-safe plants listed here. If you have a screened in porch or patio, make it a catio! This will give your furball a safe place where she can spy on birds and squirrels.

Playtime!

Have you ever wondered why cats like going outside? It’s fun for them! Fluffy gets to chase after small animals and sniff grass and plants. Setting out plants, as mentioned above, will help with the latter. As to the former, we recommend playing with your feline buddy every day. Use a toy you control, like a wand toy or laser pointer. Even just a few minutes of running and jumping may satisfy your furball’s inner predator.

Make The Door Unappealing

If you tell Fluffy that she isn’t allowed outside anymore, she’ll probably yawn, lick her paws, and then start scratching at the door. Making her wary of the door is much more effective. Whenever you see your kitty sniffing around the exit, do something that will startle her and/or annoy her. Squirting her with water is one option. You can also make a loud noise. However, you should never punish your furry friend for trying to get out. That will just make her even more determined to escape!

Go For A Walk

If your cat absolutely refuses to stop trying to get out, you may need to let her have her way … sort of. Some kitties actually enjoy being walked on a leash! Ask your vet for advice on training and walking your feline pal.

Our Advice on Keeping Kitty Indoors in 2024

How can you help your newly adopted stray cat adjust to indoor life?

To help your newly adopted stray cat adjust to indoor life, enrich your home with pet-safe plants and create engaging play areas to stimulate their natural behaviors. Incorporate daily playtime using interactive toys, such as wand toys or laser pointers, to satisfy their hunting instincts. Consider setting up a catio or screened porch for safe outdoor enjoyment. Discourage door dashing by gently deterring interest in exits without punishment. For cats insistent on exploring outdoors, slowly introduce leash walking. These steps can make the transition smoother and keep your cat happy and stimulated indoors.

What if your cat refuses to give up on going outdoors?

If your cat persistently tries to go outdoors, consider leash training as a safe compromise. Introduce a harness and leash gradually, allowing your cat to get accustomed to them indoors before attempting short, supervised walks outside. This provides a controlled way for your cat to explore the outdoors safely under your supervision. Always ensure the harness is secure and comfortable to prevent escape and injury. Leash walking can satisfy their curiosity and desire for outdoor adventures while keeping them protected. Consult your vet for additional training tips and advice.

Why is it important to keep some cats indoors?

Keeping cats indoors is essential for their safety and well-being. Indoor living protects cats from various external hazards such as traffic, predators, and the risk of theft or harm from humans. It also reduces their exposure to diseases and parasites that are more common outdoors. Furthermore, indoor cats are less likely to engage in territorial fights or get lost. By providing a stimulating indoor environment, you can ensure they live longer, healthier lives while still enjoying plenty of activities and exploration opportunities within the safety of your home.

What are the signs your cat might be unhappy with indoor life?

Signs your cat might be unhappy with indoor life include excessive vocalization, scratching or biting furniture, attempting to escape frequently, and showing signs of lethargy or depression, such as lack of interest in play or interaction. Over-grooming or neglecting to groom can also be indicators of stress. Creating a stimulating indoor environment with toys, climbing structures, and interactive playtime can help. If these behaviors persist, it could be beneficial to consult with a veterinarian for further advice. Our clinic in North Miami Beach, FL, is here to assist with any concerns you have about your cat’s well-being.

Are certain cats better suited to indoor life than others?

Yes, certain cats are better suited to indoor life, often depending on their temperament, health, and breed characteristics. Cats with a lower energy level or those that are more sedentary may adapt more easily to living indoors. Breeds like the Persian, Ragdoll, and British Shorthair often enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle. Additionally, cats with health issues or disabilities benefit from the safety of an indoor environment. However, with proper care and enrichment, most cats can thrive indoors regardless of their background, enjoying a safe and stimulating living space.

Please reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your local veterinary clinic in North Miami Beach, FL, we are here to help!