Is your feline friend frolicking all over the house and driving you up the wall with their antics? You might think your cat is craving attention; more likely, they are craving enrichment activities to help burn-up their boundless energy.
A cat owner’s worst nightmare is a bored cat. When a cat is left home alone, or simply unsupervised without proper enrichment, then its own intensely curious instincts go into overdrive. And that can mean trouble for your house as well as for kitty’s safety. Fear not! There’s a lot you can do to help alleviate your cat’s boredom and keep his senses stimulated while you’re busy or away from home.
Kitten Sittin’s Favorite Enrichment Activities
When you are evaluating enrichment activities for your cat, keep in mind the three things that all indoor cats need: Physical Play, Mental Stimulation, and Toys.
Observe your cat (or think of the things they’ve gotten themselves “into” around your home) and ask yourself, which of these does my cat crave most? The answer gives you a good place to start for choosing enrichment activities for your cat.
Cat Tree: Cats climb and perch in high places because it allows them to survey their environment for “dangers.” A cat tree gives them the physical activity and “perching place” they desire. Choose a cat tree with a variety of levels and some will have little “games” for the cat to explore.
Scratch Post: Scratching is an innate activity for most felines. A quality scratching post allows your cat to rise on her hind legs and stretch their body to scratch at the post.
Visual Stimulation: Cats are highly vision oriented. They are keen observers with quick reflexes. Cats aren’t just laying on the window sill for the warm sun, they are keeping themselves visually intrigued with the outside world.
If your home isn’t set-up to allow a cat bed on a window sill, try to create a way for your cat to have a view outside. Or, leave a nature show running on the TV...yes, your cat will be entertained. If fact, we know of a cat that loved watching Wiley E. Coyote chase-down the Road Runner!
Toys that Stimulate Prey Drive: Cats love a good chase. Provide toys that simulate that instinctive behavior. It’s also a good idea to have puzzle toys that can be filled with treats. Now, some kitties are a bit picky about their toys so you may need to try a few things --and rotate your cat’s access to them--in order to keep your cat engaged.
This list is far from complete...there are all kinds of ways to provide healthy stimulation for your cat’s physical and mental wellbeing. After you’ve tried some of our favorites, check out the resources list to learn about more types of cat enrichment games and activities.
At Kitten Sittin’ of Delaware, our caring staff is available to chat with you about the best enrichment activities for your kitty; call us today at 302-304-8399.
The Happy Cat Site has many articles and ideas for cat enrichment, toys, and more