Does your indoor cat have a sense of wanderlust? I'm sharing ideas for how to bring the outdoors to your indoor cat.

How to Bring the Outdoors to Your Indoor Cat

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I have a wannabe outdoor cat.

Abby, my shorthaired tabby cat, has been with me since she was about 2 months old. I was the first human in our household to really bond with her and though I’ve never been much of a cat person; I would consider her to be my cat. In fact, she’s responsible for changing my views on cats and has become a very treasured member of the family.

But, let’s get back to the wannabe outdoor cat thing.

Abby is an indoor cat. She has been an indoor cat since she was brought home. She’s also incredibly curious, like most cats are, about what’s beyond the house. Abby is also quite the escape artist and will not hesitate to capitalize on open doors. I want her to enjoy the outdoors but in a safe way. So how do I bring the outdoors to my indoor cat?

how you can bring the outdoors to your indoor cat

Most days, Abby is content to find a patch of sun and spend the day sleeping.

my wannabe outdoor cat

She has a box (plain, cardboard box) next to my desk and there are several other boxes around the house for her convenience. Some were left there intentionally and others were just left there because no one has bothered to move them yet. Regardless, they’ve become cat furniture and ideal hiding spots for Abby.

With the warmer weather here (and the birds being especially active), one of Abby’s favorite spots is the dining room window. She watches the birds from this spot and when the window is open, she can get a nice breeze.

abby the tabby at the window

During this time of the year through the end of fall; it’s her favorite spot in the house.

That doesn’t keep her from trying to escape every now and then. And even though she always returns home, I still worry that one of these days; she won’t.

So how can I aid her with her wanderlust? What can I, as the privileged human of Abby the Tabby, do for her?

  • Creating a “catio” – this can be as elaborate or as simple as you’d like, really. It’s an enclosed, outdoor safe space for your cat. I’ve thought about transforming some of the existing space in our mudroom/enclosed porch area to add in shelves on the window for Abby. Or maybe adding a little bird feeder on the outside so she has more entertainment. While I’d love to create an actual catio for her; she’s clawed through all of the window screens. So until I can find, or afford, stronger material- plans for a catio are on hold. Catio Spaces is a great place to start when it comes to looking for ideas and getting inspiration.
  • Adding a cat windowbox – similar to the catio idea but in a much more contained space; a cat windowbox is just that. An extension to your window that allows the cat to explore the outdoor area. I thought that this would be a great addition for Abby… until I realized that it had to be made with some sort of screen material to allow air in. With her penchant and uncanny ability to rip screen to shreds; a cat windowbox was definitely out of the picture.
  • Making a cat run – this was another option that I wanted to explore and may still do depending on the amount of space that we have in the backyard. Similar to a dog run and a catio, a cat run is an enclosed, outdoor space for your cat. A catio is usually more elaborate than a cat run, so a cat run might be a good place to start.
  • Adding cat shelves – this will likely be our go-to plan for now. Either by adding shelves on the windows in the enclosed porch or in other areas around the house. That way she can lounge and sleep in the sun, while staying safe inside.
  • Purchasing cat friendly plants – aside from catnip, there’s also cat grass. We already have one for our herbs, so I’ve thought about getting a second window box and filling that with catnip, cat grass, and a succulent. That way Abby will have her own bit of grassy area to claim as her own. I hesitate with this idea because I don’t want her to confuse our herb box with her plant box. So maybe we’ll put this idea on hold.

Those are just a few of the ideas that I’ve come up with.

Regardless of what we end up doing for her, it will be worth it. Abby is part of the family and that means treating her as such… and maybe even spoiling her every so often with projects.

When we do start on our list of ideas, our first stop will be PetSmart as we make this our favored destination for cat essentials. And from now until 7/5, if you spend $15 on any Purina® Pro Plan® product, you can save $15 on your next purchase of 10.5-lbs. or larger Purina® Pro Plan® Dry Cat or Dog Food or Litter by 7/31.

On our most recent trip, to stock up on food and cat litter, a different variety of dry food caught my eye: Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend.

pro plan shredded blend at petsmart

Abby isn’t too picky when it comes to her cat food… well, at least not as picky as she could be. So, we picked up a bag of the Purina® Pro Plan® Savor® Shredded Blend for her.

But would she like it?

abby the tabby inspects her new food

That was a resounding yes. Abby absolutely loved her new food.

I’m sure that this will help keep her fueled for all of her adventures… indoors and outdoors. Or sleeping. Whatever the case may be.

Do you have a wannabe outdoor cat? How do you bring the outdoors inside for them?

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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