The Unique Needs of Indoor Cats
Indoor cats enjoy extra comfort and safety from many diseases, predators and other hazards — like cars — that outdoor cats must face. In fact, cats kept exclusively indoors live, on average, at least twice as long as outdoor cats. But indoor cats face their own set of challenges. Learn about the unique needs of indoor cats and how you can make your indoor pet as healthy and happy as possible.
Indoor cats are far less active because they encounter fewer stimuli and have less space to roam than their outdoor counterparts. To make up for the less-active lifestyle, you should try to play with your cat for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day.
Try to keep your cat’s play routine new and different. Try new rooms, new variations of games and even new toys. Something as simple as a laundry basket can become a cat’s new favorite toy. Also, check on your cat’s weight at the annual vet visit to make sure your cat is maintaining a healthy size.
Cats need somewhere they know they can go to feel safe and secure. This is especially important in households with other cats, dogs or young children. A perch high in a bookshelf or closet is ideal because it’s safe from dogs and kids, and because your cat can look out over the room while resting.
Litter Box Needs
A clean litter box is essential to your cat’s comfort and health. Supply at least one box per cat. Each box should be scooped daily, the litter should be changed frequently — once a week or every other week — and the boxes should be replaced annually. Litter boxes also should be in a private location away from high-traffic areas of the home.
Skin and Coat Needs
The condition of your cat’s skin and fur is one of the best indicators of nutrition and well-being. Many indoor cats can develop dull fur or have issues with dry, irritated, flaky skin. These conditions can be caused by dry air from indoor heating and cooling.
In some cases, a dull coat and unhealthy skin might indicate a nutrition deficiency. NATURAL CHOICE® Cat Food contains optimum levels of zinc and linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) that help enhance fur’s shine, decrease dander and improve cats’ skin moisture barrier.
Also, make sure to brush your cat sometime between once a day and once a week, depending on fur length and density. Indoor cats groom more frequently than outdoor cats, so helping remove extra hair, especially during shedding seasons, cuts down on hairball formation.
Because indoor cats generally use less energy, they need more protein and fewer calories. They also need a healthy water intake, which can be boosted with a mixed dry-/wet-food diet. Always remember to make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water. Learn more about the varieties of NATURAL CHOICE® Cat Food to help you find the right high-quality, natural cat food for your indoor cat.