There is plenty of evidence to suggest that cats that spend their entire lives indoors have a longer life span than their outdoor-only counterparts. However, keeping an indoor cat content and healthy requires offering more than just diet and regular vet care as well as enriching the environment of your cat. Engaging your cat’s natural instincts by playing games of hunting and foraging will do wonders for the well-being of your pet.
If you’re creative with a little imagination, you will be able to keep the cat engaged and engaged even in a tiny space and with a tight budget. The good news is that enrichment research has revealed that toys that are taken away and returned after a few weeks are able to regain their appeal. You can increase your enrichment budget by changing your cat’s toys frequently. Begin with a handful of these cat-friendly games however, you should start slowly and make sure you receive a resounding thumbs-up from your cat’s vet.
Divide the food portions for each day into smaller batches. Set the food rations in the house , and then scatter small snacks randomly. This will not only encourage active foraging, but it will help keep your cat from eating down her food too fast.
Puzzles that are fun to play
Throw a handful of treats into the square Rubbermaid(r) bottle, and place it on the ground with the lid removed for a fun, easy puzzle for children.
Any plastic container that has a lid that is secure can be an attractive hanging puzzle. Simply cut one or two slots along the outside of the bottom of the container, and then put a handful of treats in the middle. Attach a cord to the lid and then hang this puzzle above the doorknob. When your cat is getting the habit of the game, help encourage exercising by raising it higher.
Utilize old socks as detergent-free scent lures. You can mark the sock using the scent of lotion, perfume and vanilla extract, or peanut butter. You can also put the smallest amount of your favorite aromatic spice in it, and rub it onto the top of a piece of food to smell the aroma. Spread the socks across the house, and your cat will be scurrying around for hours, enthralled by the myriad of scents. If you’re short on time you can simply create a scent trail by using a little cheese and then put the cheese away near the finish of your trail.
Attach a suction cup bird feeder to the cat’s favorite window. The hungry birds will give you endless hours of fun. Be sure to keep feeders away from the ground, as this exposes birds to attacks. Also, be sure to keep the windows shut – cats that are excited could rip right through screens.
Place a ping-pong ball inside the tub and watch as your cat flies it through the curves in her search for the mysterious orb.
Utilize cardboard boxes to create tunnels, beds, tunnels, and mazes.
Create a “busy box” by connecting small toys to small lengths of cord, and hanging them from the ceiling of the box. Cut windows in the box at different levels.
Include the “Tiger Tug” which is a tiny version of a game played by Chimps and tigers. Inject each end of a piece of cord that is parachuted into the box using tiny holes. Connect a toy or a knot of a large size on the other end. If the cat tugs on an end of the rope, then the other appears to be alive. If there are multiple cats in the household, you can run the ends of the cat into separate boxes.
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