Caitlin UltimoTraining / Training Tips

Converting Outdoor Cats to Indoor Cats

How to Convert Your Outdoor Cat Into an Indoor Cat

There are plenty of benefits to owning an indoor cat. Keeping your cat inside all the time is a much safer option, not to mention that it keeps their coat clean and dirt-free. If you are training your outdoor cat to make your indoor living space their permanent home, there are helpful steps you can take to make the transition easier.

Introducing alluring incentives such as a cat tower, cat scratching post and cat toys for indoor cats can help keep your cat satisfied while living indoors. They will make sure your feline friend is a happy cat by providing stimulation and activities that will help keep them healthy and entertained. Here are some tips and tricks on how to teach your outdoor cat about indoor living.

Bring in the Cat Scratcher

Naturally, felines want to claw and scratch textured surfaces. For proper cat health, your kitty needs to clean out and wear down his claws, which also leaves his scent as a marker of his territory. The KONG Naturals Cat Scratcher promotes a healthy alternative to damaging your household furniture, carpeting and walls. This cat scratching post can give a bored cat the stimulation and exercise they need. Kelly Arbogast, Owner of Doggonit Training in New Hampshire, Director of the Behavior Department for the New Hampshire Humane Society, Animal Behavior Consultant, CPDT-KA, AKC CGC Evaluator, APDT, CAP1, OSCT, says, “Providing your cat with appropriate scratching options is very important to keep you and your cat happy. Scratching is a natural behavior, which will need to continue throughout the cat’s lifetime.”

Supply a Cat Tree

The outdoors offer a natural environment with trees, bushes and other wooded hideout spots. To support cat health and help your feline adjust to indoor living, you can bring a little bit of outdoors inside with the Frisco 52-Inch Cat Tree. With five cat scratching posts, an angled scratch pad, sleeping den, a dangling toy and several levels of entertainment, this tree promotes the same natural cat behaviors he is used to doing outdoors. It serves as a large cat toy for indoor cats, satisfying their needs for a secure place to take a catnap with a multi-level playing structure to explore and engage with. The numerous cat scratching posts can also provide enjoyment and stimulation for not just one, but multiple cats.

Let There Be Cat Toys

Cat toys are also a great source of stimulation for your new indoor feline. Interactive cat toys—like the Tower of Tracks cat toy—are great for your cat because they provide continuous play time that engages their prey instincts and will satisfy their hunting drive. The SnugglyCat Ripple Rug Cat Activity Play Mat is also a great option for an outdoor cat transitioning into an indoor cat. The mat can be folded to create a tunnel or cave that will help your cat to feel safe and secure, and has holes so you can play with him while he is inside (the KONG Active Feather Teaser Cat Toy is perfect for this). This play time will not only sharpen your cat’s hunting skills, but it will also act as a bonding time for the both of you.

Provide a Metabolism-Boosting Diet

As outdoor cats, it is easy to get the proper amount of exercise in daily. One way to ensure that your feline keeps in shape and healthy while indoors is by serving a cat diet full of healthy ingredients. The offers a superfood blend of vitamins, minerals and taurine to provide the optimal cat nutrition that every indoor cat needs.

Keep the Insects Outside

The transition from outdoor cat to indoor cat can be easier with the right cat nutrition, cat tower, cat toys and scratching post, but you should also make sure that ticks and fleas do not come along for the ride. Take preventative measures with Vet’s Best Cat Flea + Tick Gentle-Mist Spray that features a blend of peppermint oil and clove extract to control and kill fleas, flea eggs and ticks on contact.

If you are still hesitant to switch up your cat’s lifestyle, keep in mind that many animal care professionals encourage indoor living for our feline friends. With the right tools and attitude, your outdoor cat is sure to have a smooth transition to an indoor cat.



Leah McCormack is a New England native and dog lover. She graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City with her bachelor’s degree and started her animal care business, Winni Pups. Her published articles and features can be found in The Boston Globe, The EveryGirl, The Improper Bostonian, Mane Addicts, WGSN and Chewy!

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