I happen to always be around a rambunctious 1 year-old beast. She is so wild that she gallops like a horse everywhere she goes and walks up and bites ankles and wrists for fun. Like normal cats, she kills flies, scales anything she can get claws into and stalks anything that moves. The problem is that she is an indoor cat that lives in an apartment, where her playroom is confined and her damages have to be limited. How can you let out your cat’s wild side that wants to hide in tall grass and chase birds, while still keeping your house intact? There are a few simple things you can do and buy to help your cat love their home.
What cats crave the most is the wild of the outdoors. This could be as simple as letting them in the backyard, but if that’s not possible, you must bring the nature to them. Even the most comfortable house cat needs to go outside. To help your cat, keep plenty of plants where they can reach them. The more the better. They will add some life to your house, make it prettier and smell better on top of giving your cat a taste of nature. Choose leafy plants that give off a good scent. That way cats can gnaw on the many leaves and easily hide behind them. The smell will also peak the cat’s curiosity every time they go near it just as it would outdoors. If you have space, put a few large pots together to create some great hiding spots, because cats can never have too many.
There are a plethora of cat toys out there, but cats are the epitome of finicky. The best toys are those that mimic real prey. Feathers are always a clear winner as they bring out the bird hunter in felines. As house cats are the most efficient hunters on the planet, a nice canary here and there is perfect. But since you don’t want them to kill birds, get a string wrapped in fur with feathers along it or on the end of it. A cool toy I found is a fur glove with feathers on a string at the end of each finger. Your cat will have a ball and you will actually play with your cat yourself rather than just giving them something to play with. Another thing that may spur their inner hunter is cat nip. If you can find a a bird covered in feathers with catnip inside which you can pull on a string, then, you have found the ultimate toy! Your cat is an animal with instincts and wants to act like one, so choose toys that make them believe they are hunting a worthy opponent.
Lastly, give them a perch. Cats love to climb trees and scope out the area from up high. They love getting to impossible spaces, so let them. They ideally want window space, so always have at least one windowsill for them (that opens preferably). If you have a high window, make sure they have a way to reach it. It may seem dangerous, but don’t worry, cats are resilient and can handle themselves. If they can’t reach the window they crave, they will get creative. Cats often sit on the tops of doors if that’s all they can find, but that can be dangerous. If you don’t see them there, you may get their paw or tail stuck in the door when you close it. And a doorway isn’t satisfying as they want to survey nature, so have a window for them, preferably one high up that opens 🙂 If they can’t go outside, they can at least watch it and listen to it. Cats usually stalk birds from the windows and make warning attack noises as they do. It’s cute and entertaining and is just letting your cat be a cat.
Everything else you can provide for your cat is homely pampering, which they may like, but the tips above they will love the most as it feeds their wild side. Don’t let them become a cooked up or lazy house cat. They will be confined and won’t be as happy as they could be. Always do what you can to let your cat be a cat first and foremost.