Cats Can Live Happy Lives Indoors
Cats today live longer than before. Twenty years ago the life expectancy of a cat was just four to six years. However, today they may live fifteen years or even more. Cats that live outdoor have a shorter life expectancy than indoor cats. Some cats can live twenty years and the oldest cat ever was 28 when it died.
If you adopt an adult cat from a local shelter and you do not know how old it is, your veterinarian might offer you the best answer. Some clues are their teeth, eyes or hair. As with people, graying varies from one animal to another so you cannot say precisely how old is a cat just if it has gray hair on its face.
Sometimes lenticular sclerosis can help determine its age. Thin lines appear on the lens of the eye around the age of six. These lines do not affect vision. The accumulation of tartar and wear on the teeth can help determine the age more precisely.
Cats that live outdoors are more prone to viruses, dog attacks or accidents, such as being hit by a car. However, the vast majority of cats can live happy lives indoors, whether they are pedigree cats or random-bred. As long as they are provided with a stimulating environment, they can just watch nature from a safe home without ever feeling the need of going out in the wild.
They can be safe from contagious diseases such as feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, rabies, infectious peritonitis or not to mention larger predators. Parasites such as ticks, fleas or worms are problems associated with cats that live outdoors or cats that have contact with them.
Although the indoor environment is safer for a cat, it may not be interesting enough for a curious cat. Cats love to play so you can make sure your cat has lots of toys. Laser lights, cat nip toys or feathery feline flyers are favorites with a lot of cats. Besides toys, cats need a place to hide and sleep, things to scratch and also to watch.
Cats are stimulated by vision, they love toys that move and swing. Often a window sill is a favorite spot where they can take a nap of just watch the outside environment.
Cats also have a tendency to prefer a high place where they can constantly keep watch on their environment. When they sleep and rest they need to feel safe and comfortable, but they also love to climb. Even if there is no predator in the house, they still have instincts so once they are in a high spot they will feel more secure.
Scratching is also a natural instinct for them as they need to sharpen their claws, shed old nails and stretch. You can provide stimulation for scratching in various forms as there are substrates such as cardboard, fabric or wood. Scratching posts are sold for cat owners and they can be made from tree material, rope, cardboard or fabric.