10 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Healthy & Happy

A woman’s hand strokes a happy kitten’s chin

As responsible cat owners, ensuring the health and happiness of our feline companions is essential. While indoor cats are protected from many outdoor hazards, they still require specific care to thrive. Today, we'll explore effective ways to keep your indoor cat healthy and happy.

1. Satisfy their natural instincts

Cats are natural hunters, and even indoor kitties retain these instincts. Engage their predatory nature by providing interactive toys that mimic the thrill of the hunt. Feather wands, laser pointers, and puzzle feeders are excellent choices. Stimulating playtime not only keeps them physically active but also mentally engaged.

2. Create vertical vantage points

In their wild habitat, cats are skilled climbers, seeking vantage points to observe their surroundings. Mimic this instinct by adding vertical spaces to your home. Cat trees, wall shelves, and window perches offer opportunities for exercise and relaxation, promoting a sense of security.

3. Provide feline-friendly furniture

Scratching is a natural behaviour that helps our cats maintain their claws and mark their territory. Furnish your home with scratching posts, cardboard boxes, and designated scratching surfaces. This helps keep your furniture safe and fulfills their intrinsic need to scratch and stretch.

4. Maintain a nutritious diet

Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of your cat's health. Shop for high-quality cat food that meets their dietary needs. You may want to consult your veterinarian to double-check you’ve picked the right portion sizes and feeding schedule for their age, size, activity level, and other health considerations. Fresh water should always be available to keep your furry friend hydrated.

This doesn’t mean you can’t treat your pets, of course! Bust out the blender and try our recipe for healthy homemade cat treats for something really special.

5. Keep the litter box clean

A clean litter box is vital for any cat's well-being. Regularly scoop waste and change the litter to prevent odours and maintain your cat's hygiene. Place their litter box in a quiet, easily accessible spot to ensure they feel comfortable using it.

6. Add excitement to their environment

Indoor cats benefit from a stimulating environment. Rotate toys, rearrange furniture, and introduce new objects to keep their surroundings interesting. Cats thrive on novelty, and a dynamic environment prevents boredom and promotes mental sharpness.

7. Training and socialization

Contrary to popular belief, indoor cats can be trained just like their outdoor counterparts. Teach them tricks, obedience commands, or even to walk on a leash. Positive reinforcement techniques can encourage mental engagement and strengthen your bond.

8. Offer sunlit spaces

Sunlight provides essential vitamins and boosts your cat's mood. Position cat beds or perches near windows to allow them to bask in the natural light. Be cautious of direct sunlight, ensuring your cat doesn't overheat.

If you’re feeling ambitious, get inspired by some dreamy DIY catios to bring the outside in.

Remember that fresh water we discussed earlier? Keep that accessible wherever they roam so they can easily stay hydrated if the midday sun gets a little too hot.

9. Regular vet check-ups

Routine visits to the veterinarian are crucial for preventive care. Vaccinations, dental hygiene, and overall health assessments are essential to catch any issues early. Consult your vet about specific indoor cat health concerns and recommended check-up frequencies.

10. Feline companionship

If you can keep up with two furry friends, consider adopting a second cat for companionship. Having a feline friend around can help prevent loneliness and provide opportunities for play and interaction. Cats are social animals, after all.

Purrfectly happy, inside and out

While indoor cats are shielded from various outdoor risks, they still require dedicated care to lead happy and healthy lives. By satisfying their natural instincts, creating fun and safe environment, and providing proper nutrition and care, you can ensure your indoor cat thrives.

While you’re here, consider reviewing our tips for how to reduce our cats’ stress.

Written by: Dylan M. Austin
Reviewed by: Dr. Jennifer Sperry, DVM