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Indoor cats: What to watch out for with house cats

Keeping an indoor cat - what do I need to consider?

If you want to keep your cat indoors or in a flat, you should be aware of a few things:

  • Rented flat: If you live in a rented flat, you should clarify with the landlord whether keeping a cat is permitted here. Neighbours may also have objections, for example if someone suffers from a severe cat hair allergy.

  • Nocturnal activity: It is quite possible that cats are active at night and roam or play around the flat at night. Many cats, however, adapt to the rhythm of their owners.

  • Moving house with a cat: If you move house relatively frequently, keeping a cat is generally not recommended. Cats are creatures of habit and know their territory - the rooms, furniture and routines. Moving house means pure stress for them and involves a new familiarisation phase. You should only put your velvet paw through such a situation if there is no other option.

  • Life expectancy: The life expectancy of an indoor cat is around 15 years, but can also be 20 years or more. The decision in favour of a velvet-pawed roommate is therefore a decision in favour of a life companion. If you can already foresee that you will not be able to enter into such a long partnership, you should rather not burden yourself with such a responsibility and prefer not to live together for the good of the cat - even if it is difficult.

How can I keep my indoor cat in a species-appropriate way?

So that your velvet paw can lead a happy life in your home, you should offer it a species-appropriate life that best meets its natural needs. This includes various aspects:

  • Space available: How many square metres of living space should I offer my indoor cat? Some experts recommend at least 40 square metres, while others say it depends on having several rooms that offer the cat variety and satisfy its urge to explore. If you keep more than one cat, the animals must be able to get out of each other's way from time to time: In this case, there should be one room per animal.

  • Species-appropriate environment: Apart from the living space, your home should be designed to be exciting and stimulating. For example, you can set up raised lying areas and cat trees. As cats always need periods of rest, there should also be a permanent retreat in the home. A cat-proof home that eliminates sources of danger from the outset also plays an important role, especially for kittens.

  • Alone or in pairs: It is generally advisable to keep at least two cats. If a kitten is to move in with you, and even more so if you won't be home much later on, then a playmate is just the thing. However, if you are adopting a quiet senior cat from an animal shelter that is used to being kept alone, it makes sense to stick to this form of housing. Whether you can keep your indoor cat alone or whether a playmate is essential ultimately depends on the individual.

  • Occupation: The more rooms and hiding places there are for your indoor cat, the better. Because your little whirlwind needs variety. But that alone is not enough: you should also plan enough time each day to play and keep your cat occupied

Keeping your cat indoors can be species-appropriate if done correctly, but it is a constant challenge for you as a cat owner. If you are not afraid of this responsibility, you will find your indoor cat to be a happy, loyal companion.

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How can I keep my indoor cat occupied?

In contrast to their conspecifics, who are mainly kept outside, indoor-only cats naturally get a little less action. If you decide that you don't want your velvet paw to leave your home on its own, you will need to act as an entertainer to prevent boredom. If you want to build up a particularly close bond with your four-legged companion, you can achieve a lot with a few minutes of intensive activity a day with your tiger. There are many possibilities, for example

  • Intelligence or hunting games,

  • searching for treats in various hiding places

  • or practising tricks and stunts using clicker training.

Basically, there are almost no limits to the games you can play with your cat: Bet that your play-loving flatmate will be enthusiastic?

How can I keep my indoor cat healthy?

To ensure that your cuddly tiger feels completely comfortable and is in the best of health, you should consider the following aspects

  • Proper nutrition for indoor cats: As indoor cats move around less than outdoor cats, they also need less energy. Nevertheless, they need the same nutrients as their outdoor counterparts. Special food for indoor cats ensures that their daily nutritional requirements are met, but that they do not consume unnecessary calories. This allows you to maintain your cat's healthy weight and avoid lengthy diets.

  • Vaccination: You may wonder whether vaccination is even necessary, especially for indoor cats - after all, they are not outside and do not come into contact with other cats. However, experts still recommend it, as there is still a risk of some diseases, such as cat flu. Your vet will be able to advise you on this.

  • Neutering: When cats come into heat, i.e. are ready to conceive, but no reproductive partner appears, they run the risk of becoming permanently in heat - a very stressful situation for your pet cat. If you don't want any offspring at home anyway, you should seek advice on neutering. You don't need to worry: This is a routine procedure - your cat will be fit again in no time!

  • Deworming: Experts recommend worming your cat up to four times a year. You can clarify with your vet whether such a worming treatment is actually necessary in each individual case.

  • Litter tray: Cats are very clean animals, so you should empty the litter tray every day and top up with fresh litter. The litter tray should also be completely cleaned regularly and the cat litter changed completely.

