How to Keep Your Cat Happy Inside the Home

Updated on July 7, 2019
Jana Louise Smit profile image

Jana worked in animal welfare with abused and unwanted pets. She loves sharing her hands-on experience regarding domestic and wild critters.


What You'll Learn About Basic Cat Care

  • Reasons why keeping cats indoors can be better for their safety
  • Why confined cats develop behavioral problems
  • The advantages and drawbacks of adding a companion
  • How toys can help and the cat games you can play
  • How sterilization can improve your indoor cat's wellbeing
  • More tips for a happy pet

Kitty Killers

Any roaming pet faces problems that are potentially dangerous, but cats encounter more than their fair share. Unlike dogs, felines are agile enough to scale walls and take on the world. Unfortunately, the great outdoors is full of predators, busy roads, poison and heartbreaking diseases like 'feline AIDS', which can be transmitted through contact with an infected cat. Purebreds have another reason to stay indoors. Popular breeds like Siamese and Persians risk being stolen. Due to all of these reasons, some owners prefer to keep their pet inside permanently.

Cats also remain inside for other reasons:

  • Recovering from surgery
  • Living in an apartment somewhere on the eighth floor
  • The weather threatens the cat's safety

The Cabin Fever Is Real

Kittens adapt to the indoor life like little troopers. The problems start when they grow up, or you obtain an adult as a pet that was previously allowed to roam free. Either way, when cats realize there's a world outside, or they grow bored with their environment—probably both—then, followed by frustration, aggression can also develop. Some cats, especially during breeding season, get so angry and neurotic, they bite their owners.

Start With the Basics

You probably already have the basics covered but let's review them again. Caring for a cat indoors begins with its physical needs; clean water, good food. Your cat probably sleeps on a variety of furniture, pillows and surfaces, but it still needs a comfy bed of its own. Change the litter box often, and it won't hurt to make or buy a scratch pole. Cats are glued to comfort, so make their environment a haven where its physical needs are fully met. Needless to say, that also includes lots of attention for His Highness—chin scratching, brushing and back stroking.

Extra Attention

Cats that like human interaction might not mind confinement as much when they receive a lot of attention.
Cats that like human interaction might not mind confinement as much when they receive a lot of attention. | Source

The Companion Cat

Owners of single cats often get the idea that their pet's loneliness can be countered by animal friends. Not a bad insight! Some pets thrive among their own kind. However, choosing to get another cat can either solve things or make them worse. On the plus side, a feline friend can keep a cat occupied. They play together and groom each other.

Problems can arise when the original cat doesn't like the looks of the newcomer. For the safety of both, introductions need to be made before the adoption to gauge if there's any prizefighting behavior in the future. If you obtain a kitten, always supervise and never assume the adult won't bite. Luckily, most well-balanced and well-loved adults are more curious (from a height) about a new kitten than hatching any plans of decapitation. Even if the bonding goes swell, one could end up with two cats that are friends but also two cats that are bored and indoors.

The Toy Basket

A flourishing industry supplies cats with toys. Catnip mice, wound-up mice, swinging balls on strings, puppets, you name it. Cats are like children. Favorite toys can keep the cat occupied for months while other objects are played with once or receive no interaction at all. The best way to find fun toys is to remember the pet's personality and past pleasures, which could suggest what he or she might like in the future. The simplest things can provide entertainment, even home-made inventions. Commercial doesn't always mean safe. There are some really dangerous toys on sale for cats, with small parts, feathers, fabric and toxins that could get ingested.

Cats Are Spontaneous

Cat games needn't be complicated. Many felines like spontaneous games or even just playing inside a box.
Cat games needn't be complicated. Many felines like spontaneous games or even just playing inside a box. | Source

When Cats Play

When a cat plays, it's a good sign that it's happy. Few cats will play when hungry or listless. Luckily, felines love inventing games. Every cat-owned person (yes, they own you), can testify that each animal has its own games. It's understandable that you cannot indulge a pet all day long, but make time to engage in your cat's favorite things.

If he or she enjoys hunting your fingers when you move them under a blanket, it can keep a cat occupied and happy for a few minutes. Nearly all cats love something trailing on a string. They paw at it, pounce and bite such delights that activate their hunting instincts. In the same vein as choosing toys, one must assess the cat's character to engage it in enjoyable games. Such games last only minutes but a great perk is that the activity is relaxing for both the cat and owner.

How Sterilization Helps

Cats are ruled by a strong instinct to mate. This can make indoor cats incredibly frustrated, especially when it's a male that smells roaming females in heat. They have an acute sense of smell and hearing. Queens, also, will not be happy inside when they are ready to mate and there's no available male. Both genders can develop aggression towards an owner or other pets during this time. Sterilization has great health benefits, especially for females, but has also been known to settle a cat's temperament and some become downright couch potatoes.

More Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy

  • Indoor felines need exercise too. There are many options, such as structures designed for cats to climb, sleep on and scratch. Kind of like a kindergarten jungle with poles, platforms and toys.
  • Use catnip treats. The plain leaves or a catnip spray works best. Remember that the herb doesn't work on all cats, and a percentage of affected cats also don't get happy, they become crabby.
  • This may sound counter-intuitive, but don't hide the world from them. Leave windowsills clear for cats to sit on, especially where it's sunny. Every day, thousands of cats across the planet bake in windowsills and happily watch the rat race go by.

If you have a successful tip to make life easier for your pet inside the home, please share in the comment section below and help make a house-cat happy!

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Jana Louise Smit


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)