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Keeping Your Cat Indoors

Have you recently decided to pull the plug on your kitty’s outdoor explorations? Perhaps Fluffy’s habit of leaving mice on the doorstep has gotten out of hand. Or maybe you’ve adopted a sweet stray kitty, and want to make sure your new furball stays safe and sound. Whatever the reason, we applaud your decision. Below, a Livonia, MI vet discusses keeping cats indoors.

Benefits of Keeping Fluffy Inside

Indoor cats are generally much safer and healthier than outdoor kitties, and tend to live longer. This isn’t much of a surprise, given all of the dangers kitties face outdoors. Predators, cars, and other cats are just a few of the hazards that endanger outdoor kitties. Additionally, outdoor cats are much more likely to pick up dangerous parasites, or get lost, injured, or even killed. If your feline friend is a hunter, keeping her inside will also help protect fragile local wildlife populations.

Convincing Your Cat

While these are all very valid reasons to keep Fluffy indoors, trying to explain this to your kitty probably won’t stop her from scratching or meowing at the door. This can take some training, as well as time and patience. In fact, you may have to resort to trickery. What you want to do is have Fluffy form a negative association with the door, without hurting her. Try squirting her with water from a spray bottle whenever she approaches the door. Loud noises, like bike horns, can also help. These things won’t hurt your cat, but she’ll probably hightail it to her favorite hiding spot to think things over. In time, she may decide that approaching the door just isn’t worth it!

Bribing Your Cat

While you’re trying to change your kitty’s mind about going outside, try to make the indoor life as appealing as possible. Put a cat tower in front of a window with a good view, so Fluffy can relax in her favorite sunbeam and watch birds and squirrels. Birdwatching can keep cats occupied for hours! You can also bring the outdoors in by getting cat-safe plants, such as rubber plants, and placing them in spots where your ferocious little hunter can peek out from behind them. Last but not least, provide plenty of toys and catnip, and play with your feline friend every day.

Please contact us, your Livonia, MI vet clinic, for all your cat care needs.

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