  • Fur care: In addition to creative play ideas, long cuddles are a must for every cat owner. You can perfectly combine cuddles with grooming by using suitable cat brushes. Especially if your cat has quite a long coat, he will appreciate it if you gently introduce him to brushing his fur and make it easier for him to shed. At the end of the day, you will have a happy and clean cat.

Does my indoor cat need to go outside?

If the cat has grown up as an indoor cat, it can also lead a happy and contented life in a flat. After all, it doesn't know any different and therefore doesn't miss the outdoors.

However, if an outdoor cat is suddenly to be kept exclusively indoors, this usually leads to problems, as it can no longer pursue its hunting instinct, for example, and has to restrict itself in unusual ways. Aggressive behaviour can be the unpleasant consequence. In such a case, the cat is no longer being kept in a species-appropriate environment, as it has developed needs that it cannot fulfil in a flat.

If you notice that your indoor cat has a strong urge to go outside, there are certainly ways in which you can give your four-legged friend some contact with the outside world:
  • Place by the window: Some cats spend a lot of time on the windowsill and are happy just to watch what's going on outside.
  • Cat on the balcony: If a balcony is part of your home, you can also declare it your cat's territory. It gets fresh air, hears the sounds unfiltered and enjoys a panoramic view of the surroundings. However, the safety of your velvet paw should be the top priority here: A cat-safe balcony is therefore the be-all and end-all before your tiger is allowed to explore its outdoor terrain.
  • Indoor cat in the garden: If you enjoy the luxury of a small garden, you can give your four-legged friend a bit of variety here too. However, you should proceed very cautiously so that your indoor cat can get used to the garden: First of all, an enclosed, cat-proof garden is essential, then you can start the gradual familiarisation process.
  • Cats on a lead: You rarely see cats on leads, which is because this type of outdoor access does not suit their independent nature. Cat leads and harnesses are therefore intended less as a way of taking cats out for a walk and more as a way of acclimatising cats to the balcony or garden, for example, or letting them out temporarily when travelling to prevent them from running away.
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Which cat breed is suitable as an indoor cat?

Are you looking for the perfect indoor cat? You need to know that cats are animals with very strong characters: No two are the same, so even representatives of the same breed are individually different.

Some cat breeds like to be kept as indoor cats, including
  • Abyssinian

  • Balinese

  • British Shorthair

  • Exotic Shorthair

  • Maine Coon

  • Norwegian Forest Cat

  • Persian

  • Ragdoll

Some of these breeds, for example, do not feel an excessive urge to move, are considered docile and cosy or sleep a lot.

Ultimately, however, the choice of your indoor cat should also depend on what requirements you can fulfil in your home and how much time you can devote to your velvet paw. Some breeds are ideal for beginners (e.g. Maine Coon), some for professionals (e.g. British Shorthair) and others can even be kept by allergy sufferers as they shed very little (e.g. Burmese cats).

Where can I buy an indoor cat?

If you want to buy an indoor cat, you can enquire at the animal shelter whether there are kittens or an indoor cat for sale whose needs match your options. Private cat owners also occasionally place kittens from a litter. Both options are a very favourable alternative compared to buying from a breeder. A pedigree cat can cost several hundred euros, but you can rely on certain breed standards.

What do I need for my indoor cat?

To offer your animal flatmate a happy life within your four walls, you will of course need some utensils. We have put together a clear list of the necessary equipment for your indoor cat

  • Cat food and cat snacks

  • Cat bowls for water and food

  • Cat bed

  • Cat litter tray with cat litter

  • Cat tree

  • Cat toys

  • Cat grass

  • Cat care products such as brushes and grooming gloves

In addition, many cats are happy to have other places to occupy themselves and retreat to, such as a cat tunnel or a cat cave.

Overall, you should take great care to make your home cat-safe. This way, you can immediately eliminate potential sources of danger and leave your tiger alone at home without any worries.
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Advantages and disadvantages of indoor cats - our conclusion

If you are still deciding whether a cat or a tomcat should enrich your life at home, you will find all our experiences and tips at a glance here:

Advantages of indoor cats:

  • Long life expectancy, as they grow up in a protected space

  • a long, close partnership with your four-legged friend - after all, you spend a lot of time together

  • a wonderful hobby, as you are always challenged to come up with new games, hiding places and activities

  • Less susceptible to illness

Disadvantages of indoor cats:

  • time-consuming, as they want to be entertained in order to be challenged and kept busy

  • Cat hair in the home

  • you must allow your cat some living space to sleep, eat, play and do its business

  • if possible, two animals should move in with you at the same time

Please tell us in the comments how you make your velvet paw happy at home. We are looking forward to your opinions ?!

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