What is a ‘House Cat’?
It is a cat which is confined to its owner’s home and/or property through being kept indoors or by the use of secure appropriate cat runs and enclosures.
Why should cats be confined?
Keeping your cat confined at home as a ‘house cat’ is great for the human-animal bond, they won’t intrude on other people’s property and it helps the cats live longer as they are not exposed to the outside dangers such as being run over, getting lost, fighting, FIV and Cat Flu, getting attacked or stolen.
How do you keep a ‘house cat’ happy?
An important measure to take in regards to keeping your ‘house cat’ happy is to ensure that they are provided with enough environmental enrichment to give them the mental and physical stimulation that they need. This can be done by providing:
- Access to windows and enclosures where they can observe the outside world and get fresh air and a little sunlight (being careful of the level and length of UV exposure, especially for cats with pale pigmentation)
- Scratching poles and multiple level resting places
- Cubby houses – even ones made from cardboard boxes
- Food dispensing toys simulate the cat having to work at their prey to get their food
- Hide and seek and treasure hunting games with food to stimulate the cat’s natural hunting skills
- A small garden or potted garden of cat safe herbs (catnip, cat grass and cat mint)
- A variety of toys such as ping pong balls, fluffy mice, catnip filled toys (remember to change them over every few days)
- Safe walking equipment such as harnesses and leads (cats can be trained to walk on a harness)
- Time – it is important to spend one-on-one time with your cat - groom them, pat them and just be in the same place with them – they are companion animals and they generally love to spend quality time with their people