Every cat deserves a home life
Are you and your cat deserves living together in a house, cottage, caravan, or apartment? There are many practical and affordable options available to keep your cat safe at your home, no matter your financial situation.
Protect your cat from being run over by cars, from contracting disease or parasites, and from losing or being stolen from home. You can provide for all your cat’s basic needs at home, which is a good thing! You can provide enriching activities for your cat at home that will keep them happy, healthy and active.
It’s best to start with the kitten or cat when they first arrive home. However, any cat can adapt to an at-home life style with patience and planning. Learn more.
There are three options:
1) Only indoors
2) Indoors with an enclosed outdoor space,
3) Indoors with an outdoor area surrounded by an escape-proof fencing
It is usually the best and most cost-effective option to keep your cat indoors. Your cat can have fun in even a small space.
Your home can accommodate all of your cat’s needs, including eating, drinking, sleeping and scratching. With furniture, shelves and scratching posts you can create different levels of comfort for your cat. Cat-proof fly screens allow your cat to open windows and doors so that they can enjoy the outdoors without being scared.
Check all boxes:
- Scratching posts
- Litter trays
Hideouts with soft bedding.
- There are many opportunities to climb (e.g. shelves, on top furniture, climbing posts, platforms, etc.
- Play time includes opportunities to chase, chase, pounce, and catch toys and treats
- Human-cat interaction (e.g., patting, grooming)
Indoors with an outside enclosure
A secure enclosure outside is a great way to keep your cat safe and happy. A catio, or enclosure, can be attached to the cat’s indoor space via a window, cat flap, or other means to allow them to choose where to spend their time. This is an excellent option if you have a veranda or balcony that can be made escape-proof. You could also build a separate enclosure, such as a cat condo, if you have enough space.
You want your outdoor enclosure to be attractive and comfortable for your cat. Your cat will require essential resources such as food, water, multiple litter trays, scratching posts, and shelter from the elements (e.g. sun, rain, wind and extremes of heat or cold). It is important to provide shelter for your cat in the enclosure.
Outdoor enclosures must be both escape-proof (to keep your cat safe) and animal-proof to prevent animals from getting in. It should be placed somewhere that is safe from other animals, such as dogs or cats. Your cat should not be exposed to other animals, such as dogs or cats that are next-door. You should also keep the bird feeders away from your enclosure. It can be frustrating to watch the birds and not be able to reach them.
Indoors with an outdoor area surrounded by an escape-proof fencing
There are many options for escape-proofing your backyard, including products and systems that can retrofitted onto an existing patio or backyard.
Modifying an existing fence – To stop your cat from climbing up and taking over the fence, you can change the top. This can be done with rolling cylinders or smooth metal or plastic sheets, or inward-inclining wiring. These should be installed on both the fence’s sides to prevent cats from entering your garden.
A new fence can be set up. You also have the option to use netting or a solid fence with an escape-proof roof to create an animal-proof area.
Although you should still take precautions to minimize the risks your cat may face in your yard, escape-proof fencing gives your cat the best of both indoor and outdoor living.
Pay attention to the gap. Check for possible escape routes regularly (e.g. gaps in fences, around gates, fences meeting buildings, fences that meet trees, etc.). A simple way to stop cats from climbing on trees near the fence is to place a plastic or smooth metal band around the trunk, at least 2m above the ground.
Even though a cat in a backyard can injure or kill wildlife, it is possible to keep your cat there. This risk can be reduced by having your cat fitted with a collar or bell, keeping your cat inside during wildlife activity, and minimising wildlife attractants (e.g. food, water, or plants that might attract wildlife).