I work for a shelter and I feel very strongly about keeping my cats indoors. My reasons?
3. Pesticides/antifreeze and other hazardous items.
4. Inhumane adults/children. (or someone stealing my cat...)
5. Diseases from other cats- vaccinations are not always 100%. Proof of this was the outbreak of Panluek this summer. This took place all up and down the east coast. Hundreds of cats died at our shelter alone. Each of our cats are vaccinated upon arrival. Others came came in up to date and were re-vaccinated by us. Still many died.
The average lifespan of an indoor cat is around 18 years of age. The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is significally shorter, landing somewhere around three to five years of age. While this is a significan difference, what really matters to me is the quality of my cats life. I use the following products to entertain my cats:
1. Tiny fury mice
2. Krinkle Balls
3. Cat tree - These are generally pretty expensive, ranging somewhere around $100 for a decent size tree. However, there is a terrific cat tree sold at walmart for approx. $30. It reaches your ceiling and is spring loaded so that it will fit inside most homes.
4. Catnip stuffed animals - This is more for my own entertainment. We have a stuffed duck. His back opens and is fastened with velcro. Every once in awhile we change bags of catnip which can be purchased at the pet store. The cats really love it - I just think it's adorable to see my cat snuggling with a stuffed animal.
5. Catnip video - great product for certain cats. Akira isn't the couch potato that moonbeam happens to be. She'll bat at the tv for hours if we let her.
6. Laser Light - once again, great for the right cat. Moonbeam will chase a laserlight till she is panting.
7. I don't know what to call these...you get them at the dollar store. They're ping pong balls filled with rice, tied to a sting which is attached to a stick. It's similar to the panic mouse, but you have to do the work. I can't afford the panic mouse just yet - so at least I'm getting my exersize.
8. Aquarium. Okay, not a cat product...but will entertain our shelter cats for hours.
Number one cat product made specifically to entertain other cats.....another cat! If I feel that Moonbeam adn Akira might be getting tired of each other I'll bring home a foster kitten for a night or so. Great way to socialize a kitten, lovely way to tire out my cats