June 15, 2016 Cats

Giving Indoor Cats Outdoor Time

Giving Indoor Cats Outdoor Time

An upside down kitten on a couchJune is the ASPCA’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month and I am hoping many cats will get a forever home during this month. In a prior blog, I made a case for making your cat an indoor animal for safety reasons. But to help all the new cat owners get ready for their new furry friend and to inspire current cat owners to enrich their cat’s lives, I have some suggestions on how to safely bring the great outdoors to your indoor cat.

Cat Harness and Leash

The simple method of giving your indoor cat outdoor time is a leash and harness. Notice, I did not say a collar because cats can slip out of a collar and also many harnesses. One snug, but comfortable looking harness is the Kitty Holster, made of cotton and with a top zipper closure, it appears very secure for a walk outdoors with your cat.

Cat Gazebo

Using the search words “cat gazebo” or “cat enclosure,” I found a number of outdoor play spaces that can easily and quickly be set up in your backyard or on your deck. I would choose a cat tent with a roof or canopy to provide shade on a sunny day. Because cats love to climb, I would also select one with a built in perch or two. Some cat gazebos are very elaborate and become an integral part of your outdoor living room.

Cat ConnectorA cat using a cat connector

While nearly all of the products I identified to bring your indoor cat outdoors require you to transport your cat to the structure, I did find one system where your cat can have free access to her outdoor space. Using a connector kit that looks something like a dryer hose, the cat can exit the house via the tube installed into a window and end up in the outdoor cat condo, giving your cat total independence.

Cat Run

Another search term that identified some nice outdoor spaces for cats was “cat run.” Cat runs come in both vertical and horizontal versions which can be zipped together to form a large outdoor space for more than one cat at a time. The cat runs I found collapse into a small carrying case, making them portable for a traveling cat.

Cat SolariumA cat lying on a solarium

Fitting into a window like a window air conditioning unit, the cat solarium creates a cat sized bay window hovering over your yard. The windows on three sides give your cat a panoramic view of the great outdoors.

Bring Your Cat Closer to the Outdoors

If you don’t have a yard for a cat gazebo or your persnickety condo board won’t allow a solarium, consider bringing your cat closer to nature with a window hammock, a carpet covered window sill extender or a hanging window basket cat perch.

Whether you choose a solarium, a gazebo or just a window hammock, your cat will now be able to safely enjoy the great outdoors.

Tags: adopt a cat, amcny, animal medical center, animals, ann hohenhaus, cats, health, kittens, pets, vet hospital, veterinary, vets,

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