How do you keep a cat indoors at night?

One of the meow-parents’ dilemmas? How to keep very outdoorsy cats indoors. Cats, like the little humanoid that they are, like the sun, friends and freedom. They may lie and laze around at home but they’d be itching to go out every 5 minutes.

Nine lives: The Risky Life of A Feline

Cats have a complicated life, they’re territorial and dominant. They often fight with each other at night. According to the research from University of Georgia, male cats are actually leading a riskier life compared to that of female felines. Female cats attract mates and most probably, they attract more than one male cat which would eventually break into a fight afterwards. Unneutered cats run the risk of fights among fellow male cats.

An outdoor cat lives an average of one to five years, while an indoor cat lives an average from eight to twelve years (Mathews, 2015). Mate issue aside, felines are also endangered by external factors such as vicious hunters or vehicular accidents. We would often see cats getting run over by cars or a half eaten corpse of a cat devoured by God-knows-what. Generally, cats are not safe outside especially at night. Although it is natural for cats to go out, the risk of going outdoors at night is greater.

Yes, talk about a complicated life.

Keeping our furry family at home

Cats are natural born hunters. Like most of the predators, preying usually takes place at night where they can catch unknowing animals and when they can blend in easily. So yes, the reason why your feline goes out at night is to hunt. One of the most effective ways to keep them indoors especially at night is to introduce to them a routine and keep them comfortable. Keeping the cats comfortable indoors is as effective as any plan to keep them inside.

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Never hit your cats. Hitting them can actually increase their aggressiveness, and this may cause the cats to run away because they don’t feel safe at home. When someone is opening the door, teach them to stay inside by giving them treats. Also, keep them warm especially during rainy seasons or during winter. Provide a warm bed for them to sleep in.

According to a veterinary doctor, Dr. Jess Beer, introducing a routine similar to the ones they have outdoors is the safest way of keeping them inside. The easiest way is to: lock the cat doors, ensure that they will have something to munch during the night since the majority of the activity they have outdoors is to look for food, keep them active during the day and lastly, ignore their meowing and whining as much as possible.

As  Dr.Beer suggested, keeping them active during the day by playing with them after work is effective in putting them to sleep at night. You can change their routine little by little, and eventually your cat will enjoy staying indoors.

Most importantly, keep your cats neutered and spayed if possible. Cats become aggressive when they are in heat, and the tendency for them to go out increases.

Things cat enjoys indoors

There are a lot of things that your cat can do indoors, it can be through toys, food puzzles or another furry friend. Introducing different activities to your feline friend is very helpful in keeping them safe inside. One of the things you can give to them are, surprisingly, cardboard boxes.

Cats live for cardboard boxes. A study conducted in the University of Utrecht showed that cats provided with cardboard boxes cope with stress and recover faster. This is due to the fact that cats feel protected in enclosed spaces. Also, cats are ambush predators, meaning they tend to hide from their prey and catch them unexpectedly.

Cat furniture can also help in keeping them safe. They like to climb on trees, roofs and basically anything that they can reach. Providing a venue where they can put their ninja skills to test is a great way for them to create a routine at home.

You can also provide some sort of entertainment for your cats. They are very visual creatures, they are easily attracted to anything and are naturally very curious. One of the ways that you can keep them entertained is to let them watch the television. Cats, like the little humans, enjoy watching birds flying around or insects moving inside the television.

Common Questions

Are cats nocturnal?

Crepuscular creatures tend to be very active starting twilight. According to John Nicholas, the reason why they are mostly active at night is embedded into their DNA. A research from the University of Georgia states that cats are actually staying up at night to hunt, regardless if they have been domesticated or not.

Can you train a rescued outdoorsy cat to stay indoors?

Yes, rescued cats are trainable. Some people have the misconception that rescued outdoorsy cats are untrainable, however with the right method and tools they can also enjoy the wonders of your home. Cats also need stability, so by enhancing the cats new environment and creating a routine for them is very effective in training them to stay put.

Is it safer for cats to stay indoors than outdoors?

Yes. They are less likely to contact any kind of disease and it is generally safer for them to stay at home. Outdoorsy cats have more chances of getting sick and meet vehicular accidents.


Therefore, to keep your kids at home, one must provide the following: a stable environment, activities that they can do inside like toys and food puzzles, cat furnitures, entertainment and routine. Cats are safer inside especially at night, introducing a routine to them slowly is important because an abrupt change may cause them to feel threatened.

Cats are lovable and adorable animals, keep them safe and loved always!

How do you keep a cat indoors at night?