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5 Tips to Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy

Cats make us happy. It’s only fair we try to do the same for them, right? Here are five simple ways to make your cat a little happier today.

1. A Tired Cat is a Happy Cat
Cats are natural athletes and it’s all too easy for an indoor cat to go stir crazy if it can’t work out that excess energy. The good news is there’s no shortage of awesome cat toys that will keep your cat moving. There are toys that look like mice, toys with feathers, battery-powered toys with flashing light and sound, laser pointers, toys that move, toys on strings–everything that you need to help keep your cat pouncing and stalking safely indoors.

2. Let Your Cat Climb
Wild cats are natural climbers, pursuing prey into the trees and seeking high places when frightened. Your pet cat retains those same climbing instincts. Cat trees are a tried and true way of allowing your cat to exercise its urge to climb, and they come in all shapes and sizes to fit your space and decor. If you’re handy, you can build your own. Take it to the next level by adding “cat shelves” throughout your home to take advantage of vertical space for your feline family members. It can be as simple as a few floating shelves mounted to the wall or more involved “catwalks” that wrap around entire rooms. Either way, cat shelves will allow your kitty to get up high and go places only cats can go.

3. Go for a Walk
It might sound crazy and be the subject of hilarious YouTube videos, but believe it or not it is possible to train your cat to walk on a leash. If you must let your cat outside, this is the most responsible way to do it. It’s easiest to start training your cat when it’s just a kitten, but even older cats can learn. Start by getting your cat used to wearing a harness for short periods of time indoors, then move on to attaching the leash and rewarding the cat with treats when it walks with you. Never pull on the leash. Once the cat is comfortable with the harness and leash, it’s time to try it outside. Start slowly, with just short trips outside and gradually increase the length of the walks as your cat gets more comfortable. If it’s too much of a challenge, work with a professional animal trainer. Remember, the idea of walking dogs on leashes once seemed weird, but now it’s the standard. We can do the same with cats.

4. Let Your Cat Go Hunting
Cats are inherently curious animals. If an indoor cat doesn’t have enough stimulation indoors it’s going to get bored and try to get outside. In addition to toys, you can help your cat exercise its natural hunting instinct by hiding its favorite treats around the house. Freeze treats in ice cubes or use special cat treat puzzles and toys that make your cat work to extract its reward to offer hours of mental stimulation. These are the same enrichment tactics used to keep lions, tigers and other predators in good mental and physical condition in zoos.

5. Love Your Cat
This last one is simple. You love your cat, and that love can be the most powerful tool you have to keeping it happy. Unlike their wild ancestors, domesticated cats crave human attention. Often the most effective way of keeping your indoor cat happy is to just pay attention to it. Snuggle your cat, pet your cat, and play with your cat every day.  You’ll be surprised at how far a little attention from its human can go in ensuring your indoor cat’s wellbeing.