The term environmental enrichment for cats, if fairly new to most people. You might even be wondering what this means. Basically this term refers to creating an environment that is healthy and stimulates your cats natural abilities. Cats are not meant to be lazy, eat loads of food and sleep all day. Cats that just eat, sleep and laze around the house are signs of a bored cat which can lead to some pretty destructive behaviors.
When cats get bored they can become aggressive, over groom themselves, pick on other cats in the house, develop eating problems and much more. Cats are made to move, hunt and use their senses but these becomes difficult for indoor cats. With that said, we do want to keep our cats indoors if possible as it creates a safer environment. Cats have a great sense of smell, can see in the dark, jump up to 7 times their height, are very flexible and love to hunt! Indoor cats don’t always get the chance to explore these senses and this is where creating some environmental enrichment comes in handy.
How to Create Environmental Enrichment for Cats:
Feeding – One great way to help your cat use his senses is during feeding time. From time to time skip the traditional meal in a bowl and opt for a feeding puzzle. A feeding puzzle is a fun way to get your cat to work for his food. This allows your cat to use his natural hunting senses. You can look for cat feeding puzzles, which are harder to come by or you can use a dog toy such as a Kong.
Playtime – When you spend time playing with your cat you are providing physical and mental exercise. One fun way to play with your cat is getting a fake mouse on a stick and slowly moving it in front of your cat. Your cats hunting senses will kick in and can provide hours of entertainment and exercise.
Hiding Spots – Cats love to hide! Provide your cat with areas that are all theirs. Boxes, window beds, cat houses, and cat tunnels are all great places for your cat to hide. Make the environment comfortable and secure! Hiding places are also great for cats that are a little more timid when guests come over.
Companionship – By nature cats are social creatures and they love being around people and other cats. Cats do not typically enjoy being alone. Providing a companion cat is a nice way to ensure your cat is never alone and always has a buddy to be social with.
Now that you know more about Environmental Enrichment for Cats your cat will be free from boredom!
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