How to Create an Outdoor Experience for Your Indoor Cat

indoor cat setups with outdoor vibes

Cats love being outside there is no doubt about that! However, being kept as an indoor cat is going to be the safest and most beneficial lifestyle for them. Allowing outside exploration can introduce many risks such as:

  1. Cars
  2. Predators
  3. Parasites
  4. Deadly diseases (FIV, FeLV, and FIP)

But, that does not mean that they can't get the benefits of the outdoors from the comfort of your home. It’s all about taking the things they love most about the great outdoors and simply figuring out the indoor equivalent. These aspects include:

  • Practicing their hunting skills
  • Nibbling on grass
  • Sun Bathing
  • Climbing Trees
  • Satisfying their curiosity
  • Fresh air and interesting smells
  • Scratching on trees and other posts

Without further ado, here are 9 ways to provide outdoor enrichment for your indoor cat.

9. In-Home Garden:

Ever seen kitty nibbling at the house plants? Yea, they like to do that. Using organic soil (no dangerous pesticides) and a window planter, grow an in-home garden specifically for your cat. You can use catnip, lemongrass, wheat, or oat grass, the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that the plants you choose are not toxic for your little furball.

8. Bring In the Sunshine:

Cats love to bask in the sunlight so be sure that there is at least one accessible window to soak up the rays. You could also get them a window perch, which is basically a comfortable bed/hammock that you attach to the window. Trust us, your furry friend will thank you!

7. Let the Fresh Air In:

Cats tend to love the scent of the outdoors. Opening windows throughout your home can provide that while not putting kitty at risk by being outside. Please ensure that screens are in place and sturdy enough to handle kitty. This is also a great way for kitty to hear some interesting sounds such as songbirds, rain, and other nature sounds.

*You can also play a CD or download nature sounds on your computer.

6. Create an Outdoorsy Indoor Play Area:

Using cat trees made from natural materials as well as a few things that you actually find outside (grass, leaves, twigs, etc.), you can make a special area for your kitty that mimics the outside world. A drinking fountain would make another great addition to this special area. It’s soothing sounds will also serve as a reminder to stay hydrated.

5. Use Real Wood for a Scratching Post:

Using an authentic, real wood scratching post will give kitty the feel of being outdoors, using the natural resources around him. An old treated log could work. They also have premade 100% wood cat scratchers for sale.

4. Provide a Catio:

A catio is a great option for giving your cat a taste of the great outdoors. These can be attached to the main house providing independent (and safe) access to the outdoor environment. Always provide freshwater, and this is especially important if your kitty is spending extra time in his outdoor environment.

3. Get a Bird Feeder:

No, not for the cat. But, placing an attachable bird feeder outside of his favorite window will make him feel as though he is bird watching in the backyard. Plus, with the millions of birds killed each year by outdoor kitty cats, you could be saving a life or twenty while not depriving your furball of interacting with his favorite prey.

2. Get Kitty Some Instinctual Toys:

Cats are very instinctual and if they were outdoors they would be using those instincts. Try to find toys that will tap into that such as the Cat Amazing puzzle feeder. Any toys that he can chase, find hidden toys or treats, and even feathers can offer a world of fun for your purr-fect pal.

1. Provide Places to Climb High Up:

One of the outside-living cats’ favorite activities is climbing up high to explore the world from above. Shelving or even a cat climbing wall could help you achieve this. Whatever you use, make sure that it is stable enough to hold your cat’s weight. We do not need any cat-tastrophies.

Ok, now for some seriously pawsome inspo to get you excited about the pawsibilities! Check out these ameowing setups by cat owners just like you! 

Inspo for Creating Outdoor Vibes for Indoor Cats

best indoor setup for cats
best indoor setup for cats
best indoor setups for cats
best indoor setup for cats
best indoor setup for cats
best indoor setup for cats

As cat parents, we can feel an inordinate amount of guilt when it comes to our feline friends and keeping them inside. Take peace in the fact that you are doing the right thing. Bringing the outside world indoors for your fluffy feline is so much safer than the alternative.

A sick or injured cat is definitely not a happy one! It’s always easy to say, “I’ll take the risk,” when it’s not you being put at risk or until tragedy strikes. Always take the compassionate route when it comes to your beloved cat.

Images via Pinterest

1 comment

  • A very well written piece. Lots of great advice. And an especially good piece of advice about feeling guilty – But! knowing deep down keeping your cat inside is the best thing for them.

    Paul Davison

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