5 Ways to Enrich your Cats Life
Unleash your cat's potential and banish boredom! Discover the secret to nurturing your feline's physical and mental well-being with simple, affordable enrichment ideas. Your cat's best life starts now.
What is enrichment and why is it important? Feline enrichment is any safe activity that gives your cat a fuller and richer life. The best enrichment nurtures your cats physical and mental well being by providing an outlet for your cat’s natural instincts.
Many modern cat’s find their days filled with endless hours of boredom with their owners being the gatekeepers of their life experiences. Enrichment helps your cat live their best life.
Cat parents don’t feel the guilt of dog parents because cats are notoriously independent by nature. But many unwanted behaviors start when your cat is bored.
Providing enrichment for your cat doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. Keep in mind every cat is different and you will have to spend time to discover what your feline enjoys.
Here are 5 ways to enrich your cat’s life:
- Providing your cat with their own furniture to scratch and climb on like:
- Cat Trees - There are endless options of cat trees to match any aesthetic. They can range from small posts to elaborate set ups with beds and rooms to hide in. You can find a cat tree to fit any budget. You can even DIY your own cat tree with a quick trip to your local hardware store.
- Wall Mounted Cat Furniture - Entice your cat to use their natural climbing skills with wall mounted cat furniture. Cat parents are able to get creative using wall furniture to make obstacle courses for their cats to enjoy. Floating scratching posts, hammocks, cat walkways, perches, and beds can be arranged to allow cats to scratch, nap, and play. Not only is it important to provide enrichment for the health of your cat but it is a lot of fun to watch as they learn how to navigate their wall furniture.
Cardboard Boxes and Paper Bags - Even if you provide your cat with fancy furniture many cats will choose a simple cardboard box or paper bag. A good box offers your cat a safe place to sleep, observe their surroundings, or pounce on unsuspecting bystanders. Cats love to shred and get destructive with cardboard and paper.
Today you can purchase boxes from the pet store made specifically for cats, but an upcycled box works just the same. Avoid boxes that could contain toxic paint or glue, have embellishments that could pose as choking hazards, or have strings or ropes that your cat could swallow or get wrapped around their neck.
- Cat Toys
- Wand Toys - Wand toys are a great way for your cat to tap into their natural hunting instincts. With different dangling objects on the end wand toys are an interactive way for you to spend hours of fun engaging with your cat. Moving the wand around in ways to mimic prey allows your cat to behave like the predator they are.
- Laser Pointers - Chasing the point of light around the house can be entertainment for the whole family. The key to making this activity fulfilling for your cat is to eventually have your cat catch something. Never catching anything can lead to frustration. Point the laser to a treat that your cat can eat or a toy that they can play with.
- Self Play Toys - Toys filled with catnip, springs, or that are door or wall mounted are great for self play. There are also battery-operated options available. Rotating self play toys can help your cat to avoid getting bored with the same toys all the time. Always supervise your cat with new toys before leaving them unattended.
- Food Puzzles - Cats love to prowl for prey. Instead of leaving a bowl of kibble for them to graze all day, adding food puzzles to your cat’s routine allows them to tap into those natural instincts. The basic idea is that a toy is filled with kibble, treats, or wet food and the cat learns to manipulate the toy to release the food.
- Lick Mats - Lick mats are a great way to add enrichment to feeding your cat making them work for their meal providing mental stimulation. There are plenty of toy options available to cat parents or you can DIY your own. Easier yet hide some of your cat's food around the house creating a fun foraging game for your feline friend.
- Allowing your cat to enjoy the outdoors
Walking a cat - Do not go into the experience of walking your cat expecting it to be like walking a dog. Teaching your cat to walk on a harness and leash takes time and is a process.
You can buy harnesses made specially for cats online or at your local pet store. Be careful that your harness fits properly to avoid your cat slipping out. Never put a cat outside alone wearing a harness or collar because they love to climb, and this could lead to deadly accidents.
Let your cat be the leader of your walks taking time to sniff and explore their surroundings. For timid cats and kittens, short outdoor adventures are an excellent way to build confidence and socialization skills. With all the sights, sounds, and smells of the outdoors training your cat to walk on a leash can help in so many ways. Many indoor cats suffer from anxiety and leash training can help!
Catios and other cat enclosures - Catios and cat enclosures are a great option for cats to spend time outside safely. They provide mental and physical stimulation. Catios can be small and simple to large and luxurious. A quick google can provide inspiration to build your own or catio kits be purchased.
Cats can access their catio through a cat door that is installed in a door, window, or wall. A free roaming outdoor cat can be exposed to predators, vehicles, parasites, or run the risk of getting lost. Catios solve all these problems and provide a safe environment for cats to enjoy the great outdoors unsupervised.
- Another cat
Getting your cat a friend cat can be a great way to enrich their lives. A second cat can provide your cat with someone to play with while you’re not home. We always suggest fostering a cat first because not all cats are welcoming to a new friend. Find out if another cat is a good option for you BEFORE making the lifelong commitment to a second cat.
- Cat Friendly House Plants
Catnip - You can grow catnip fresh, but many cats prefer dried catnip. Catnip can keep your cat entertained for quite awhile and is a fun alternative to food-based treats. Make sure to supervise your cat with catnip to avoid any negative experiences.
If your cat does not have a positive experience with catnip, it is best to not use it again in the future. Catnip can be sprinkled on the ground for your cat to roll in, you can roll your cat's toys in catnip, or you can hide catnip for a fun scavenger hunt.
- Wheatgrass - Growing wheatgrass for your cat is a great way to satisfy their instinctive need to chew. Wheatgrass can also boost your cat's immune system, aid in weight loss, and is great for dental health.
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