The Biggest Mistakes When Keeping Cats Indoors

Many cats live in pure apartment keeping. Here you can find out which mistakes you should definitely avoid.

Many cats spend their entire lives as indoor cats. Here, too, the cat can lead a species-appropriate and varied life if the cat owner observes the most important requirements for housing. Anyone who keeps a purely indoor cat should not make these mistakes – otherwise, the cat will become mentally and physically ill.

9 Things That Make Indoor Cats Sick

If you only keep your cat indoors, you should definitely rule out these points so that your cat can lead a happy, healthy, and species-appropriate cat life.


Cats are incredibly curious animals – that’s in their nature. They spend much of their waking hours lurking and hunting. This natural cat behavior must also be possible in the home. Cats need to be able to climb, run and scratch. New toys create new incentives, the cat has to observe something and also be able to play interactively with another cat or with humans.

Tips against boredom:

  • The optimal scratching post as a fitness device for the cat
  • Great game ideas for humans and cats
  • 7 ideas for more variety in the everyday life of domestic cats


Contrary to their reputation as solitary creatures, cats are very social animals. They don’t tolerate loneliness at all in the long run. If you decide to keep a cat in your apartment, it is best to take in two cats at the same time if you have to leave the house for several hours several times a week.

Tips against loneliness:

  • Should a second cat move in?
  • Make the balcony cat-proof


Indoor cats are significantly more affected by obesity than outdoor cats. In the apartment, the cats often lack the incentive to exercise enough, they don’t have to chase after prey and are served food regularly.

Boredom is another reason why indoor cats constantly demand food. Calculate how much food your cat really needs per day, weigh out dry food, and don’t be too generous with extra treats either. Serious diseases such as diabetes are the result of obesity in cats.

Tips against obesity:

  • So the cat takes off again
  • More movement: Leash walks with the cat


Cats generally drink very little. However, sufficient fluid intake is particularly important for the health of the cat. Indoor cats should be particularly encouraged to drink. Therefore, place drinking bowls in different places in the apartment and change the water regularly. A drinking fountain also encourages the cat to drink and at the same time provides variety.

Tips against thirst:

  • Indoor fountain for cats
  • Common mistakes in cat nutrition

Lack of exercise

Many indoor cats suffer from a lack of exercise. In the long run, this leads to obesity and makes the cat ill. Be sure to encourage your cat to move around a lot. Incorporate climbing and scratching opportunities into your home, the more the merrier. Throw the cat dry food instead of feeding it in the bowl and preferably play interactively with your cat several times a day. A second cat often encourages more movement.

Tips against lack of exercise:

  • 10 game ideas for more movement
  • Hunting games for cats


Constant drafts are not healthy for cats either. It is better to ventilate the cat’s apartment completely on a regular basis. With a window wide open, you can lock the cat out of the room for a few minutes. Avoid tilted windows or secure them in such a way that the cat cannot get into the window slit.

Tips against drafts:

  • Properly securing windows for cats
  • Set up a cozy window seat

Lack of fresh air

Even indoor cats are happy about fresh air, a bit of wind in their noses, and sun on their fur. If you only keep your cat indoors, you should allow your cat to do this. A cat-safe balcony with vantage points and cat-friendly plants to smell is a great chance for indoor cats. If you don’t have a balcony, you should at least secure one window with a net so that the cat can sit comfortably there and observe the outside world.

Tips for more fresh air:

  • How to make your balcony cat-proof
  • Safe plants for cats

Cigarette Smoke

Passive smoking makes cats sick. While outdoor cats can escape cigarette smoke in the apartment for at least a few hours, indoor cats are constantly exposed to odors when people smoke in the apartment. Studies have shown that this increases the cat’s risk of cancer significantly. If you have assumed responsibility for an animal, you should definitely refrain from smoking in the apartment.

About the cat’s sense of smell:

  • 9 scents cats can’t stand
  • Cats have a good sense of smell

Missing Check-ups

While outdoor cats usually pay attention to parasite protection, deworming, and regular vaccinations, this is often neglected with some indoor cats. These protective measures are just as important for indoor cats as they are for outdoor cats. We bring dirt into the apartment every day on our street shoes and clothes.

It is best to discuss with your veterinarian which measures are necessary for your cat and at what intervals. Indoor cats should be taken to a veterinarian for a check-up once a year, and twice a year from the age of seven.

Cat Health Tips:

  • Proper health care for indoor cats
  • Deworming indoor cats: How often is it necessary
Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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