Cats can become stressed out if they’re unable to follow their natural behaviours and instincts. Indoor cats often display the stress they’re feeling by hiding away, going to the toilet in places they shouldn’t, over-grooming, aggressive behaviour or even increased signs of dependency. These stress signals can also be witnessed in outdoor cats too.
One of the ways you can help your cat to avoid stress and lead a happy life is by keeping them entertained and recognising what their natural instincts are. For example cats love to hunt; they hide, climb, retreat and keep a watchful eye on the activities around them. Providing you’re able to give your cat the ability to replicate these behaviours and allow them to feel in control you should be able to avoid stress from causing problems.
Entertain Your Cat
If you have an indoor cat or a lazy outdoor cat here are a few ways you can reduce the risks of stress and obesity:
- Introduce plenty of toys. There are all sorts of toys available so try and rotate the toys so there is always something new to play with.
- Cardboard boxes are fantastic play things for cats – always make sure you remove any staples before handing them over to your furry friends. To make boxes even more fun it’s a good idea to cut out a few extra peep holes.
- Activity centres provide your cat with lots of levels to play on. Cats enjoy getting into elevated positions whether to watch what’s happening or to settle down and relax on.
- Give your cat your attention at least once per day. Try grooming one day or playing a game the next.
- If you’re going to be out for long periods of time remember to leave on the TV or the radio for their entertainment.
- Clear off areas of your shelves, on top of your wardrobes and the kitchen units just for your cat to use.
Avoiding Problems with Weight Gain in Cats
Another issue with indoor cats to be aware of is weight gain. Obviously when a cat is inside all day it won’t be able to exercise as much as it would if it was outside. Indoor cats can lead sedentary lives and it’s down to you to try to encourage more activity through play and providing suitable toys and options for your cat to indulge in. Remember that cats that are bored will also eat more food, something to be wary of.