Keeping a Cat Stimulated, Interested and Healthy
There is ample evidence that cats who spend their lives entirely indoors live much longer than their outdoor-only counterparts. But keeping an indoor cat stimulated, interested happy as well as healthy means providing more than just good nutrition and regular veterinary care – you must also enrich your kitty’s environment. Eliciting a cat’s natural behaviors with hunting and foraging games can do wonders for your companion’s well-being.
With a little creativity, you can keep your cat stimulated and interested, even in a small apartment and on a limited budget. And the good news is that enrichment research has shown that toys that are removed and then returned after several weeks regain much of their novelty; extend your enrichment budget by rotating your cat’s toys regularly. Get started with a few of these feline friendly activities, but begin slowly and be sure to get a thumbs up from kitty’s veterinarian.
Separate each day’s food rations into small batches. Place the clusters around the house and then toss a few small treats in random directions. Not only will this encourage active foraging, it’ll also keep kitty from scarfing down her food too quickly.
Toss a few treats into a square Rubbermaid® bottle and leave it on the floor with the lid off for a great beginner puzzle.
Any plastic container with a secure lid can become a hanging puzzle. Just cut two or three slots around the bottom outer edge of the container and place a few treats in the center. String a cord through the lid and hang this puzzle over a doorknob. Once your cat gets the hang of it, you can encourage exercise by raising it higher.
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