Have you recently decided to bring your outdoor cat indoors full-time? Cats can take poorly to change and may not initially like having their living and exploration space considerably shrunk, so here are a few tips to help your pet adjust.
Recreate the outdoors
To keep your outdoor cat happy inside, make sure you have toys that are similar to the animals your pet may have stalked outside your home. Cats will naturally go after toys that look like birds and mice, so consider getting smaller toys that feature feathers or fake whiskers. Petfinder.com recommended rotating cat toys every few weeks to keep your cat entertained.
Cats that have recently become indoor pets may also be accustomed to scratching anything they please. Install plenty of scratching posts to help your furniture survive the transition. Try playing with your cat near the scratching posts to make the transition easier.
Cats are often slow to adjust to small changes in environment, so a big one like becoming an indoor cat can take a while. One of the biggest changes an outdoor cat can face when transitioning indoors is the litter box. Outdoor cats can go wherever they feel they should mark their territory, while indoor pets are limited to this small amount of space.
Try to make the change from yard to box as seamless as possible. Add a litter box indoors if you don’t already have one to get your cat used to the idea. Before you shut the door for good, place another litter box near it so your cat associates going outside with going in the box, as this will help your cat adjust to the new conditions.
If your cat has been eating outdoors, you’ll want to make that transition as well. Consider playing with your pet inside for longer intervals after meals, as this can convince the cat to stay indoors, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
It’s likely that your cat will make a run for an open door or window if he or she sees the chance. Use positive reinforcement, like treats and toys indoors, instead of negative, as this will teach the cat the same lesson and make for a happier household for your pet.
This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.