Indoor cats with too little to do, can develop behaviour problems such as aggression toward the owner, fur pulling, attention seeking, spraying or tail chasing. These are the obvious symptoms of boredom. The less obvious one is lethargy – they stop doing anything much. Two cats, from kittenhood onwards, are better than one, if a cat is indoors all day.
Cat Protection suggests that a three bedroom house shouldn’t have more than two or perhaps three cats so don’t fill up the house with too many (always tempting!).
Ask for my new cat introduction sheet if you decide to add a new cat because just adding an unrelated cat isn’t always helpful. Remember indoor cats have fewer places to go to avoid cats they dislike so it doesn’t always work out for the best.
If you are moving house and having to turn your outdoor cat into an indoor cat, it will probably work out fine if the cats are 10 years or older. Older cats don’t do so much anyway. Cats that don’t go out much anyway may also adjust well. Try the change and see what happens. If you are a real cat lover, you will know if the cat is miserable.
The cats that won’t be happy are the young, the energetic and the determined hunters. By all means see if these will adapt, but you may find that they don’t. In this case, a good charity can find them a new home and probably find you a cat that needs to live indoors – elderly, handicapped or FIV positive.