Enrichment for Cats
What is Enrichment for Cats?
Some people still believe cats are “easy pets” because of their reputation for being “independent.” Because of this, not all indoor cats are offered the enrichment they need to stay mentally and physically healthy. In this guide we will help you understand how to properly offer your cats enrichment – without breaking the bank or buying every cat toy on the internet.
Why Cats Need Enrichment
Current statistics show that indoor cats live an average of 15-17 years, yet the oldest cats lived well into their 30s. Why such a huge gap? Enrichment. Lack of play and stimulation can lead to stress-related health issues and obesity. While diet & nutrition are very important for our feline friends, we truly believe that the missing link to longevity in cats is lack of enrichment.
Cats were designed by nature to be mentally and physically stimulated for a large majority of their day. In the wild they will hunt, stalk, chase, pounce and kill their prey – whether for fun or for food. Confining them into our 4 walls inside may help shelter them from harm – but it can also deprive them of the positive experience of enrichment.
How Can I Enrich My Cat’s Life?
There are many ways to offer your kitties enrichment and give them a happier and healthier life. Below are listed several options – and you can pick the ones that work best for you and your cats! It’s important to choose enrichment options that you can work into your schedule on a regular basis. The key is consistency.
- Put a bird feeder outside your window and open the window for a certain amount of time each day. Be sure your cat has a good spot to perch and watch the action.
- Turn on Cat TV (YouTube videos with birds, squirrels and other small animals) and provide chairs or access for your cats to watch while you’re at work or for certain times during the day.
- Buy or make a wand toy and engage with your cat for 15-20 minutes each day taking them through the prey sequence.
- Stack cardboard boxes with peepholes and doors in them and place them in safe areas for climbing and hiding.
- Harness and leash train your cat to explore your yard and safe outside areas.
- Train your cat – from high fives to talking with talk buttons, cats LOVE the mental stimulation and engagement with you.
- Build a catio or outside window perch where they can get fresh air and take in the sights and smells safely.
- Offer vertical space with shelves leading to a high perch in your home.
- Hide food or snacks around your house for your cats to hunt.
- Buy or make puzzle feeders and stuff them with healthy snacks.
- Get interactive toys and turn them on for at a certain time each day.
- Rotate your cat’s toys so there is something new to play with each day (cats love novelty).
- Open up a room in your house that’s typically closed and let them explore it for a certain amount time each day.
- Build a cat maze or obstacle course!
- Teach your kitty to play fetch and do this at the same time each day with their favorite toy.
- Make hiding spots for your cats around the home.
- Grow or purchase catnip and make a game out of it with your kitty.
- Provide a dried herb garden for them to explore.
- Talk to your cats regularly.
- Play with your cats regularly.
- Find out what your cat likes most and spend time each day doing just that.
Get creative with this and make enrichment for your cats a positive, exciting experience. Cats aren’t ‘difficult’ to please, we just have to find out what stimulates them and make an effort to nourish that for them.
Recommended Toys for Cats
Coco Crazy Cat Pack
The All-In-One Pack of FUN for your cats! Gift your cat with every CocoCrazy™ Cat Toy in the shop and watch as they go crazy playing with each one! These natural toys enhance your cats natural instincts to hunt, catch and play, while providing hours of entertainment for both you and your kitties!
- 5 toys per package
- Made with all-natural, organic coconut shell. Coconut shell is a biodegradable, non-toxic material that is naturally anti-microbial.
- NO harmful chemicals & dyes, and pesticides – to make playtime safe for our kitties everywhere!
- Perfect for solo or interactive play for cats and kittens.
- Provides the daily exercise & mental stimulation that cats need.