Enriching the Indoor Cat's Environment

posted: by: South River Veterinary Service Tags: "Clinic Specials" "News" 

If you own a cat, you appreciate the fact that cats are intelligent, inquisitive and love to explore new environments. Because it is safer, many people choose to keep their cats indoors. Unfortunately, this often results in problems related to obesity and boredom. Recently, animal behaviorists have developed strategies to alleviate these problems.

We suggest:
  1. Alternating 2 or 3 toy baskets. One basket should stay out for 2 weeks at a time. Then it should be put away and "new" toys will appear in your cat's environment in the form of the other basket.
  2. On a daily basis the toys can be gathered up and "hidden" so that the cat can explore and find them. A fresh supply of new, catnip mice can be added to the treasure hunt, as can dry kibble (arranged in groups of 2's or 3's in jar lids) or greenie treats (or other dental treats), so that he or she will have delicious as well as exciting surprises to "hunt".
  3. On a weekly basis, a cat bed should be moved from one place to another (a shelf or a windowsill, etc.).
  4. Every so often, a paper shopping bag or a cardboard box can provide a temporary playhouse for your cat.
  5. Move the furniture around from time to time...cats love this.
  6. Provide perches high up in the room - cats are natural climbers and love height!