What Do Indoor Cats Need to Be Happy?

Cats are kept indoors for a number of reasons most relating to health and safety. The most common reasons include minimizing their exposure to outdoor dangers, traumas, toxins and deadly exposure to infections.

Cats that are kept exclusively indoors live on average at least twice as long as outdoor cats. Although the indoor environment may be safer, the indoor environment may not be interesting to a curious cat.

It is important to create an environment that is enriched, stimulating and helps supplement what cats normally would get outside.The following are some ideas and recommendations to help your indoor cat be its happiest!

Good litter, litter box and litter box care

Make sure you have an adequate number and size of litter boxes. Now, there are many stylish litter boxes to chose from.

There should be at least one box per cat PLUS one. They should be cleaned or scooped daily, litter changed monthly and boxes replaced twice a year.

They should also be in a location where your cat feels safe using the box and away from high traffic areas and dogs.

Good litter box hygiene is a must for cats! You should use the texture and type of litter that appeals to your cat. I find that a large "under the bed" storage container works well, especially if your cat is large.

Good quality food

Indoor cats need good quality food to stay healthy. Choose the best quality food that you can afford. Make sure the label indicates that it is "AFFCO" approved which reflects that they company incorporated the minimal levels of nutrients that should be included in a commercial food.

Grow a little cat grass

Most cats love cat grass.

You can easily grow a small pot or planter and offer it periodically as a special treat or purchase it from your favorite pet store.

Cats love to play. Making sure your cats have lots of toys that like helps to enrich their environment. Every cat has differences of toys and play preferences.

At a minimum, have some toys that roll, something with catnip and a toy on a string that can be moved to help stimulate your cat to pounce and play.

A toy that can be filled with catnip is pleasurable for the cat and also for you to watch how your cat enjoys the toy.
Play time

Cats should be given at least 10 minutes of attention each per day. This should include some playing time and some bonding time.
Scratching post

Cats have a desire to scratch. Scratching allows them to sharpen their claws, get rid of dead claw pieces and mark territory. Even de-clawed cats like to go through the motions of scratching.

You should make sure you have a good spot for your cat to scratch!


All cats need a refuge or place to get away and feel safe.

Most "refuges" are boxes, beds or cat carriers in a place off the beaten path of the busy household.

It should be a place where your cat can get away, feel safe and rest peacefully.

This is especially important in busy households, households with dogs or multiple cats.

Visual stimulation

 Every cat should have the ability to look out the window and be stimulated by the environment.

A screened in porch is ideal but if that is not possible a nice window seat or window bed is a wonderful addition.

Cats love to watch nature and other out-door activities.

If possible, consider placing a bird feeder within view of the window.

Cat Condos

Cats love to climb and a cat condo is a wonderful spot for your cat to feel safe, observe the environment and climb!

Cat Condos often have several levels for cats to climb, places for them to scratch and taking catnaps - and they don't take up much room.


Cats love to be loved. Take time to let your cat know you care.

An excellent way to show your cat how much you love her, is to brush your cat.

Most cats love the attention and it feels good, and will eliminate hair from the furniture and you.

It is a great bonding experience for your cat and you.

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Pets can be adopted from the Humane Society, ASPCA, adopted from a rescue group or rescued off the street, their contribution to the household they are in, is invaluable.

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