Just like people, cats can be prone to cabin fever, especially when winter weather drives everyone inside. Indoor only cats are used to being in the house, but even they can get bored being stuck at home with the same people and other animals at all hours. If a cat is used to being able to go outside, they may try to find an unpleasant way to retaliate against you. Avoid angry cat syndrome with these tips to avoid feline cabin fever.
Play with your cats
This should go without saying at any time of year, but playtime is especially necessary during cold winter months. Playtime does not mean just throwing a few toys out and letting your cat roll around with them; cats need stimulation and facetime from their owners. Even if it’s as simple as crumpling up a few sheets of paper and playing fetch or shining a laser pointer for your cat to chase, make sure you are engaging with your cat. Trade toys out from session to session, and try to get in two or three 15 minutes sessions a day.
Make sure they have a window seat
Even indoor cats are fascinated by the outdoors; people watching, animal watching, or just getting a look at some different scenery can do wonders for relieving boredom. There’s a reason workplaces with windows are so desirable. Whether it is on the back of a couch or chair, a floor-to-ceiling length glass door, or a special designated cat spot, ease the burden of cold winter weather on your cats by making sure they can still keep an eye out on the great outdoors.
Set up a scheduled grooming time
Most people think of dogs being the pets that need to have schedules, but cats benefit from scheduled activities as well. One of the best ways to fight off cabin fever and depression is by having a set time to groom. Whether it’s before or after work, after dinner, or right before bed, your cats will love getting brushed (and clipped, if needed) at a set time each day. On top of that, it will cut back on the amount of cat fur you will need to clean off the furniture this winter. Grab a deshedding brush, like a FURminator; they are less irritating and help take care of extra loose fur. A set grooming time will help you and your cat bond, and will give them something to anticipate throughout the day.
Especially if your cat is used to getting out and enjoying the outdoors, you owe it to them (and yourself) to help them stave off cabin fever. Keep a supply of an odor and stain remover, like Bio-nihilator on hand this winter; you’ll need it if accidents happen.