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I have two tabby kitties both are spayed and neutered (Atari and Sega) they are brother and sister and are 2.5 years old. They were outdoor cats for close to 8 months at my old residence (we had a patch of land in a forest in a suburban area) Anyway I just moved to a large house and was forced to transition them to strictly indoor cats. It’s simply too dangerous to let them go outside with all the coyotes and traffic around our new place! Also we don’t like our cats killing everything or risking their health being outside. My partner and I try to spend as much time with them but we are very busy and the cats are alone in the house about 20-21 hours per day. We got them two large cat condos, plenty of play tunnels, lots of ball track toys, a large carpet that they relax on. They also eat 2x per day and are healthy weight, they have their own litter box and they have plenty of space to hide and perch. They are healthy kitties and weigh what they should. My question and main concern is... they seem to just yearn to go outside and they don’t stop meowing when my partner and I are present. They scratch at the doors constantly! They seem to be very bored and want constant attention when we are around, they also fight more when we are present... we don’t know if the fighting continues when we leave but it’s very concerning. I don’t want them to hurt one another and Sega has already had a scratch on his neck (it has since healed) When I lie down on the couch, Sega (male) has this new habit of jumping on me and humping my arm... he always wants to do it and is obsessed by this now. Our we torturing and tormenting our cats by keeping them inside? I feel so badly because I know all they want is to go outside! Are two cats fine alone with each other for 20 hours a day? We take good care of them but they just seem unhappy and bored most of the time. It’s literally making me feel upset and guilty. Can we do anything else for them? I can’t think of anything else and these cats have every imaginable thing to make their inside life as best as it could be. Please help! Thank you
 

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No, you aren't torturing your cats, and it's logical to keep them in if there's traffic and coyotes outside. However, indoor cats do need more stimulation and play than outdoor cats. You'll need to set aside time to play with them and maybe do some "catification" in the house to give them lots of high places to climb to. The Jackson Galaxy books have some great idea in them, I highly recommend them.

If possible, consider a harness and leash and taking them out for supervised exploration. It's a way for a cat to experience outdoors without risk of being run over or eaten by predators. Not all cats take to it, but starting with maybe five minutes of outside time and working up might get them started. I'll be honest, when they do take to it they might pester you constantly to be taken out, but you can ignore it if you've done it once already in a day.

Oh, and clip their claws so that they can't hurt each other when they do play fight.
 

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Another way of taking them outside is in a "pet stroller" --- one that zips the cats inside so that they can't jump out of it. They are safe from dogs, or kids that are too bold. I've used a stroller for over 10 yrs. now and my cats love it. They'll often sit in the stroller and meow to go for "walkies" if they haven't been out that day. I take them out on nice days, ie. over 70F and not too windy....they don't enjoy strong winds or cold or rainy weather because of their coats (tho I could get small dog sweater/coat for them) . I often walk the same route, as it's in a low traffic area (they really don't like the sound of big trucks or motorcycles!). This gives them a sense of patrolling a territory, which is what feral cats do, and they don't tire of seeing the same things. They even enjoy it when people want to see and talk to them. The stroller I have has larger wheels than the first one I had, that make it easier to push over lawn in a park or rougher ground than pavement or sidewalks. Amazon has a good selection of different styles and prices.

Pet strollers: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=cat+stro...oller,pets-intl-ship,159&ref=nb_sb_ss_fb_1_12

The model I have is similar to the red one #489 the "jogger" model. Has cup-holder for coffee/water, tho mine is an older version that does have zipper closures.
 

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One way to stimulate them is to get an infestation of mice in your house. Probably not something you want to deal with, but the cats would love it. :grin2:
 

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You could add in some food/treat stimulation to the mix. This only works if they are meal fed and don’t have free access to food...

For canned food, there are feeder mats. Require licking and take a long time to eat.

If you feed dry food or, just want to do a small amount of treats in addition to wet food, hide pieces for them to “hunt” or get some feeder toys. If you make it a habit, they will look forward to this activity everyday and it should tire them out.

You can also use kitty Kong’s (freeze canned food in ‘em).

Or look into a catio. We have one on our deck...the cats go out the window into it.
 

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You could build them a catio outside a window to let them have a taste of outside.

Are they really alone 21 hours a day? You have to be home to sleep sometime!
 

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At out home in Texas, we had a very large carport. We had it screened in so our kiddos could be outside but totally safe. When we moved back to Wisconsin, our house had a large, covered front porch. We took half the area and made a screened porch. They can go right out from the front door. There is a door entering their area. It is also our screened in porch where we can sit without bugs or mosquitoes
 

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Another thing you could provide for the cats' entertainment is an aquarium with some goldfish....they are a cold water fish that don't need heated water for them as you would need for tropical fish. Goldfish are quite active swimming around a lot. It's like a TV for cats! Just make sure it's not a fishbowl, but a rectangular shape and that it's heavy enough that it can't be tipped over, and has a lid on top so cats can't fish them out.
Here's a link: https://www.firsttankguide.net/goldfish.php
 
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