Indoor Cats! ??

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Duck Mad, May 16, 2011.

  1. Duck Mad

    Duck Mad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rugby
    Hello all, Just curious to how many of you own indoor/house cats?
    I have never been a fan of keeping cats, seems to be to many outdoor risks.. Tho I have to admit I have fell in love with my 12wk old kitten (had him for 4wks)
    I'm just so protective over him (like with my other pets).. I can't bare the thought of him going outside on his own, risking his life via many dangers..

    He does go out side when I am 100%watching him ...

    Has anybody got any tips on how to make sure a house cat is kept happy? I am forever making him toys for entertainment and lots of cuddles.. but unsure if i am missing out essential cat needs??

    as I have never owned a kitty cat before [​IMG]
     
  2. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2008
    One of the best ways to keep an indoor kitty happy is to have it spayed or neutered. That way it won't spray inside and be screaming to go outside to find a mate.
    Lots of toys! My daughter's cat has it's own toybox. Cats love a ball of foil inside of the bathtub to chase around. Brown paper bags to climb into. And a window to sun itself in or to watch birds through.
     
  3. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    Quote:yep! x2 Your cat's favorite toy should be YOU! [​IMG] When you're otherwise occupied, your kitty can play with the other toys, which don't have to be expensive. Just make sure there's not any long string, yarn, or ribbon -- cats are notorious for swallowing these things, which can cause choking or intestinal obstruction (which requires surgery). Think of your young cat like a small child -- that is, safety first! Cats love to play with paper bags (avoid plastic bags, because sometimes they can get hung up in the handles and panic), milk jug rings, wadded up paper, a feather, the "fishing pole" type toys, and my cats LOVE a laser pointer! (again, the obvious warning -- never shine it directly into the eyes!) Even my nearly 19 year old Siamese will get in on chasing the red spot from a laser pointer! They'll all be trying to chase it at the same time. With 8 of them after it at once, it gets pretty chaotic! Cats can live happy, healthy lives indoors, and you don't run the risk of animal attacks, injury from automobiles, diseases from animals passing through your yard (or from mosquitoes), fewer flea problems, and the neighborhood song birds will thank you! [​IMG]
     
  4. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    Spay/neuter is the best advice! Just spend time with it, but know that when it gets older, it may try to train you. Cats are famous for their attitudes & wanting to be petted when THEY want it, not necessarily when YOU want to pet them. It's been a loooong while since I had a cat in the house, but the one I have now is coming up on 2 yrs & I've had her since she was 3 wks old. She makes me laugh so much it makes me wonder why I waited so long!
     
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Have him neutered fairly early. I'm not a fan of "pediatric neuter" while they're still itty bitty, but before 6 months should be about right. He'll let you know if he wants to be petted or left alone. They often go through a "teenage" stage where they want nothing to do with you, but like humans, they'll come back around after a few months. Don't freak if he doesn't want to cuddle all the time.
    We have a cat tree for ours (kitty furniture) it's a fairly simple thing that has little shelves going up to the ceiling. They can be expensive, we got it on clearance. I think it was the best thing for ours, they'd go up to the top when they wanted to be left alone. In my experience, male cats (even neutered ones) can be a bit more vocal, some just like to talk, some meow demanding-ly when they want attention, etc.

    Get a high quality food (we use Taste of the Wild) and keep the litter box clean.

    In my experience (and my vet's) Advantage for cats seems to work better on fleas than Frontline. (Frontline seems to work better on dogs. Go figure.) And don't think just because he's indoors he won't get fleas. My sister kept insisting that her indoor-only cats couldn't have fleas, until they had an infestation and tapeworms! I use Advantage on mine about every 1.5ish months spring to fall. Seems I can get a little more lax about it for a couple of months in the winter, but your mileage may vary. Fleas carry tapeworm eggs when cats eat the fleas they get worms. My vet had a de-wormer made by Bayer drug company that works better than the over the counter stuff.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    All the cats I've had have been indoors-only (some of them also going out for walks on harness and leash occasionally, the ones who wanted to) because I have never lived somewhere that an outdoors-going cat would have good odds of survival for more than a few years.

