How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy

How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy
Make sure your indoor cat is healthy and happy. (Wedding and lifestyle/Shutterstock)
It’s well known that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats simply because indoor cats are exposed to far fewer risks such as cars, attacks from other animals, environmental hazards and disease. But how do you figure out how to keep indoor cats happy?

Keeping Indoor Cats Happy

Indoor cats can get bored and frustrated, especially if they’ve ever lived outside. So it’s important to make sure your indoor cat is kept both physically and mentally stimulated in order to keep them happy and healthy. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:


1. Provide a view. Cats love to sit near a window to watch birds, squirrels and anything else happening outside. They love fresh air and the sounds of nature. So make sure you keep your curtains open so your cat can look outside, plus get sunshine. You might provide a window hammock or perch for your cat to be near a window. Make sure your window screens, sliding doors or balconies are safe for your cat. Cats also love cat trees. Being up high on something is a favorite for cats.

(Andrzej Puchta/Shutterstock)
(Andrzej Puchta/Shutterstock)

2. Provide a variety of toys. Indoor cats have a bigger risk of obesity, so it’s important to make sure they get enough exercise. Cats love laser pointers, toy mice, and especially feather wands. Also keep in mind that something as simple as a cardboard box will make your cat happy! You might also try rotating their toys from time to time to keep them from getting bored.

(eberhard grossgasteiger/Unsplash)
(eberhard grossgasteiger/Unsplash)
3. Get a scratching post. Cats love to stretch and keep their claws sharp. Providing a scratching post will allow them to scratch without destroying your furniture. The scratching post should be tall enough to allow your cat to stretch. If you’d like help teaching your cat to use a scratching post, read my article, How to Stop a Cat from Scratching Furniture (includes video).

4. Make food and water fun. You might not be aware that there’s such a thing as puzzle feeders for cats. They require your cat to figure out how to get food out of the feeder. Research has shown that food puzzles help to prevent behavioral problems and obesity, plus provide essential mental stimulation. Just make sure your cat is getting enough food without having to work for it with the puzzle feeder. You might also try a water fountain. These are fun for cats and encourage them to stay hydrated.

5. Grow a salad bar! Providing grass for your indoor cat will help with digestion and naturally prevents hairballs. Catnip can easily be grown indoors. Just plant some in a pot and leave it in a sunny area.

6. Make sure they’re happy with their litter box. It’s important to keep the litter box clean, and make sure its location is ok with your cat. For more information, read my article (includes video) that covers 10 Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box.

7. Screened porches. If you happen to have a screened-in porch, that’s a great way to let your cat enjoy the outdoors safely. If you don’t have a screened-in porch, you could consider a catio. Remember that a fenced-in yard will not keep your cat in, or other animals out, of your yard.

8. Play with your cat daily. You should try to play with your indoor cat for at least 15 minutes three times a day. This will this provide exercise and mental stimulation for your cat and also help to build a bond with your cat. Remember that senior cats need exercise as well, but may need to play less often, or less vigorously.

9. Provide a quiet place to sleep. You may be surprised to learn that the average cat sleeps 15 hours a day or more! Check out my article, How Much Do Cats Sleep? So you’ll want to make sure your cat has a cat bed that’s both comfortable, and in a location that’s quiet and safe.
10. Leave the TV or radio on. This is especially helpful when your cat is home alone. You might also try letting your cat watch cat videos on YouTube – my cat loves this!

Spend Time with Your Cat

Keeping indoor cats entertained can be challenging. One of the best ways to keep your indoor cat happy is to spend time with them. Cats require love and attention in order to be happy and healthy – and most likely, their favorite activity is spending time with you!
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Debra is the author of People Loving Animals, a blog devoted to the care, health, and training of dogs and cats. Debra donates 10% of all commissions earned to animal charities. To learn more about Debra visit
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