Keep A New Indoor Cat Occupied

CatChannel behavior expert Marilyn Krieger shares tips on helping cats adjust to indoor life.

Q: I recently moved in into a small apartment with my little 2-year-old female cat, Natty. I previously lived in a house, and Natty could run outside in the woods. She now lacks that freedom and is alone most of the day. It upsets me that she is alone and I’m concerned that she is sad and might need a friend. I am truly a cat lover and honestly want to make sure my cat is happy. Are two really better than one? Do you think she is lonely or needs a cat companion?
A: You can make Natty’s new apartment living experience fun and inspiring by increasing the environmental enrichment. Your cat can benefit from being an indoor cat. Interactive toys such as Turbo Scratchers, ball and track toys and puzzle boxes will keep her busy. Also simple items such as paper bags with no handles, cardboard boxes and pieces of paper wadded up into balls can become an endless source of entertainment. Tall cat furniture, strategically placed near a secure window, can also keep her busy checking out the activities of birds, squirrels and other neighborhood residents.

new cat companion may also help brighten up your cat’s days while you are away from her, too. If Natty has a history of enjoying the company of other cats, her day times away from you can be enhanced with the introduction of a new cat buddy. In order to make an ideal match when adopting a new cat, consider the personalities of the cats, their histories, ages and energy levels. The new cat needs to have a proven history of getting along well with other cats. A big age gap shouldn’t exist between the new cat and Natty and their energy levels should be similar. Depending on the personalities of the cats, a neutered male cat may be a better match then a female for Natty.

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