Boost your cat's happiness with this simple tip from an expert trainer

Cat on couch
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While cats can often seem quite independent and aloof, they still rely on us to provide some semblance of routine.

This might involve them knowing when they’re going to get their food or some of the best cat treats, or having things like their bed and their little box in the same place – it all helps them avoid stress and upset.

And, this is particularly true where indoor cats are concerned. In a new post, Saya Sayyed – known as A Cat Behaviorist on Instagram – has explained why indoor cats need routines to be happy.

Something a routine does is provide our cats with a sense of security and this reduces anxiety. “Knowing when they will be fed, played with, and have quiet time helps them feel more in control of their environment,” says Sayyed.

She adds that routines can help prevent undesired behaviors, too. “Feeding and playtimes at consistent intervals can reduce excessive meowing, [and] scratching due to uncertainty,” she explains. Here’s how to entertain indoor cats to keep them happy during these periods of play.

Indoor cats can get stressed without routines – as well as scratching, cats may hide or spray urine when they’re stressed through a lack of routine. Of course, these are both things you’ll probably want to avoid.

When it comes to food, something many cat parents don’t realize is that cats in the wild would eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day. So, you might like to try dividing their food into rations you offer them throughout the day, as well as using puzzle feeders. As well as mimicking the feeding pattern that’s instinctive to cats, the best cat puzzle feeders offer plenty of mental enrichment, too. And, it’s a sort of modern-day, indoor cat equivalent to hunting.

Not only that, but if there are any big changes in your cat’s life, a stable routine will help them adapt better. If you’re moving house, or there’s a new family member, a consistent routine provides a stable foundation during times that could be more uncertain.

Routines can help you keep an eye on your indoor cat’s health – it’s easier to notice changes in eating, sleeping, or using the bathroom when your cat has a regular routine. And, they can make it easy for us to care for our cats too! As Sayyed explains, “Knowing exactly when to feed, clean the litter box, and play with their cat helps in organizing their day efficiently.”

If you can’t decide whether being indoors or outdoors is a better fit for your kitty, you might like to read Indoor vs outdoor cats: Do cats need to go outside?

All For Paws Interactive Cat Puzzle Feeder$29.99 from Amazon

All For Paws Interactive Cat Puzzle Feeder
$29.99 from Amazon
With the ability to configure this maze into varying levels of difficulty, it's perfect for developing your cat's intelligence, offering enrichment and stimulation, and slowing their eating speed.

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.