Photo:Wojciech Kumpicki

I think all cats like windows. Even outdoors cats will still spend time sitting on a window ledge, watching the world outside. For indoor cats, windows become even more important. Since cats that live exclusively indoors can easily become bored or frustrated, it is important to provide environmental enrichment for them.

In a review of enrichment practices, Sarah Ellis (2009) says that windows with an interesting view provide important visual enrichment for cats. Of course, it’s what the cat finds interesting that counts. It’s possible that being unable to reach or interact with things on the other side of the window could cause frustration.

As with any enrichment practice, you have to take the cat’s perspective.



How much time does the average domestic cat spend at a window? In a survey of 577 cats by Melissa Shyan-Norwalt, caregivers reported that their cats spent less than five hours a day at the window, with the median time reported as two hours.

This doesn’t surprise me, since even an indoor cat will have other activities to keep her busy: napping, grooming, playing with toys, sitting on someone’s lap or next to them on the settee while they watch tv, interacting with fellow cats and any other pets in the home, and so on. I was surprised to read that almost 16% of the cats were reported as spending more than five hours a day looking out of the window.
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