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Have you decided to keep your feline friend indoors? Good for you! This decision will definitely help your furball stay healthier and safer. Outdoor kitties face many dangers, such as cars, predators, other animals, and parasites. Convincing your cat that she is better off inside, however, may be a bit tricky. We all know that kitties can be quite determined! In this article, a local Leesburg, VA veterinarian offers some advice on keeping Fluffy inside.
First and foremost, never punish Fluffy for sniffing around the door. She won’t understand why you’re angry, so this may only make her more determined to get outside! Instead, squirt your feline buddy with a water bottle when she approaches the door. You can also make a loud noise, like rattling a jar of change, or sounding a bike horn. These things won’t hurt your cat: they’ll just startle her, and hopefully make her a bit wary of the door.
Play with your kitty each day. Use interactive toys to really get Fluffy interested and moving. This will help keep her entertained, and will burn off some of her excess energy. We probably don’t have to tell you what happens when cats get tired!
Do you have a patio or sunroom? Why not turn it into a catio? Add a cat tower or catwalk, some comfy kitty beds, and lots of fun cat toys. Position Fluffy’s furniture so that your furball gets a good view of the yard. (You get bonus purrs for adding a bird feeder to the yard.) Next, add some kitty-safe plants, like catnip or cat grass.
If your feline pal really wants to get outdoors, consider training her to walk on a leash. Whether this will work or not really depends on your furball’s personality. Some kitties learn to love their walks, while others just don’t take well to leashes. If you want to try it, ask your vet for specific advice.
Cats can take up to a year to adjust to a change. Don’t expect overnight results. What you’ll more likely see is a gradual lessening of your cat’s desire to go outside. With enough time and patience, even former strays can be happy indoor kitties.
Please contact us, your Leesburg, VA veterinary clinic, for all of your indoor kitty’s veterinary needs.