Life as a cat is dangerous, particularly for outdoor cats.

While some argue that it is cruel to keep a cat indoors the truth is that indoor cats live significantly longer than outdoor cats.

This is because they avoid catching diseases, and running into trouble which could endanger their life. If you want to keep your cat healthy for as long as possible then keeping them indoors is a good idea.

Don’t worry it isn’t cruel, cats can live very happy and fulfilled lives indoors if you provide them with a few basic distractions.

Below are 6 activities you can give your indoor cat to keep them active and fulfilled:

1. Cat Furniture

Cat Furniture - PetSutra

Cats enjoy climbing trees.

An easy way to simulate this in your home is to set up purpose-made cat furniture such as cat trees which provides them with an opportunity to climb up high and survey the world.

Cats also enjoy scratching things.

One of the downsides to keeping your cat indoors is that instead of scratching trees and fences their only choice is to scratch your furniture.

A good way of dealing with this is to place a cat scratching post prominently in every room in your home so they always have an option that is preferable to the armchair.

One final piece of furniture which could be worth adding to your home is a cat exercise wheel.

If your cat is the type of cat that likes to sprint around the house at 2 AM then a cat exercise wheel provides a great way of allowing them to burn off excess energy without waking everyone up.

These are exactly what they sound like, giant hamster wheels designed specifically for cats!

2. Cat Enclosures & Catios

If you have a yard or garden space then a cat enclosure can be a great way of allowing your cat to go outside without any fear of them running off or interacting with stray cats.

Catios, for example, are large frames that fit over your backdoor, you can leave the backdoor open and your cat can wander in and out of the catio freely, and enjoy the smells, bask in the sun and bird watching in the outdoors.

Alternatively, if you have a balcony you can get a cat net to put up around your balcony. This will allow them to enjoy the outdoors while ensuring that they can’t jump off the balcony. It will also prevent them from accidentally falling off the railing if they take an ill-judged swipe at a passing bird or insect.

3. Cat Toys

A quick search of Amazon shows that there are over 2,000 cat toy products available there! Cat toys come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, some require some human interaction, others you can just give to your cat and see how they get on with it.

All cat toys are designed to encourage your cat to be active, so buy a handful of them, place them around the house and let your cat do the rest! A few of our favourites are the electronic fish (this battery-powered fish flips and flops around just like a real also has a pouch which you can put catnip in), the cat tunnels (great for hiding in and running through) and the classic feather wand.

4. Catnip

Catnip causes a reaction in your cat’s “happy receptors”. This leads to them rolling around, pawing, jumping and punching all over the place.

A small amount of catnip can give a cat a whole day's worth of exercise in only a few minutes! Simply take an old sock (or purpose-made cat toy) sprinkle some catnip inside and let them get at it!

We recommend you don’t give your cat any catnip anymore than once a day. Giving catnip more frequently won’t cause them any harm however overuse can cause them to become resistant to the effect of it over time.

5. Get Another Cat!

Cats are thought of as solitary creatures who are quite happy on their own. This is true to a degree, however providing you take the time to properly introduce a new cat so that hostilities are minimised, adding a second cat to your home is a great way of not only giving your cat some company but providing them with a playmate to chase around and wrestle with (once they get comfortable with each other).

6. Bird Viewing Perches

Bird Viewing Perches for Cats - PetSutra

Cats are hunters by instinct.

If you’ve ever heard the chattering noise they make when they see a bird you will understand something of just how stimulating it is for them to get a glimpse of a bird! By setting up a bird feeding table outside a window you provide your cat with a huge amount of mental stimulation.

Despite the fact that they are not actively hunting the birds so aren’t having the same levels of physical activity, a regular influx of feeding birds will keep them focussed for hours, leaving them exhausted after so much intense concentration.

Just make sure you don’t accidentally leave the window open!


We hope you found these tips useful.

Remember there is no reason why an indoor cat needs to be inactive or overweight, make sure you manage their diet well and provide them with plenty of opportunities to keep active and they can live a happy, fulfilled and active life indoors.