Winter can give cabin fever to both people and pets alike. Here are some tips for helping your cat remain happy and active while maintaining a safe indoor environment, especially during the cold winter months.
Provide a screened porch or other safe way for your cat to experience the outdoors. Be sure to cat-proof the porch by double checking for holes in the screens or loose latches. Make sure there are no toxic plants, garden chemicals, and other dangerous objects available to tempt your feline friend. If it’s cold outside, be sure to limit their time on the porch and keep an eye out for signs of danger.
Install a perch indoors near a sunny window. Another option is an enclosure that sits in a window frame, kind of like an air conditioning unit. It offers a secure space in which your kitty can “hang out.” Larger options are also available.
Buy a cat tree or make your own. Some cat trees reach all the way to the ceiling, and some are shorter. Cat trees provide a positive way for cats to satisfy their need to climb. They also take advantage of vertical space to create more play and rest areas. If you can, locate the cat tree next to a window so your cat can watch the action outdoors.
Each day, play with your cat with different types of toys that allow your cat to satisfy his natural instincts to stalk, chase, pounce, and kick. When your cat is tired, be sure to put away the toys that he should not have unsupervised access to, such as those with strings attached. Allow him continued access to others, like paper bags or cardboard boxes. Be sure to re-introduce different toys from time to time so that they seem new and interesting to your cat.