Deciding my cats would be indoor pets was an easy decision. I knew that an indoor lifestyle would keep my cats safer – they wouldn’t run the risk of being hit by a car, get into a scrap scuffle with another animal or stray too far from home.
And as lovable as cats are, they’re not great for the environment.
For the sake of the local birdlife, possums and lizards (and snakes!) that live in my suburb, it’s important that my cats are kept away.
Indoor cats also have reduced exposure to parasites. This doesn’t mean they can’t get them, which is why I still worm and deflea my cats.
An indoor lifestyle
It was pretty easy to raise my cats as indoor only pets – they both came to me as stray kittens.
It was the rule of the rescue group we fostered with that all cats were kept indoors from the get-go.
Both of my cats are fairly timid, so they’re happy to stay inside where they feel safe. In fact it has been less about how to make my cat stay inside; instead taking their lead on wanting to be indoors.
Exploring the outdoors safely
Cat harnesses enable them to sniff around in the backyard and chew the grass without any risk of them bolting should they get a fright. While admittedly one of my cats does better with the harness than the other, it’s an okay compromise.
In one of the rental homes I lived in, my partner and I turned a huge disused bird aviary into a cat enclosure. We added branches, potted catnip, ledges and a tunnel for our cats to laze about in. I hope to be able to provide them with some sort of indoor/outdoor a cat enclosure down the line so they can have the best of both worlds.
Litter tray privacy
As my cats don’t have the option of choosing a spot outside to do their business (no doubt a relief to the neighbours!), their litter trays are located where they won’t be disturbed.
A large broom cupboard in the laundry is the perfect spot – as it’s roomy and, it comfortably fits two large litter trays inside. A stopper keeps the door ajar so the cats can climb in and out of it.
While my cats are indoor pets, it’s still important to wear gloves when cleaning the litter to reduce exposure to potential toxoplasmosis.