7 Ways to Bring Outdoors to Your Indoor Cat

by Monika
How to bring outdoors to your indoor cat

Keeping your cat indoors only is beneficial for their safety and is sometimes inevitable if you live in a dangerous area. But even if the kitty can’t go outside, you can bring the outdoors inside! Your furr ball can enjoy some outdoor perks while being in the safety of your house or apartment.

Here are a few ideas on bringing outdoors to your indoor cat that came to my mind!

How to bring outdoors to your indoor cat

Plant a cat garden

Plant a cat garden

If you want to make your cat happier, help them get rid of the ingested fur, and bring some outdoor feel to your indoor cat, you should consider planting an indoor cat garden. Your cat will love nibbling on the grass and playing with the blades of grass!

Some of the healthy plants they just love to nibble on are:

  • Cat grass – this is actually a combination of various grass such as rye, barley, oat or wheat seeds. You can find these plants at a local shop or get the grass growing kit online and one week from now, your cat can have their own garden to nibble from.
  • Valerian
  • Lemongrass
  • Cat thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Mint
  • Spider plants
  • Silver vine
  • Honeysuckle – some cats react to it like they do to catnip
  • And let’s not forget the one and only – catnip

If you want to plant something else, make a research before bringing any unknown plant into your home because many plants are unhealthy and toxic for the cats. Take a look at this comprehensive list of the plants that are toxic to cats.

It is best to go with the above mentioned cat-friendly plants – you’ll be sure that your cat will enjoy it and that it’s completely safe for your cat.

Bring “nature’s cat toys” for your cat to play with

There are so many things outside that can be used as a cat toy and that work great to prevent kitty boredom. Rocks, sea shells, small branches, leaves – all of these will bring a touch of nature indoors and your cat can use them to play with!

(Btw you might also want to see these 10 simple DIY cat toys made of household items.)

Let as much natural light and fresh air inside

Let as much sun inside the house

Make sure you regularly let some fresh air into the room. If it’s winter, this will be a bit harder, but whenever you can, get some fresh air inside so that your cat can enjoy a bit of an outdoor feel. If you’re worried that your cat will escape through the window while it’s open, you can install a safety net so they can’t go out.

If you have a balcony, you can let your cat enjoy some fresh air after cat-proofing your balcony if you live on a high floor.

Also, avoid having your blinds or shutters closed for too long during the day because cats enjoy looking out the window and love to sleep in those warm sunny spots.

A scratch post made of real wood

Instead of purchasing a regular scratching post, you can go to the woods and find a suitable piece of wood that your cat can scratch instead. This is also pretty cost-effective, considering it is free. Although, one thing that you might not like about this “homemade”, all natural scratching post is that it will make a small mess around as the small pieces of wood detach.

There are also some stylish natural scratching posts available for purchase if you prefer having it delivered to your door instead of searching the woods.

A real cat tree

DIY real cat tree by Brittany Goldwyn

This is for those of you with more free time on your hands. Instead of buying a regular cat tree, you can make your own using tree branches! I am in love with this DIY cat tree made by Brittany Goldwyn (on the photo) and it’s definitely on my to-do list – probably when I retire and finally have some free time (only 37 years from now, yay)!

Bird sounds on a tape

I have already mentioned some cool bird videos for cats in my post about the ways to entertain your cat. These unexpected bird sounds will intrigue your cat that they’ll probably want to run around the room in search of the bird! Fun times!

Bird feeder at the window

Having a bird feeder outside the window or attached to the window will provide hours of fun for your cat. They will have their own reality TV starring wild birds to entertain them!

I hope this post gave you some fresh ideas for bringing outdoors to your indoor cat.

BTW if you also want a few fresh ideas for entertaining your indoor cat, take a look at my post 50 ways to entertain your cat!

Do you have any tip or idea of your own? Let me know in the comments!

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Rascal and Rocco February 22, 2018 - 11:51 pm

I’d love to have a real cat tree like that. So cool!

Monika February 23, 2018 - 8:13 am

Yeah, me too 😀

Monika & Sam February 23, 2018 - 3:40 pm

What a cool ‘tree house’ and pawsome way to bring the outdoors inside.

The Daily Pip February 28, 2018 - 12:10 pm

I LOVE that cat tree! We made a cat tree with real wood a few years ago, but it was nowhere near as nice as this one. I didn’t know lemongrass was good for cats.

We just opened our windows for a bit yesterday and Rosie just loved the fresh air.

