Experts can all agree that cats are most safe when kept indoors. However, cats are likely to gain unhealthy amounts of weight if they are increasingly bored. This is due to not having an adequately enriched indoor environment. According to a 2016 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention clinical survey, it revealed that nearly 60 percent of U.S. cats—about 50.5 million—are overweight or obese.
But how should you enrich your indoor cat’s environment? Here are five ideas:
- Use technology to keep your cat active. From cat game apps for smartphones and tablets to videos and music designed specifically with our feline friends in mind, there are plenty of options for even the most discerning kitty.
- Encourage the natural hunter in your cat by using food puzzles. Not only do these items help to satisfy your cat’s natural need to search for their food, they also help to keep them active, which promotes a healthy weight.
- Create a “catio” so your cat can enjoy time outdoors safely. These outdoor enclosures give cats the opportunity to soak in some fresh air and sunshine while watching and hearing the outside world around them. You can even incorporate other sources of enrichment, like a cat tree. There are many ways to build a catio—conducting an online search will provide ideas.
- Train your cat—yes, cats can be trained—various cues and tricks. Use positive reinforcement (like clicker training) to teach your cat how to sit, come, or even play the piano.
- Toys that you and your cat can play with together are a great way to strengthen the human-animal bond. You can entice your feline friend with wand toys that have strings and feathers, laser pointers, and even homemade toys, like wadded-up paper or foil balls.
Enriching your indoor cat’s environment doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, many cats prefer simple cardboard boxes or paper bags to pricier cat toys. Start simple and move your way up until you find what your cat prefers.
Enriching your cat’s environment is more accessible and less expensive than you think! Most cats don’t need fancy toys- some prefer simple cardboard boxes or paper bags. You can start small and move your way up and see what’s best for your feline friend. Still not sure about how your cat is doing? Contact us at Animal Care Center of Pahrump to schedule a wellness exam.