It’s widely agreed that cats are safest when they are kept indoors. Yet cats are adventurous and curious creatures, and without proper stimulation, they may become bored or gain unhealthy amounts of weight. It’s essential to properly enrich your cat’s environment inside the home so that she gets the exercise she needs as well as the mental stimulation that’s good for her overall well-being.
But how should you enrich your indoor cat’s environment? Here are five ideas:
- Encourage the natural hunter in your cat by using food puzzles. Not only do these items help to satisfy your cat’s natural need to search for her food, but they also help to keep her active, which promotes a healthy weight.
- Train your cat—yes, cats can be trained—various cues and tricks. Use positive reinforcement (like clicker training) to teach your cat how to sit, come, or even play the piano.
- Use technology to keep your cat active. From cat game apps for smartphones and tablets to videos and music designed specifically with our feline friends in mind, there are plenty of options for even the most discerning kitty.
- Toys that you and your cat can play with together are a great way to strengthen the human-animal bond. You can entice your feline friend with wand toys that have strings and feathers, laser pointers, and even homemade toys, like wadded-up paper or foil balls.
- Create a “catio” so your cat can enjoy time outdoors safely. These outdoor enclosures allow cats to soak in some fresh air and sunshine while watching and hearing the outside world around them. You can even incorporate other sources of enrichment, like a cat tree. There are many ways to build a catio—conducting an online search will provide ideas.
Enriching your indoor cat’s environment doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. Many cats prefer simple cardboard boxes or paper bags to pricier cat toys. Start simple and move your way up until you find what your cat prefers.
If you have any questions or concerns about making the indoors more stimulating for your feline companion, contact us.