Enriching the Life of Your Cat
Often we think of our feline friends as low maintenance, that they dont need the same level of attention or activity as dogs do, but this misconception leads to a pretty dull life for our cats. Just like dogs, cats need stimulation to stay healthy and happy. An enriched environment gives cats the opportunity to create their own positive experiences in an enclosed space and nutures their natural instincts that may otherwise go unfullfilled indoors. Help your cat life their best life by trying some of these enriching activities!
Give Your Cat the Thrill of the Hunt
Just because your cat purrs when you’re near and sleeps in the crook of your arm doesn’t mean they’re not a hunter at heart. Many of our cats are instinctual hunters, which is why outdoor cats often bring their owners “gifts” of dead mice and the like. Lucky us! Even if your cat is an indoor cat, they still will likely get a thrill out of a hunt you create for them, whether it’s tossing a bouncy ball down the stairs or rolling a piece of tinfoil across the floor.
Create Visual Experiences
Cats have excellent eyesight and enjoy a variety of different motions to entertain them. Provide some visual enrichment by placing a bird feeder outside of your window and setting up a comfy spot on the window sill. Playing videos of birds for your cat can keep them busy if you’re unable to set up a bird feeder.
Will Work For Treats – Motivate For Your Food-Motivated Cat
Is your cat one of those cats who seems to only think about food? We can appreciate that, and you can actually work that to your advantage. Put your cat’s favorite treat in a container that they can bat around a bit for a while. Of course, the game needs to end in the treat being given to your cat. Otherwise, that’s just teasing!
Play is Purrrrrfection
Whether you use a ball or a feather or just channel your inner kid and roll around for a while, your cat will think they’ve died and gone to cat heaven. Or if you’re willing to put in the time to spend on leash training, you can even take your cat for a walk!
Create a “Catio”
If you’ve spent any time on Pinterest, you’ve surely seen these. They are cat patios for indoor cats that allow them to have access to the outside while still remaining safe and enclosed. You could go all out and create something big but a tiny one off a window in your home would work just as well.
Cats like to be elevated. Cat trees, perches, and shelves are a great way to create a comfortable place for your cat to relax, as many cats feel safer when they have a higher spot to look out from. Especially in homes with dogs and children, having a safe spot that they can get away and not be bothered in is crucial for a cat’s feeling of security.
Think About Adopting Another Cat
Socializing cats can be a challenge, so if you’re not willing to invest in the time, this might not be the best idea. But if you’ve got some bandwidth due to the quarantine, adopting a cat friend for your current cat can get them to be more active and playful.
Experiment with different types of enrichment to see what your cat enjoys. Try something from each category so your cat has environmental enrichment activities to engage in when you aren’t able to spend time with them and also ones that you and your cat can do together. The combination of these two create a fulfilling life for your cat. Rotate toys and other enrichment activities to keep them interesting. Most of all, have fun with these ideas!