Cats are one of the most popular pets kept as companions in Australia. They are beautiful, graceful, affectionate, but above all, highly complicated! Many people choose to keep their cats indoor to protect them from fighting, to decrease risk of injury, and to protect them from infectious disease. However, the challenge of keeping a cat indoors is to ensure they receive the environmental stimulation they need to avoid getting bored. Cats have a need to exhibit hunting behaviour, to play and to explore. They must feel in control of what they are doing and, when necessary, be able to find a place where they can retreat and hide. A consistent daily routine is very important. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep your indoor cat stimulated:
Cat owners should dedicate some time each day to play with their cat. Playtime can include throwing your cat’s toys for them or using a cat teaser wand to get them moving. There are a range of fantastic toys that you can purchase, that helps your cat stalk, chase and even kick. Using different toys each time you play can also help motivate your cat. This is a great way to get your furry friend using their natural instincts in a safe environment!
Climb, hide, play and scratch:
Cat play centres, mazes and scratching posts can be wonderful items to keep your cat active when you are not home. As they come in a range of sizes and shapes, you can find the perfect one for your cat and the environment you live in. Scratching is a natural instinct for our furry friends and it is very important that your cat can do this regularly. This also protects your carpets and furniture from any possible damage.
Catnip, cat grass and sliver vine are all natural products that some cats are attracted to which can be introduced for additional enrichment.
The feline desire to hunt is natural and instinctive. Regardless of how much food you feed them, your cat will always react to sight and sound of prey with a stalk. You can purchase toys that imitate real prey through size, texture, colour and sound.
Make food time fun:
Fun puzzle feeders or feeder toys can be a great way to keep portion sizes in control and maintain a happy furry friend. It is beneficial to make your cat work for their food through these toys or by scattering food bowls around the house for them to find.
Getting some fresh air:
For the owners who like to offer their cat some time outside, there is the lead and harness option. You can also purchase outdoor cat enclosures that keeps them safe outdoors.
These are only some of the ways you can keep your furry family member active and happy whilst staying indoors. If you notice a change in your cat or they are struggling with the transition from outdoors to being inside, please contact us. We can provide behavioural assistance and advice to help your cat enjoy life indoors.