Raining Cats & Dogs
indoor cat
Making your indoor environment cozy and interactive for your cat can be a fun, creative project for you and your family. (AP Photo)

Pet tips: Keep your cat happy indoors

Making your indoor environment cozy and interactive for your cat can be a fun, creative project for you and your family. Here are a few tips to start:

-Shopping is not required. Simple things like ping-pong balls, paper bags and cardboard boxes can provide fun for a cat for hours.

-If you like to shop, there is a limitless selection of cat toys to provide exercise while exciting kitty's natural curiosity. They may just entertain you a bit, too. Some cats enjoy exploring the house "hunting" for hidden toys.

-Vertical space that is accessible to cats will expand kitty's territory. There are commercially available designer carpet-covered cat trees, or you may be handy and able to build your own. Some cat furniture also includes a cozy hideout for catnaps and a scratching post. As cats scamper up and down this carpet cat tree, they get good exercise-the same kind they would get outdoors on a live tree.

-Some cats delight in posing on a window seat to the outside world that provides hours of fascination watching people, squirrels or birds. A soft, safe window perch or a chair with a cushioned seat will do the trick.

-You can buy small 4-inch containers of cat greens or plant pesticide-free alfalfa, grass, bird or catnip seeds in your own container. Your cat can graze safely indoors.

Outdoor cats usually make a smooth transition indoors. You can do a gradual approach to bringing an outside cat into the house by bringing her in for increasingly longer periods of time. Give your kitty an interesting and safe indoor space or a screened patio or teach her to walk in a harness. She'll live a longer and healthier life and she won't feel that she has missed a thing.

Seattle Humane Society,
Staff members from the Humane Society offer helpful pet tips each week on KIRO Radio's "It's Raining Cats and Dogs."
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