Pet Safety: How to Keep Cats Indoors
May 4, 2021
Anyone with a cat will attest to how difficult it can be to get them to behave the way you want. Their willful and independent spirits are one of the reasons why we love them, but this can get incredibly frustrating if they are misbehaving. This problem can be particularly difficult for indoor cat owners whose pets are always trying to escape. In this article we look at why cats try to get out and some measures you can take to keep them inside.
Pet safety 101: Understanding why your cat tries to escape
One of the biggest challenges the owner’s of indoor cats face is how to keep your cat inside. Just a momentary lapse of attention can lead to an escape and the problem is made worse when you consider the need for ventilation in the home. This means that windows need to stay shut, or there is a risk of kitty getting out. The world beyond your home or apartment can pose real dangers for an indoor cat who isn’t used to or familiar with this environment. So before we look at how to keep cats in, let’s try and understand why they attempt to escape in the first place.
Cats are said to have started cohabiting with humans with the rise of agriculture, due to the presence of rats and other small vermin around granaries. Over the nearly 5000 years that have followed they have never lost this hunter’s instinct, and it is one of the main reasons they may want to go outside.
Another instinctual throwback to their wild origins is their territorial nature and while your apartment might be a safe territorial space, an urban cat usually has a territory of a few hundred meters and the drive to explore this may drive them outside.
Curiosity killed the cat, is a rather morbid way of expressing a very true personality trait. Cats love exploring and trying new experiences (although only on their own terms). The possibilities of the world outside your home may be too much for your cat to resist.
Other cats / Animals
All domestic cats should be spayed or neutered, but if your animal isn’t they may feel the need to roam in search of mates or to defend their territory from other cats. Furthermore, squirrels or birds may also awaken their hunter’s instinct.
Enforcing pet safety against outdoor dangers and keep your cat indoors
The jury is very much split on whether or not cats should be allowed out. While being locked up in a home may go against their natural instincts, it is the best possible way to keep your cat safe from the dangers outside.
As we mentioned earlier, cats are territorial and when two cats come into contact on each other’s turf there may be a fight. This can cause harm to your cat and lead to infections that can be very serious if not treated.
Similarly, contact with other cats and particularly strays, may lead to your cat picking up a contagious disease. These can be very serious and even fatal. For a full list of communicable cat diseases, you can consult this article.
Indoor cats won’t be familiar with traffic and may be at greater risk of suffering an accident than their outdoor counterparts. That said, no cat is 100% safe from accidents, and keeping them indoors is the only guaranteed way to prevent these.
Exposure to toxic plants
There are a wide variety of plants that are toxic to cats. And while you can control which plants they are exposed to in your home, you can’t control what your neighbors have in their garden.
Falling from heights
Cats are natural climbers and while a cat stuck in a tree isn’t necessarily a reason for alarm, if a cat climbs out onto a balcony or apartment window ledge, a fall can lead to serious injury or worse. Once again, keeping your cat inside is the only way to guarantee that this doesn’t happen.
How to keep your cat indoors for ultimate pet home safety
So, now you understand what the risks are, let’s look at some of the measures you can take to keep your curious feline inside.
Spaying or neutering
Domestic cats should be spayed or neutered to help control their numbers, but having these procedures also reduces their propensity to roam as they will not wander in search of mates.
Install adjustable locks to open windows slightly
One of the best products for the owner’s of indoor cats is the MiniLatch from LockLatch. This small home security device allows you to keep your windows open, but limits the size of the opening so that your cat can’t escape. This means that your cat can stay safe, while also getting enough fresh air and ventilation in your home.
Limit the exit points
Limiting your exit points means picking one or two doors to use to get in and out of the house. This means you can choose doors that are easier for controlling pet access and means you need to only be mindful of these doors when you are coming or going.
Pet-proof banner installs
Another way to keep your cat inside while still getting fresh air is with a pet proof banner or net. While these are usually relatively affordable solutions, their one downside is that they can obscure a view, but this may be worth it to ensure that you and your cat get the fresh air you both need.
Door locks are similar to window locks and the MiniLatch from LockLatch allows you to keep your door slightly open, while still keeping your cat inside. This can be a great solution for apartments where the door might be one of the only sources of ventilation in the living space.
How to keep your cat happy indoors
One of the best ways to keep your cat indoors is to ensure that they have enough stimulation. A happy cat is less likely to seek satisfaction elsewhere. Below we outline some of the things you can do to help turn your home into a playground for your feline friend.
Cats love sitting and sleeping in elevated positions. This is another instinctual drive as being up off the ground means there are less threats and they can survey the area around them.
A scratchpad can be an absolute life (and furniture) saver. Cats scratch to sharpen their claws as the process removes the softer nail tissue to leave a hard, sharp claw. In the outdoors they may sharpen their claws on trees or similar surfaces, so it is important for you to provide an alternative.
Set up multiple points for cat baskets
Providing a variety of options for your cat when it comes to sleeping places is another way to make them feel more content. Cats might have different spaces they like at different times of the day, so take note of where they like being and try and provide a chill space for them there.
Get a cat climbing pole
The right climbing pole can often fill the need for both a perch and a scratching post. It once again provides a way for cats to fill their natural urge to get higher and can be a great outlet for pent up energy.
Clean litter boxes
Cats are very clean and tidy animals and a litter box that is dirty or soiled does not provide them with an adequate “bathroom experience”. Your cat’s litter box should be cleaned out at least once a day and the litter should be replaced when it becomes caked or doesn’t allow them to bury their bowel movements.
Regularly change up toys
Toys are a great outlet for cats, but their curious nature means that they can become bored quickly. You should counter this by regularly shaking up their play routine with new toys to keep things fresh and interesting
MiniLatch: The solution to keeping your cat indoors
While we’ve covered a variety of ways to keep your cat indoors over the course of this article, one of the simplest, easiest and most effective is with a MiniLatch from LockLatch. This versatile lockable window and door latch is made from C 304 stainless steel meaning it is highly secure and can be installed in minutes on any kind of window or door.
What really sets the MiniLatch apart is the fact that you can keep your cat indoors while still allowing for fresh air to enter your home. Fresh air is really important for the health of you and your cat and adequate ventilation can be difficult to achieve when you have to keep the doors and windows shut. MiniLatch solves both these problems.
Small enough for a cat to not fit through
The adjustable arm of the MiniLatch can be set to allow an opening of anywhere between 1.8 and 3.1 inches. This means that the opening can be kept small enough to keep even small cats inside, and give you total peace of mind.
CTA to purchase the MiniLatch today
If you’re worried about your cat getting out, but also need fresh air and proper ventilation in your home, then MiniLatch from LockLatch is the perfect solution for you and your feline friend.