Monika February 28, 2018 - 12:18 pm

Good thing that cats are not as concerned about esthetics as us 🙂 So they can enjoy an amateurish cat tree too 😀

Lemongrass is safe for cats and they like it but lemongrass essential oil, on the other hand, can be toxic to kitties.

kelly February 28, 2018 - 1:06 pm

My cats love watching the leafs blow around outside the window and occasionally I’ll bring a couple in the house for them to play with but they seen to enjoy hunting them through the windows 😉
Love the cat tree! I’m going to try a piece of branch and see what they think.

Christine AnimalHealer February 28, 2018 - 4:31 pm

Yes! A cat garden for all indoor kitties! I recommend this to all my animal clients. It makes life enjoyable for them and also helps with a variety of health issues, depending on what you put in the garden. All indoor kitties need the stimulation you have recommended. I’m bookmarking this article for when I get a cat in my future. Thanks for sharing!

Monika March 1, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Thank you for stopping by 🙂

Seville at Nerissa's Life February 28, 2018 - 6:13 pm

Peepers! PEEPERS! GET IN HERE RIGHT NOW. You have GOT to read this post, Peepers. I want this stuff. ALL OF IT! Yup, I NEED it, for sure. I’m gonna need a bigger indoor garden, a cat tree made out of REAL TREE (and not the fake stuff we have now), some twigs and things, and… Oh, the list goes on and on. Just read the post, Peepers. I’ll go get a pen and paper and start makin’ a list of all the stuff you’re gonna need. purrs

Monika March 1, 2018 - 1:29 pm

Lol, the kitty wants it all!

The Dash Kitten Crew February 28, 2018 - 7:28 pm

That is an awesome cat tree and I know our cats would adore it!! * sigh *

We are from England and we can’t imagine cats being kept indoors away from the sunshine and the grass but we know the USA has a range of predators unknown to us in New Zealand and have to respect that. Our worst enemy is an economist who should know better.

One thing we remember from our first cat Peanut. She absolutely loved seaside shells and twigs and we always took them home from the beach. I miss bringing them home for her and still can’t really shake the habit.

Monika February 28, 2018 - 9:39 pm

I live in Croatia, Europe and it is common here to let the cats go out if you live in the rural area, just like in England. Thankfully, there are no coyotes and other dangerous animals that they have in the USA.

Debbie February 28, 2018 - 8:26 pm

Oooh, the real wood scratching post is a great idea! Our cat goes in and out as she pleases, but you can never have enough outdoor goodness for your cat! Great tips for people with indoor cats!

Michelle & The Paw Pack February 28, 2018 - 9:13 pm

I love this! As a wildlife biologist I just can’t get behind outdoor cats. They do so much damage to native wildlife! So many owners seem to think their cats can’t be happy inside, but there are SO many ways you can keep them mentally stimulated indoors.

Ruth Epstein February 28, 2018 - 9:35 pm

What brilliant ideas and when I had cats I never thought of half of those and they were indoor cats. I actually giggle sometimes and say to myself how far the cat lovers cats lives have evolved since I was a cat mom and only wish I had known all this then. I am going to share these ideas with my friends

Monika March 1, 2018 - 1:25 pm

We learn every day 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

Jana Rade February 28, 2018 - 10:44 pm

When Jasmine was recovering from surgeries, and wasn’t allowed to go outside, I at least tried bringing the sounds of outdoors to her through various nature sounds recordings. I wish there was a way to bring the smells instead. She’d appreciate it much more.

Monika March 1, 2018 - 1:24 pm

Yes, bringing outdoor smells inside would be great!

Kamira G. March 1, 2018 - 2:41 am

I like all these ideas. That real cat tree tower is awesome! The bird sounds definitely will make your kitty perk up and play. I used to do that with my girls. They immediately went into hunting mode. So much fun to bring the outdoors indoors safely.

Beth March 1, 2018 - 4:35 am

These are great suggestions! When our formerly stray cat was under 6 months of quarantine it was tough on him. He really enjoyed looking out the window, especially when the squirrels were nearby. I wish I would have known about cat grass and other cat friendly plants back then.

Joely Smith March 1, 2018 - 5:15 am

Oh my gosh I love the cat tree with the vines growing on it! Thank you for these pet safe plant ideas for the indoor cat! My cats are indoor cats and love when I take them out in the backyard to eat grass and roll around in it. I need to use some of your ideas. I have only done the catnip. I am on top of it now thanks to you!

Monika March 1, 2018 - 1:23 pm

Glad I could help 🙂

Dolly the Doxie March 1, 2018 - 5:44 pm

These are some great ideas that cats would love! My cat Rhette doesn’t seem too interested in the outdoors but does enjoy looking out the window so I guess he’s good with that! Sandra and Dolly


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