6 Ways to Let Your Cat Enjoy Nature from Indoors

Photo: ablokhin / Getty Images

No matter the season, the goings on of the great outdoors are a feast for feline senses. Even kitties who primarily live indoors find plenty to see, smell and experience if we give them inviting opportunities. Here are six suggestions — read on, humans!

Open windows (with screens)

In any climate, it’s possible to open a window at some point during the year and allow fresh air to breeze through the screen. Kitties are major fans of open windows, as they provide endless stimulation from the world outside their food dish, catnip toys and litter box. Did you know that cats have 200 million scent receptors in their nasal cavity? Not only can they smell the barbecue currently happening next door but can also sense if that freeloading raccoon’s been midnight snacking out of your garbage can — again.

Illustrations by Annette Webb

Build a catio

Why not build your cat an entire catio so he can lounge within the safety of a contained patio area attached to your home? There are a variety of catio planning ideas online, or search for smaller, mobile models. Your fabulous feline could pretend the catio is his own private lanai and he’s on vacation 24/7. He’d want you to bring him treats and toys like a personal attendant at a fancy resort. Wait, how is that different than their thoughts without a catio?

Add tall climbing structures and scratching posts

Outdoors, cats love to climb trees and sharpen their fierce claws on the bark. To give kitty a similar indoor experience, provide tall cat towers, shelves and scratching posts, and let ‘em go to town! Many kitties especially love the model that shows up in some houses around the holidays. We humans refer to it as a “Christmas tree.”

Illustrations by Annette Webb

Grow cat grass

Most cats are naturally attracted to the taste of fresh grass, and you can offer them an indoor planter of the yummy stuff. Look for a variety of cat grass kits in your local pet stores or online shops. Those smarty cats instinctively know that cat grass will make them throw up hairballs or help move their digestion along like a laxative. They also instinctively know to direct their hacked-up hairballs into your shoe, onto your new rug or all over your laptop’s keyboard.

Take a stroll

Bring the indoors outdoors and give kitty the best of both worlds! If your cat’s adventurous, perhaps he’d enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood in the comfort and safety of a screened pet stroller. He’d relax, enjoy the view, sniff the air and allow the neighbors to admire him. Plus, nothing says “this human is my servant” like an enclosed, rolling cat chariot.

Illustrations by Annette Webb

Add an indoor perch

A cat could catch up on his favorite Cat TV shows whether a window is open or closed. Place a perch or cat tower next to a window with a clear view of action-packed trees or feeders, and kitty suddenly has a front row seat to Say Yes to the Nest, Real Mousewives and Gossip Squirrel. And no commercials!

1 thought on “6 Ways to Let Your Cat Enjoy Nature from Indoors”

  1. So I thought I would give my two indoor princesses a taste of the outdoors. I got 2 cookie sheets and filled one with snow and the other with a few snowballs. (they like to play with balls… so why not?)
    NOT impressed! Had to drag them one at a time into the kitchen. Not even close enough to sniff it out and they were struggling to leave.
    I knew they wouldn't be crazy about it, but I was hoping for at least a little curiosity. No such luck.
    Will not waste my time with bringing the outdoors inside for these two pampered pets. Flies are about the only thing they enjoy. A spider or two and only one will actually eat them, sometimes.

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