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Written by Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc. for use by the Montgomery County Animal Shelter

Right now, outside is more interesting than inside to your cat.  Try to give him some of the joys of the outside environment while keeping him safely in the home.  Cats have an instinctual need to climb; they enjoy climbing trees.  A multi-level scratching tree will provide him with a great place to climb, and pots of kitty greens from the pet store, with a bit of the outdoors.

Help him to run off some energy, set aside a specific and consistent 10 or 15-minute play period each day.  Most cats have to chase a laser light or have you dangle feathers from a pole.  Some cats will play hide and seek, or can be trained to fetch or do other tricks. 

Give him a sturdy scratching post to exercise his claws.  Make sure it is tall enough for him to stretch his full length and sturdy enough so it will not wobble or fall over.

A bird feeder hung just outside of his favorite window ledge will attract birds to entertain him.

Paper bags of various sizes and cardboard boxes with doors cut out will make great places for your cat to play hide-and-seek.  Many cats love to play with a ping pong hall in the bathtub.

If your cat has not been accustomed to using a litter pan, try to keep it as natural as possible, using plain clay litter without any fancy perfumes or other additives.  You might mix a little potting soil in with it, and be sure the pan is scooped daily.

There are a few cats that seem to support the superstition that cats have nine lives.  By keeping your cat inside you will not be gambling that your cat is one of them.  You will be eliminating the possibility that he will ingest chemicals sprayed to kill weeds or fertilize grass, become infested with worms, fleas or mites, or be hit by a car.

If you live in the area and need more help or information call 937-293-5686 or talk with your veterinarian.

Pet Behavior and Training Services, Inc.
Dayton, Ohio 45410
1407 Business Center Court
A non-profit organization specializing in the behavior of pets

Montgomery County Animal Shelter
6790 Webster Street
Dayton, OH 45414