Review by C.J. Bunce

Whether you’ve owned domesticated cats your entire life and may even be an expert, or you’re experiencing your first fur baby, any lover of feline family members can use the reminders or new tips offered in Laura J. Moss and Dr. Lynn Bahr’s new book, Indoor Cat: How to Enrich Their Lives and Expand Their World Just like Barbara Woodhouse preached “there are no bad dogs” in her famous books on dogs, Moss and Bahr, too, believe a cat that gets proper time and attention can be happy living indoors with its people, and maybe even other cats, and in turn keep everyone else happy, too.  Indoor Cat is available this month here at Amazon.  The authors wrote the book during the pandemic, and it shows.  Many of the suggestions are a result of being “cooped-up” inside for humans, and having empathy from those feelings for our comrades who never get to experience the outdoors.

The suggestions and guidance offered in this handy 260-page hardcover volume apply equally to whether you have an outdoor cat or an indoor cat, and in fact the authors encourage some type of outside elements be introduced for your cat.  The most realistic of these, if you can afford it, is a catio–an attached patio with airflow without letting the cat actually be able to escape.  These are expensive, however, so there’s also just opening a screened-in window for some fresh air.

Smartly, the book identifies all the dangers of having cats living outside (they actually don’t go as far as veterinarians I’ve known, who target two years at the most for the life expectancy of an outdoor cat in the city).  The book cautions why declawing cats should be banned, and how it causes lifelong issues for the cat.  As a guidebook it operates as a troubleshooting guide for behavioral issues–pretty much anything you can identify that bothers your cat probably has a solution requiring merely attention and time on the owner’s part.  For many cat enthusiasts the suggestions may be obvious, but for those new to adding a cat as a family member, the book can be even more useful.

Best of all, the book offers suggestions to alleviate boredom for your cat.  Chapters discuss mixing up or expanding a cat’s living area, litter boxes, food, daily schedule, and the affection, personal space, and attention provided by its humans and other cat siblings.  Each chapter features bulleted suggestions and quick takeaways to help get owners back on track with their furry friends.  How can you tell if your cat is happy?  How can you do more to make them comfortable?

An estimated 100 million families in the U.S. own cats but millions of cats remain strays or are waiting to get adopted in shelters.  Owning cats and getting them off the streets and keeping them from all the dangers outdoors is really the most important factor to consider, especially in cities where a loud noise can prompt a cat to bolt and be lost forever or worse.  Just look at your local lost pet social media source and you’re likely to find several hundred animals currently listed.  So how do you balance that reality with giving your cat a good life inside?  With all the ideas shared and suggestions available in this book and via other sources it’s not really all that difficult.

Are all cats the same?  Do cats deserve the treatment they get in movies and in books concerning personality and attitude?  Are cats really similar to dogs?  The authors address these concepts, too.

Indoor Cat: How to Enrich Their Lives and Expand Their World provides good suggestions for cat expert owners and those new to taking care of our feline friends.  Get a copy for your favorite cat owner.  It’s available now here at Amazon, published by Running Press.