Cats are not fully domesticated like our canine companions are. While cats can make affectionate and fun pets, they are subject to more stress since in our homes they have limited their control over their resources, like they would have in the wild.
Cats used to roam for food and hunt, occupying most of their free time. They decided where to sleep, when to eat, and where and on what to go to the bathroom upon.
When a cat is brought into a loving home, we happily make those choices for them, without ever knowing what they truly like. While some cats will let you know in their “subtle” way, other will accept it but be stressed on the inside. Do you tell your boss everything they do that drives your crazy?
Our indoor cats are indoors because we love them and don’t want them hurt by a larger animal or a vehicle (I am guilty of this). By making a cat indoor-only, they live longer. Unfortunately, this choice also limits their lifestyle choices and enrichment options. It forces them to share living spaces with creatures they may not otherwise choose to live with, for example toddlers, dogs, other cats.
While it is much easier to train a cat to use a litter box, than a puppy to use the outdoor facilities exclusively, not all cats like all litters. I learned the hard way that some cats like privacy, while others disdain biodegradable litter. These choices or lack thereof can be stressful for a cat.
Cats have some natural behaviors that are not acceptable in our homes. Cats cannot climb trees, scratch on our furniture, or hunt live animals when confined by walls. We need to do our best to allow them to exhibit these natural behaviors; your home and their quality of life depends on it.
Would you like to be told where to use the bathroom, when to eat, and that you can’t play outside?