Can Any Cat be a House Cat?
According to the good folk at Voyager Harness, there is a growing trend among cat owners to take their pets out for walks, decked out in a cat harness attached to a leash. But many people are still of the opinion that cats either go out to explore on their own or spend all their time inside. But is it okay for a cat to spend all its time indoors? Moreover, can any cat be a house cat?
Is it Okay for Cats to be Indoors All the Time?
There are very good reasons for keeping cats inside all the time. For example, if you live in an urban area, your cat could be hurt or even killed if it were to run in front of traffic. Those who live in apartments or homes without a yard are often reluctant to let their cats roam freely for these very reasons. But even those who live in the suburbs might not want their cat out and about by itself for fear of it getting into fights with other cats or being attacked by another animal. Having cats indoors keeps them safe from injury but also from possible infectious diseases.
What to Consider When Keeping a Cat Inside
If you are keeping your cat indoors for its own protection, there are a few things you need to consider. For example, your cat will need to use a litter tray, and you will need to clean this regularly. The average cat will use the litter tray between 3 and 5 times a day, and most cats do not like using a dirty tray.
You should also make sure the tray is in a quieter area of the home. Furthermore, although a covered tray might seem like a good way to give your cat privacy, most cats like to be able to see around them when using the tray.
If your cat is spending all its time indoors, it is up to you to ensure he or she is not bored. While the cat might spend the majority of its time lazing about, it does need some form of exercise – and it will want to play. A scratching post will give your cat the opportunity to sharpen its claws without resorting to using your furniture and, with plenty of toys designed to challenge it mentally and physically, the cat should not get bored or frustrated.
Do Cats Need to Go Outside?
There are some people who think it’s cruel to keep cats inside. After all, surely they need some fresh air and exercise. While it would be great for cats to be able to get outside, it is not always safe for them to do so. As well as the risk from traffic, other cats, and other animals such as dogs, there are other dangers too. Sometimes cats can go missing when they go outside alone. It might be that they have wandered far from home and are unable to find their way back, or it could be that they have been stolen.
Keeping a cat indoors will not cause it any harm, provided of course that it has everything it needs. This means access to food and drink, a place to go to the toilet, and toys to provide mental and physical stimulation.
If you want to keep your cat safe but think that it should also benefit from being outside, you could always try to train it to walk on a cat harness and leash. But note that while some cats enjoy being on a harness, others feel vulnerable when they don’t have control of their surroundings.