For those who have a dog, the talk is all about morning walks, playing fetch, learning tricks and other ways to make the home environment fun, exciting and filled with all that a dog loves.
But, how can you do the same for your cat?
You can help ensure that your feline is feeling fine all day long by providing a few amenities that will help them exercise, play and engage in some of their natural behaviours to keep them healthy and happy.
Hide and Seek
We’ve all talked about how a cat will take any opportunity to jump into a box. There is a good reason for this. Cats love to hide – on a chair under the table, cat trees, cat pods or the box the microwave came in. providing some spaces as cozy hideaways will always be appreciated by your cat. But, try not to let them be completely isolated, especially if your cat is a little shy as this may not help them gain confidence easily.
Play provides cats with the mental and physical exercise they need. It can also build confidence in a fearful cat, and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Cat toys can be purchased or home-made from items such as pipe cleaners, plastic bottle caps or balled-up socks with a pinch of catnip to make it more interesting. You learn how to make cat toys on our website here.
A Place to Rest
Just like people, cats should have a comfortable place to rest and just hang out. These can include a cat bed, platform on a cat tree or even a safe shelf somewhere in the home. Be sure not to clean it very often as a cat will be comforted by its own scent – making the resting spot even that much more special!
Cats are built to climb and perch! Be it the top of the cat tree or perhaps on top of your kitchen cabinets, cats love to survey their world from above. They may also seek higher ground when they encounter a new person, object or situation as it can allow them to feel more safe and secure as they watch their surroundings to “see what happens” or for perceived threats. Be sure to have a few spots where they are allowed to climb unhindered and as much as they like.
Cats scratch for many reasons and it’s a natural and ‘hard-wired’ behaviour. Scratching helps to spread pheromones, remove old claw material and even communicate! They will scratch so it’s crucial to provide a place where they can easily do their scratching, which will also help avoid them doing so on the new couch! It’s best to provide multiple scratching places such as cat posts and trees and scratch pads. Offer both vertical and horizontal options for your cat and with different materials (carpet, cardboard, etc.) and make the places you want them to scratch as alluring as possible by rubbing it with a little catnip for extra appeal!
If you’ve ever watched Animal Planet, you may have noticed that in the wild, felines spend most of their waking hours hunting and eating. Our domestic cats are usually fed a couple of times a day from a bowl – pretty easy-peasy! Not having to hunt can also leave a large part of their day free to get into trouble. Puzzle feeders make it a challenge to get at a piece of food. Whether rolling a ball so a kibble falls out of a hole or uncovering hidden nuggets of food in a tray, puzzle feeders help cats exercise both physically and mentally – and can provide some wonderful entertainment for you. Dozens of styles of puzzle feeders are available commercially or you can make your own with items you already have such as ice cube trays, egg cartons or toilet paper rolls.
TIP: A quick online search will give you plenty of ideas on how to make your puzzles!