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What Every Indoor Cat Needs: 5 Essential Enrichment Activities

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Cat enrichment involves having access to stimuli like toys, food puzzles, hide-and-seek games, and telemetry devices. Cat enrichment also serves psychological needs. This helps cats feel better as they cope with social upheavals from the pandemic. These activities do more than feed cleanliness. They allow cats to experience the fulfillment of their genetic needs and pastimes. Their inherent instincts for hunting and predatory animals lead them to dig and bury their waste, which is an act of careful disposal. When cats aren't able to venture outside, some of the needs that their instincts demand get met, which can leave them feeling depressed or agitated.

Enrich your cat's life by choosing activities to meet her specific needs and interests. Whatever your cat enjoys the most, as long as you can safely accommodate your own safety needs, can add fun and healthy enrichment to your cat's day.

1. Cat toys

Cat enrichment toys are the easiest and most flexible way to provide mental stimulation for cats. Often, toys feature movable parts and can be provided in an approximation to various activities which are commonly associated with cats. Another way to keep your cat occupied is to place things on the floor often so your cat can hunt or pounce on things. New household items often serve as felines' playthings, and offering cat mice, toilet paper rolls, paper, boxes, and even strings provide rare opportunities for your cat to stalk, pounce, and just plain play. Again, natural objects can provide cats with plenty of playthings, so long as danger is carefully avoided. Toilet paper rolls, paper, and strings are especially practical for this because they are naturally dish-safe.

2. Scent games

Oftentimes when you want your cat to learn something, you can simply load it with food puzzles or pieces of wet kibble or cat treats. However, a scent game will require no additional cost other than a little planning. After you place food in a box, you will have to lure your cat into the box so that she will find the treats by herself, instead of you having to constantly check on her. This not only teaches cats to have more independence, but helps them gain confidence and helps reinforce their self-esteem.

3. Cat trees

Cane Corso, an Italian Mastiff group dog, famously scratches for three reasons: to keep clean, to defend their territory, and to relieve moderate to severe stress. Cats also have a natural instinct to scratching. In many ways, scratch pads on the floor meet the scratching needs of your cat. Perch or place a cat tree near a window so your feline both satisfies their scratching requirements and has a safe place to hide, especially if they are feeling stressed.

4. Water fountains

Some cats seem drawn to watching the perpetual motion of running water. You might add a faucet to your home in such a way that your cat will have its own water source without a real hose to play with. Fountains are great fans for multiple reasons. First, your cat may enjoy drinking water that is moving instead of pooled in stagnant water. Second, you can add some vibration from the running water. It will attract your kitty's attention, as well as give your cat something to explore and play with.

5. Food puzzles

To help those pet parents who don't like to feed pets hastily, there are pet food puzzles that stimulate the brain of inactive pets. Many puzzles provide opportunities for the passing cat to interact with an obstacle blocking it from reaching a treat for hours on end. Adding food puzzles to meals is one of the best ways to prevent overeating and prevent inactivity over time. Food puzzle designs come in a variety of fun approaches including ones that leave players test to locate the released food among various knobs and edges.

© 2022 Dayton H

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