Cats Belong Indoors

It is our kuleana to protect the native ecosystems and that means being responsible pet owners. Here on Kaua`i, we have some very special, native, endangered bird species. So, we’ve teamed up with Pacific Birds to help pet owners understand the importance of keeping pet cats indoors, and keeping pet dogs on leash.


How can we be responsible pet owners?

  1. Keep your cats inside.
  2. Spay and neuter your pets.
  3. Get your pets microchipped and vaccinated.

Why keep cats indoors?

This is the best way to protect our native birds! It’s also the safest way to keep your cat healthy and happy.

Indoor cats are protected from:

  • car accidents,
  • fighting with other animals
  • getting lost,
  • diseases and parasites,
  • being attacked by other animals,
  • accidently ingesting poisons, and
  • being mistreated or relocated by people.

Keeping your cat indoors is truly the healthiest way of life for your cat.

Cats can be fully enriched and entertained inside. Click the next box below to learn more.

How do I keep my indoor cat enriched and satisfied to remain inside?

Cats enjoy hunting, pouncing, observing, scratching, and generally using all of their senses to engage with their surroundings.

This is what you’ll need to keep your inside cat happy:

  • food & water/bowls
  • cat beds or safe/hiding spaces
  • litter box and litter
  • toys
  • treats
  • scratching post or strips
  • collar with ID tag
  • brush


Food & Water:

  • There are a lot of options! Some cats like running water fountains, but most are happy with just a bowl of water and food.
  • Depending on your cat’s preference, you may want to leave food out if they like to graze, or you may like to feed your cat small amounts throughout the day if they eat very quickly and all at once.


Cat Beds:

  • Some cats don’t even need a cat bed, but they like a cozy hiding space for when the vacuum is running or the dog is allowed inside.


Litter Box:

  • Size should be 1.5x the length of your cat so that your cat can comfortably turn around in the litter box.
  • You should have at least one box per cat, and you may want an extra as well.
  • You’ll want to place the litter box in a quiet space away from food and water.
  • You may want to let your cat help choose the location.
  • There are many cat litter options out there and your cat may or may not like certain types of litters. So, you may want to try a few different options until you find one your cat likes.


Cat Toys:

It’s important to offer enrichment for your cat!

  • There are tons of toys out there, but sometimes the best toys are waded up balls of paper, toilet paper rolls, and other odds and ends you may already have on hand. There are tons of resources on the internet for DIY cat toys and puzzles as well. Check out our Pinterest page here for some ideas.
  • In addition to toys, puzzles are a great way to positively enrich your cat and give them a treat at the same time!
  • Catnip, wands, cat trees or other ways to safely climb or hide are great ways to enrich your cat as well!
  • Growing your own cat grass is a great way to bring some of the outdoors in.
  • Window hammocks or ways for your cat to view the outdoors are also a great form of enrichment.



  • Some cats may like vertical scratching posts and some may like horizontal. Offer your kitty both kinds. Some cats will even just enjoy scratching on an old piece of cardboard.

***It is important to note that declawing a cat is never recommended. It is the equivalent of cutting a person’s fingers off at the first knuckle. 


Going on adventures:



Catios are another way to allow your pet cat to safely enjoy the outdoors.

If my cat is inside, why do I need to spay/neuter?

Spaying and neutering is one of the best things we can do for our pets!

  1. It ensures fewer animals are being born which means fewer animals are brought into the shelter or left to die outside. Pets get out of the house all the time, and one pregnancy can result in 7 kittens! More than 27 million cats and dogs are born every year. Kaua`i is facing an overpopulation of cats and dogs, and the way to humanely reduce these numbers is to spay and neuter!
  2. Fixing cats can result in a reduced risk of certain types of cancers.
  3. Fixing cats can aid in (and sometimes eliminate) behavioral issues like spraying and fighting.

We offer low-cost spay and neuter clinics weekly. You can sign up here!

If my cat is inside, why do I need to microchip & vaccinate?

  • Microchips are required for every pet in the County of Kaua`i. They are inserted once and are good for life. A microchip is a small device about the size of a grain of rice, and is inserted between the shoulder blades. The chip has a serial number attached to it. That number is unique to that microchip/animal. If your pet goes missing and is found, a professional like an animal control officer, humane society staff, or a veterinarian can scan the chip for the number, then use that number to pull up your contact info in a secure database.
  • This is why it’s very important that you register your microchip and keep the information up to date anytime your phone number, email address or physical address changes!
  • Pets go missing all the time. They’re really good at darting out the door! Sometimes other pets are good at sneaking in! So, it’s important that your pet stays up to date on their vaccines.

You can sign up for the weekly low-cost microchip and vaccine clinics here. 

Take the Pono Cat Parent Pledge!

By taking the pledge, you’re helping to ensure a brighter future for Kaua`i’s native ecosystems and wildlife!


You can learn more about the Pono Cat Parent Pledge here.


Learn more about Pacific Birds and the work they’re doing to protect bird habitat here.