Black-and-White Warbler, Dennis W. Donohue/Shutterstock
News and Perspectives on Bird Conservation
Meet Louie, A Happy Indoor Cat (Part 2)
ABC StaffJuly 12, 2018
As part of ABC's "Happy Cats, Healthy Birds Campaign," which runs through August, we sat down with Christiana Viscusi to discuss responsible cat ownership. Her happy indoor cat Louie, an Instagram star and our Cats Indoors Feline Ambassador, stays safely indoors and only goes outside on a leash, in a backpack, or in a stroller.
If you missed our first interview with Christiana, please check it out here.
After you adopted Louie from the shelter, how did you help him thrive as a happy indoor cat?
In terms of enjoying the indoors, I've found with each of my animals that they really seem the happiest when they are just interacting with me. They love the attention, and it really forms a strong bond over time. I always try to make up new, silly games to keep their interest, and usually, the simplest activities are the biggest winners. He's definitely a happy indoor cat!
From exploring on a leash to riding around in his cat backpack, Louie relishes being outdoors. Louie also loves to sit on the porch with me. He'll happily sit on my lap and birdwatch for long periods of time. I always want him to have fun each day. I've always remembered the saying, “They might only be here a part of your lives, but to them, you are their whole life."
Louie riding around in a cat backpack. Photos/videos by Christiana Viscusi
Why is it so important to you to keep Louie happily contained?
I'm protecting birds and other wildlife by keeping Louie indoors or contained outside. He gets the best of both worlds this way: endless inside entertainment as well as outdoor adventures.
And I'm keeping him safe from cars, animals, and other potential dangers. Many people think it's not fair for them to not be free outside, but I think it's not fair to put them in harm's way. Louie is everything to me, and his safety is my priority.
How did you train Louie to use a leash/harness?
Louie first got used to me putting a collar and leash on him to simply go out on the porch. After that became a routine, he expected to stop before going outside and put on his leash. Switching to a harness was pretty easy. I put it on him, and he did great immediately. After the first time, he was pretty much a natural and couldn't wait to explore.
How did you get Louie to use the stroller? Did he like it?
Louie is very trusting with me, so I just showed it to him and then put him inside. He just sat and looked around, and out we went. And he seemed to enjoy it right away.
The next day, the stroller was parked next to the couch on the enclosed porch, and he casually hopped onto the sofa and then jumped into his stroller. He looked at us as if saying, “When are we going for a ride, guys?” So, that's just what we did, and he loved it.
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