Published: August 31th, 2016 | Jeremy Feldman

Unfortunately, many New York City cats, don’t have the luxury of wooded areas or manicured lawns to hunt around for their dinner. And regardless of how many toys we purchase for their amusement, more often than not our indoor cats just want to go outside!

So, if you have an indoor cat who wants to go outdoors (and maybe won’t stop meowing about it), it’s time to bring out their inner tiger with a little help from nature. Below we offer five ideas to make your indoor cat feel like it’s outdoors…

But, if you are feeling really guilty that your indoor cat is missing out on outside world while eagerly “waiting for your return”, we also suggest trying out a cat sitter. Just having someone stop by every once and while to play with them, give them scratchies, pet them and tell them how beautiful they are could really be a game changer. Of course, if you’re looking for the best cat sitter in your neighborhood… PetYen’s got you covered.

How to Transition an Indoor Cat to an Outdoor Cat

1. Nature Shows

While it might not be the true “call of the wild”, leaving music and even the television on for cats is recommended if a cat is home alone for extended periods of time. If you want to give your cat something even more special, keep the TV on an animal-based channel, or run a nature DVD for them. You can gauge your cat’s reaction ahead of time by trying out a few shows featuring big cats, lizards or birds.

2. Bird Feeders

If you have a window or glass door where you can hang a bird feeder nearby, you can bring a real-life nature show to your cats. They can watch birds preen, eat and socialize. Cats can pretend to hunt birds through the window in a way that is safe for your cat and the birds. Make sure that the window or door is secured, and take extra care that kitty will not bolt for the birds when opened.

3. A Well-Placed Cat Tower

If your cat isn’t allowed on the furniture, getting up high and off the ground is a calling to most cats. Bring in another element to your cat’s vision by investing in an indoor cat climbing tree (or indoor cat perches)  that they can claim as their own. Try to find a cat tower that you like as well, so it can be put in a central area of the home. Cats should be with the whole family while monitoring from above, not relegated to some dim corner. Better yet, station the tower near a window so your cat can take full advantage of the view by checking out the yard and neighborhood.

4. Cat Grass and Cat Nip

A great way to bring the outdoors to your cat is to give them something to munch on from nature. Outdoor cats oftentimes chew on grass, and you can easily buy or grow cat grass or catnip for your indoor cat. Many common houseplants are poisonous to cats, so having their own plants open for grazing will keep them out of trouble and closer to the great outdoors.

5. Screens for Fresh Air

Make sure your cat has access to a screened window or door, when weather permits. The sights and sounds of the outdoors can entertain an indoor cat for hours and make your indoor cat feel like its on the outside. Make sure that screens are secure so there are no escapes.

Keeping your cat indoors is ultimately for their safety, but life on the inside doesn’t have to feel like a prison sentence. Unleashing your cat’s inner tiger with a few nature-themed gems will be a gift for your kitty- and can help make your indoor cat experience what its like on the outside. Bring excitement to your cat’s life with these simple fixes, which will lead to happier cats that are engaged with their immediate urban dwellings.

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