Keep indoor cat's home interactive
Question: Will my indoor cat, Buster, be better off if I let him outside?
Answer: Buster will be healthier, safer and just as happy if he stays inside because he'll avoid confrontation with other animals and the risk of getting lost.
Indoor living is recommended for cats because they'll live longer and healthier lives. However, a cat's indoor environment should be engaging and interesting.
To appease a cat's instinctual play and hunting behaviors, put food in puzzle toys, in a hidden dish that he has to find, or in bowls on an elevated surface, which also exercises overweight cats.
Cats like climbing, so a perch, which allows them to sit and watch the action from above, is a necessity. Provide access to a window so he can sit and watch birds, people passing and other outdoor activity. If an outdoor view is not accessible, he may also enjoy watching videos of birds, fish or bugs.
Cats relish playtime, whether it be tracking stuffed mice or chasing a colorful feather attached to a fishing pole. A variety of toys may be purchased, but you may find Buster most enjoys swatting a crumpled piece of paper or running in and out of an empty paper bag. Variety is key, so offer a few different toys at a time to keep the animal interested.
Q: How will a cattery benefit my pet and how can I build one?
A: Catteries are safe feline playrooms enclosed by wire mesh, where cats can go from inside to outside at their leisure. An outdoor cattery will allow Buster a couple of hours of outside play without letting him roam.
The Hawaiian Humane Society has a "Building Your Own Outdoor Cat Playhouse" pamphlet, which includes a shopping list and construction information. To request the brochure, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 942-7297.
A cat walking jacket, which can be purchased at pet stores or the Hawaiian Humane Society, provides an alternative for supervised outdoor play.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, email@example.com
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.