The Needs of Indoor Cats

by Dr Ada Siu
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Today, more cat parents are choosing an indoor life for their cats over the wild outdoors for safety reasons. While outdoor exploration fulfills their instincts, it exposes them to various risks like accidents, diseases, and fights. Cats outdoors can also disrupt local wildlife and cause neighbourhood issues, leading to restrictions on roaming cats in many local councils and states in Australia and New Zealand.

On the other hand, indoor living ensures safety and longevity but might lack the environmental variety and physical activity outdoor cats enjoy.

The Indoor Cat's Unique Needs

To truly understand the special needs of indoor cats, let's take a moment to appreciate the contrasting life of their free-ranging counterparts. Outdoor cats are born hunters, wired to chase small prey like mice. They need around 10 mice a day to meet their daily energy and nutritional requirements. This means they are designed for frequent, small meals spread throughout both day and night.

Their daily schedule typically revolves around multiple hunting attempts, with success in securing a meal happening less than half of the time. In essence, hunting and acquiring food occupy a substantial portion of their day—almost 46%—while eating itself only takes up about 2%.

Now, consider the life of an indoor pet cat. Their feeding schedule is often set by us, with most receiving two larger meals during the day. These meals usually come in a consistent format and are served in the same location within the house, day in and day out. Such a routine can be quite unnatural for cats from a behavioural and physiological perspective.

Some of us opt to let our cats free-feed (or ad libitum), but if food is simply offered in a bowl, cats can devour it rapidly, leading to overeating. Indoor cats who lack adequate mental and physical stimulation may develop increased attention to food due to boredom.

Furthermore, pet cats are also often unnaturally forced to live in close proximity with each other sharing the same house leading to competition for food. All of these can exacerbate the risk of overeating and result in obesity and lack of mental stimulation.

Discover how Black Hawk Healthy Benefits Indoor Cat Food supports your indoor cat

For indoor cats prone to overeating and weight gain, Black Hawk's Healthy Benefits Indoor Cat Dry Food offers a solution. This formula has lower calories* and is high in quality proteins, encouraging healthy weight management. It contains a unique blend of fibre that helps minimise hairball formation and yucca plant extract that traps ammonia to reduce stool odours for a pleasant environment for you and your indoor cat.

This dry food also contains easy to digest proteins like chicken and eggs. Additionally, L-carnitine also help support your cat's healthy metabolism and lean muscle maintenance, keeping them active and fit.

To add variety to your cat's diet and provide mental stimulation, consider adding wet food to the daily mix, such as Black Hawk's Healthy Benefits Indoor Wet Food. The gravy-soaked chunks offer delightful aromatics and hydration, further enriching your cat's meal. Like the dry food, the wet version contains high-quality proteins and reduced calories to help support weight management, along with yucca extract to minimise stool odours.

To further mimic the way cats have evolved to feed, prevent overeating, encourage physical and mental stimulation, try the following:

  • With the help of timed automatic feeders, divide a cat’s daily food ration into at least 5 portions, spreading over the day and night period.
  • Utilise interactive feeding toys for those meals that you can supervise.
  • Scatter the dry food on your floor to allow the kibbles to disperse, allowing your cat to move and search to reach each piece of kibble.
Black Hawk Healthy Benefits Indoor Cat Foods are more than just a meal; they are designed with your indoor cat’s well-being and happiness in mind.

*4.8% less calories than Black Hawk Original Chicken Dry Cat Food. For cats that require an even lower-calorie formula for weight management, we recommend the Black Hawk Healthy Benefits Weight Dry Cat Food.