Keep Your Indoor Cat Happy and Healthy

Cats get the most out of their nine lives when they live indoors and away from the dangers of the outside world. And it's a well-known fact that they sleep anywhere from 12 to 16 hours in any given day. But that doesn't mean your feline friend doesn't need a lot of stimulation to keep her from getting bored. Your cat needs stimulation, exercise and activity to keep her at the top of her physical and mental game. And if you provide her with enough outlets for her energy, chances are good you won't be getting those 3 a.m. wake-up calls for food or play. Following are a few helpful tips as part of the basic care for your cat.

Visual Stimulation

Cats are visual hunters and use their vision to mark out their prey after their other senses have alerted them to a tasty morsel within their vicinity. Ever notice your cat alerting to a noise and observed how their pupils dilated in response? The dilation happens so the cat can get as much visual light as possible in order to locate their next meal.

Make it easy for indoor cats to see the outside world by creating "cat TVs" from windows. Put a cat bed on a window ledge or get a cat hammock that attaches to the window. Your cat can then watch birds and small mammals going about their daily business and get the satisfaction of watching potential prey from the comfort of their home.

Exercise

Cats maintain their condition best when they stay active. There are plenty of ways to give your cat exercise, such as the reliable standby of the laser pointer, but not all cats respond to the red dot because there's no "kill" for them. Look into wand toys with feathers and other feline attention-getting items on the end of a cord. You swing the wand toy through the air to make a noise and motion that's irresistible to cats. They will leap and run to catch the toy and keep their bodies in peak condition.

If you have a very active cat or own an active breed like a Bengal, you can get them an exercise wheel and let them do the feline version of the hamster wheel. They will keep the weight off, burn off excess energy and get the mental satisfaction of running at full speed.

Diet

Cats are considered obligate carnivores. That means they derive a majority of their nutrition and water from eating meat and almost nothing in the way of vegetable matter. House cats are often fed a diet of dry food which is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. This can lead to diabetes, obesity, stinky stools and a lack of fulfillment from meals.

Feeding a cat wet food is not spoiling them as you may think. Rather, it's providing them with the proper nutrition they need for optimal body function. Cats maintain proper body weight and stay healthier over their lifespan when their bodies are provided with what they need for daily living.

Provide your cat with visual stimulation, plenty of exercise and a nutrient-rich diet so they live out all nine lives, happy and healthy.

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