Keeping your cat interested and active through the use of toys, games, and activities is a must for their well-being. Cats, like dogs, need things to do to preoccupy them, stimulate their minds, and enhance their general wellness and vitality. The more they have to do, the less they are prone to behavior challenges and anxiety, depression, and stress.
Your friends at Union Lake Pet Services are here with 6 tips for environmental enrichment for cats. We’re sure your kitty will approve!
Why Cats Need Enrichment
Most cat lovers recognize the need in cats to display their natural instincts and drives. This includes chasing, hunting, leaping, napping, self-grooming, and so on. They have an endless curiosity that requires them to fulfill their basic drives to alleviate frustration and boredom.
There are several benefits to keeping your cat active, including:
- Encouraging better health
- Directing your cat to behaviors that satisfy their instincts while avoiding destructive ones
- Creating a stronger bond
- Providing fun, enjoyment, and pleasure
Simple Ideas for Environmental Enrichment for Cats
Now that you know why enrichment is so important to your furry friend, what can you do to provide this? We are glad you asked. Here are 6 great ways to provide cat enrichment exercise and focus for your kitty companion.
- Social enrichment – While cats have a reputation for being solitary, they are not. They actually need social interaction to thrive, such as among other household cats or hanging out with you. If your cat is a solo feline, you will need to spend more time engaged in play and exercise, as well as general companionship with them. Take at least 15 minutes out of your day to enjoy a game or two with your favorite furry one.
- Toys rule – Your indoor cat needs plenty of toys to keep them mentally and physically active. Ditch any toys that your cat doesn’t play with or have become tattered. Opt for new and challenging toys, such as treat puzzles and games, like the Catit Treat Ball. or Trixie Brain Mover Toy. Brain games are stimulating for your cat and provide the opportunity for focus and confidence. Don’t forget the usual catnip filled toys and crinkle balls, as these are popular with most cats. Interactive toys, such as laser pointers and feather toys, get you in the game and create a happier cat.
- Mock hunt – Hunting is something all felines do, and it can be frustrating for domestic cats to not engage in this instinct. Rather than risking the outdoors, provide scenarios for them to play-hunt by giving them robotic mice, catnip mice, and other toys that mimic rodents. Other ways you can give your cat the safer version of experiencing the outdoors is by installing a window perch or catio, a safe, enclosed space for cats. Even a window view of the bird feeder ranks up there on your meowy friend’s favorite things.
- Climbing’s a must – Cats, by nature, love to be elevated, where they can get the best view of their surroundings. Cats adore climbing and will climb up anything they can, even furniture and bookshelves, if you don’t direct them to something more cat friendly. Invest in a few cat trees and cat scratching posts where they can get the most out of their instinctual need to climb.
- Hiding spots – Since cats spend the majority of their day napping, you can make the nap more enriching through the use of certain items. Cat cubes and napping tunnels are great for giving them some privacy. You can also clear a space in a closet or under the bed. This sense of being hidden is enriching to most cats.
- Venture outdoors – Weather permitting, get your cat used to being on a leash and harness by practicing walking around the yard. Letting your cat outdoors unattended decreases their life span by opening them up to accidents and injuries. Instead, walk your cat on a leash and let them experience the great outdoors without the hazards.
Environmental Enrichment for Cats
Has your cat been lacking in the enrichment department and you want to up the ante on their fun? ULPS is here with any questions and concerns you might have when it comes to your cat’s best life. Just give us a call if you have questions about environmental enrichment for cats, or any other pet related questions.