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It may be tempting to let your domestic cat hunt butterflies outdoors, but nature comes with big risks! Find out how to expose your cat to nature safely and enrich her life.

The debate between the indoor and outdoor lifestyles of domestic cats has been going on for years, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each Option.

Nature carries many risks, from cars to predators to viruss for other cats looking for a action. In addition, domestic cats are not naturally part of the North American ecosystem and can cause serious damage to local populations of songbirds and small mammals.

On the other hand, your miniature Apex predator has The instinct to run wild! Nature is full of smells to track down, animals to hunt, hiding places and climbing opportunities. Cats need a chance to release these instincts and get their mind and body working to be happy and healthy. So how can you give them a taste of outdoor life while minimizing the risks to you and your native wildlife?

Read on to find ways to take your cat outside safely and bring nature to your cat!

Safe outdoor activities for cats

Cats and cat races

Creating a fully enclosed outdoor space for your cat is one of the safest ways to expose her to nature! A cat’s trellis walls keep your cat inside and the other animals outside while you can run, jump, play and sniff all that your garden has to offer.

These can vary in complexity from a small mesh window for your window to elaborate mesh enclosed patio areas large enough for you and your cat to enjoy while you catch up on a 1:1 time. If your cat exit is attached to a window or a cat door, you have the independence to choose when to go out to sunbathe.

Cat-proof Backyards

As you improve your garden, it can become a safe place for your cat to move around freely! Consider installing a cat fence that curves inward at the top to prevent ambitious jumpers and climbers from jumping over the fence. You can find special cat fences ready to be installed or an inclined mattress topper to add to your existing fences. Once you are sure that your garden is well closed, sit back in your lawn chair and watch your cat go wild!

Leash training for your cat

Getting your cat used to a harness and leash can have a steep learning curve (we’ve all seen the boneless cat videos), but it’s totally possible! If you have a brave and adventurous cat who wants to roam beyond your garden, exploring the world with them by your side is your best bet. Train them to walk on a leash and in a harness, and soon your feline friend will become your adventure companion for trips to the park or to the mountains!

Bringing an external enrichment to the interior

Decorated Windows

We all know that cats love to look out the windows, so make this experience better! Place pillows on the windowsill or set up a cat hammock in which you can lie down for a perfect view. Place a bird feeder outside for the ultimate viewing experience (bonus points if you get one that sucks right through the glass)! Open the windows whenever the weather permits so that you can enjoy all the scents that come out in the fresh air — of course, as long as the screen is well placed in the window.

Bring nature home

Let your cat discover the smells and tastes of nature in the comfort of his home! Try growing catnip so that your kitten can nibble on it (perfect for cats trying to sneak in the kibble from your indoor plants).

Create a digging bin with a storage bag or a deep baking sheet and fill it with clean leaves, sticks and other outdoor waste that your cat can safely explore. Get those hunting instincts by hiding a few treats inside and let them go to town to sniff out the hidden treasure!

Provide places to climb

If you’ve ever wondered why your cat would like to be on your refrigerator so much, it’s because cats have a natural instinct to climb up and look at the world from a safe place. Let your cat express these natural behaviors in her inner environment in a way that doesn’t scare you when you’re trying to have a midnight snack!

Provide a scratching post or go a step further and install cat shelves or a climbing wall for your cat to explore. You will be your jump-a
d flex your climbing muscles, Wear out your nails while you claw your way up and survey your kingdom (or your salon) from the right place Of honor.

Check out our Enrichment Activity List for more ways your cat can express her natural instincts with toys, games, puzzle potions and more to make your indoor cat happy!

You know your cat better than anyone and you can tell which activities correspond to his sense of adventure (or lack thereof), but don’t be afraid to try something new with your cat! Your resident couch potato may discover a hidden sense of adventure that you didn’t know you had.

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