Enriching Indoor Environment

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Enriching Indoor Environment
Posted on August 8, 2011 in Caring for your pet, News
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Here are some great tips from the CATalyst Council about making your furry one happy about being indoors.

More cats are being kept indoors, but while day-to-day life indoors is far more predictable and safe than living outside, indoor life can become monotonous.  The lack of stimulation can result in boredom, anxiety, and illness (such as idiopathic cystitis, a painful disease and a major cause of litter box mistakes).  Bored cats may create their own entertainment, getting into trouble nibbling on dangerous plants or climbing the blinds.  Without physical exercise cats can become overweight, and more prone to a long list of diseases.

Cats are the happiest being cats, having the chance to pounce and hunt even if they are indoors.  The following tips are to enrich your cat’s environment.

An empty box can create a week’s worth of fun.  Leave out an empty box on Monday.  On Tuesday, place the box upside down, and cut mouse holes in the sides; cats can reach in to get treats out.  On Wednesday, turn the box right-side up and sprinkle catnip inside.  On Thursday, relocate the box to another room, and it becomes new all over again.  On Friday place a small ball or a squeaky toy inside the box.

A ping-pong ball can be a blast for hours when it’s dropped into an empty tissue box.  Paper bags and plastic tops to milk jugs are also great free toys.

Make sure you have elevated spaces such as window ledges, cleared bookshelves, cat trees.  In multi-cat homes, the more raised surfaces for individual cats to call their own, the less conflict you’ll have.

Outdoor bird feeders are great for entertainment for people and cats.

Rotate toys.  From the cat’s point of view, those stale mice toys have already been killed.  Put them in a drawer and bring them out again in a few weeks.

Feed your cats small portions of their food and treats at random times throughout the day and in various places around the house. Pet stores now have inexpensive food-dispensing toys readily available.  This will allow your cat’s prey drive to kick in.

All cats do play differently, and if a cat begins to chew or shred any toy, you should remove that toy since if could be dangerous if swallowed.

And, as always, if you have any questions about your cat’s care, simply call us at any of our locations, we would love to here from you!

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