Whether its a dog or a dove, treat animals with love.

Your Indoor Cat

How often do you hear from a fellow pet parent who feels “so guilty” when their cat sits on the window sill staring outside? They worry their cat is bored, is becoming destructive because they don’t want to be in the house anymore, or even that being inside is negatively affecting their cat’s health. They let the cat on the porch to explore a bit, and one night the cat gets out by mistake. He comes back right away, and soon this one-time thing becomes a habit. But, is this really okay for your cat? Is it actually important for your cat to go outside occasionally, or is this a myth?

Let’s take a look at some of the myths floating around about the indoor-versus-outdoor cat dilemma, and what’s best for your feline companion.

I’m worried my indoor cat gets bored.

This isn’t untrue. Your indoor cat probably does get bored from time to time. That doesn’t mean you need to be letting him outside, though. Instead, make your home more interesting. Set up perches and cat forts throughout the house for him to play in; buy him new toys; and leave the blinds open so he can see outside while you’re not home. If your home is interesting, then he won’t want to leave.

My indoor cat is overweight.

Animals sometimes become overweight, but this is easily controllable. This can be managed with a combination of portion control, daily exercise, and play time. Try not to feed your cat wet food if you can help it, and cut back on the treats. Try incorporating toys into his routine that will encourage him to run around the house. Perches, tunnels, and scratching posts pay homage to your cat’s internal instincts while also exercising him mentally, emotionally, and physically.

My indoor cat is destructive.

If your cat has become destructive, then there’s probably something else going on. Is your cat bored, or possibly even sick? Set up scratching posts throughout the house, and try planting catnip and other cat-friendly plants around the house for him to gnaw on; they’re non-toxic and good for his teeth. If you take steps to curb the behavior and it continues, then call your vet and arrange an appointment to see what else may be going on.

My cat has always been allowed outside, so I can’t just make him indoor-only.

Just because you’ve been doing it doesn’t mean you should. Plenty of cats transition from indoor to outdoor, and then indoor again. The key, again, is to make your home as interesting as the outdoors.

My cat is safe when he goes outside because he stays close to my home.

Your cat might not wander far, but a lot can happen in that small radius of your home. While cats like to stick within their designated territory, they sometimes wander and can’t find their way home; they are attacked by a larger predator; or are even picked up by a concerned stranger. Make sure you microchip your cat, and don’t let him out if you cant help it.

Sometimes I need to let my cat outside because I’m allergic to him.

If you suspect you’re allergic to your cat, then you need to be tested. If you’re not allergic and you’re letting him outside, then there’s an outside allergen that’s affecting your sinuses. To make matters worse, you could even be exposing your cat to allergens which could cause a reaction in him.  Get tested, and avoid letting your cat out.


Bath Time for Your Cat – The Basics

Cats make great pets. They’re independent, don’t require constant care, and are very loving. But, just because your cat appears to be the polar opposite of a dog (in personality and species) doesn’t mean they don’t require a bath every now and again. Not only is this an opportunity to bond with your feline friend, but it also keeps them happier and healthier.

Start slow.

If you’ve been a cat owner for awhile, then you know it’s not a good idea to scoop him up and just start brushing him one day. Cats need careful, slow introduction to anything new. This includes toys, new environments, and especially grooming.

Slowly get him used to being rubbed and touched by the brush. Let him investigate the tool and become comfortable with it. After a while you can begin to groom him regularly.

Brushing your cat.

Regular brushing helps get rid of dirt and dead hair, along with clearing matted hair and tangles. Always brush your cat’s fur in the same direction that it naturally grows. If you try going any other direction, his fur could become tangled and messy. For short-haired cats, brushing twice a week is plenty. For his long-haired counterpart, you may need to brush once a day.

Bath time.

Bathing your cat probably seems like a terrible idea. Cats don’t even like water, right? How in the world are you supposed to convince him to be patient enough for a bath?

As with the brushing, it’s important to introduce bathing slowly to your cat. Start with a shallow tub filled to about 3 to 4 inches of water and padded with a plastic pad. Introduce him slowly to the water, and only use shampoo that is specifically made for cats. If, even after a slow intro, your cat just won’t get in the tub, try a dry shampoo for the time being and then bring him to a professional groomer.

Taking care of their claws.

Most people opt not to get their cats declawed, which is a good thing. The Humane Society is strongly against the practice, and in many countries around the world it’s actually illegal. If your cat scratches, try getting a scratching post. You can entice him to use it by putting cat litter and other treats in it. This will help him develop the habit of scratching the post rather than your furniture. If he still has issues with clawing and he is injuring you, then start trimming his nails. This doesn’t hurt the cat, but it can take him awhile to get used to it.