Summer is the time when most of us bask in the warm, sunny weather and try to do as many activities as we can outside. But our poor kitties are often trapped indoors with the same sights, sounds, and smells they get all year long.
Here are four easy ways to let your cat in on the summer fun.
Build a catio — Outdoor spaces specifically made for cats are really popular right now. Many feline owners will tell you the benefits of creating a cats-only space that allows them fresh air and sunshine. The term “catio” —a portmanteau of cat and patio—has been adopted to cover a variety of spaces from window boxes, to full-on patios just for cats. You can buy these, of course, but I’m a fan of DIY. If you’re not super savvy with the power tools, you can use this tutorial to make one from an IKEA shelf. A friend of mine made one over a weekend.
Open a window — It doesn’t get any easier than this. Cats will follow a lone patch of sunshine around the house just to bask in its warmth. Why not make it easier for him by raising the blinds and letting that fresh air in. Cats love to hear the noises from outside, even in a big city, and they will thank you for a change of scenery.
Leash train your cat — We love adventure kitties, but the truth is not every cat can be leash trained. Some pets are just too skittish or aggressive to be out in public. But if you’d like to give it a try, our friends at Adventure Cats have tons of resources on how to train your cat to hike, bike, kayak and more. All you need is a little patience and a good harness.
photo courtesy of Cody Wellons/Adventurecats.org
Bring the outside in — What if you can’t do any of the tips listed above? Don’t worry. Your cat can still enjoy some outdoor fun. And it can be as simple as collecting branches, sticks, leaves, plants, and grasses to bring inside. Just be careful what you grab. Some plants—like lilies, tulips, and sago palms—can be toxic to pets and you don’t want to accidentally introduce pesticides.
Even a few leaves on the windowsill to smell and knock off, a silvervine scented cloud or a branch placed on a table will give your cat something new to smell, feel, play and explore. By varying the item, scent, and location, you can give kitty new ways to smell the outdoors.
No matter what you do this summer—glamorous vacations, family road trips, seaside picnics, or refreshing pool days—don’t forget to let your cat in on the great outdoors. He needs a summer break too!