    They seem real happy to me.

    I make sure they have lots of places to go -- no rooms are off-limits, they're allowed on the kitchen table and atop the upper kitchen cabinets, etc. Wherever I live, I build them a floor-to-ceiling climbing tree type thing to let them scratch and to let them access tops of tall (stable) furniture. You do have to make sure they also have a way *down* (that doesn't involve plummeting directly to the floor, or a circus leap to a table that holds your tv or stack of books or other knock-over-ables). Also now that I have a house, I've built them an outdoor run of reasonable size and complexity that they like a lot (they actually catch voles etc out there in the run on a pretty regular basis!)

    IMO for the majority of cats it is real good to have a second cat, too, unless you have a dog loose in the house that the cat is good friends with.

    And of course definitely what the above posters said, get the cat 'fixed' before it starts having lots of Urges.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

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    Escanaba, MI
    My cat is indoors only. And she is perfectly happy. In fact, the one time she accidentally got outside she wanted NOTHING to do with the house side and was crying to come in (she slipped out while greeting a housemate coming in with lots of bags). She is a Siamese whose hobby includes napping on my pillow, napping in the sunny window, and napping in my lap. Though she is a very lean, athletic cat who enjoys playing, she just never felt the lioness in her, wanting to go outside.

    I will never have an indoor/outdoor or outdoor cat, either. Their life expectancy is so low. They could get sick, get in a fight with another cat, get eaten by a coyote, stolen (even with collars and a mircrochip (yes my indoor girl is chipped)), hit by a car, injured, or lost. My cat is precious to me, so I couldn't forgive myself if that happened. So many people say their cat isn't happy if it isn't outside. Well, I think that is BS, since they likely haven't even tried an indoor only life. I remember cat sitting a neighbor's cat who was indoor/outdoor. I was so worried whenever he was outside, since what if something happened to him on my watch? I kept him inside the entire time I would watch him, and he was puuurfectly content. I think he liked the fact I didn't have to brush burrs out of his long mane of fur (he hated brushing but ALWAYS got burrs in his fur).
     
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Colorado
    I have indoor/outdoor cats. Since the 2 girls are elderly, they just go out in the back yard and lay in the sun. My gf has solely indoor cats. She has areas set up by windows so they can watch birds and keep an eye on the world. They really like their observation posts.

    As for life expectancy of indoor/outdoor cats, one of mine is 21. The other is 14.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  9. susannemw

    susannemw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2011
    Maine
    I have three indoor kittys - they keep each other amused, and no special effort has been needed on my part. If a door gets left open, they look out, and go lay on the couch. They know where they have a softy life. [​IMG]
    I have found that 2 cats are easier to care for than one, because they're less needy and have each other for company when I'm gone. A little more poop and food to take care of, but happy cats.
     
  10. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2011
    The only cats I haven't seen adjust well to an indoor life are adults who were raised outside. My cute little freak cat (weighs about five pounds as an adult) was a kitten my husband and I found living in a storm drain. She is a forever-kitten, forever high energy, and keeping a tank of mice has probably been her favorite enrichment that has never gotten old for her. Unlike rats and other rodents, pet mice (especially these, they are from a dumbed down strain) don't notice or care about the cat watching them. It would stress most animals out, but they keep eating and drinking as normal as she does backflips off the tank. Just use a secure lid if you go that route, and make sure the mice you pick are from a less than aware line. She enjoys the outside a lot, so we halter walk her, and also let her sun outside in a large, screen box. But, most cats raised inside only will be afraid of the outdoors or just not interested. I kind of like that she has some outdoor experience, because she has enough know how to get back to us when she does slip out. If our Cerebellar hypoplasia cat ever got out....I dont think he could make it back. He escaped into the basement last week, and I finally found him crouched behind a box, completely terrified. Which is why microchipping even indoor cats is a good idea. Any cat can decide to slip out.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011

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