We’ve talked a lot about enrichment for dogs, but what about our feline friends?! Cats enjoy all the same benefits of having an enriched environment as dogs.
Cats are natural hunters and love to play with their food, which you know if you’ve seen a cat encounter one of our horrible Sydney cockroaches in summer! Food puzzles come in all shapes and sizes, and more and more are released all the time. This means you can select a puzzle that taps into your cat's preferences. Wobblers allow your cat to bat at the toy to get the food, while some feeders require your cat to reach into small pockets or containers and use their paws to pull out the food.
Cats are uniquely situated as both a predator to smaller animals and prey to larger animals. Because of this vulnerability, they thrive on having lots of little hiding places or escape routes.
Vertical spaces and platforms are fantastic rest spots for this reason. Cats often feel safer higher up where they can survey their kingdom for any potential threats. It also gives them a good vantage point to find prey and pounce.
Little boxes and cubbies provide protection and allow cats to keep an eye on what’s happening whilst staying protected on all sides.
Scratching has a number of benefits from claiming territory with scent and visual markers, to grooming their claws and keeping them clean and sharp. Not all scratching posts are created equal, and cat’s have very specific preferences for textures and angles. So if your cat isn’t engaging with the rope covered pole, maybe try a horizontal cardboard scratcher instead.
Cats love to watch the world around them. Having a warm bed in a sunny window where they can watch the birds go by is bliss. This type of visual stimulation plays upon a cat’s prey drive. You may notice your cat run from one window to another to keep track of an animal that has caught their attention.
Another activity that utilises a cat’s prey drive is playing with toys. Just like they play with their food, cats love to play with little toys. There are motorised toys that move on their own, wand toys that let you join in the game too and little fluffy toys. Whatever your cat likes to play with it is important to swap the toys that are available regularly to make sure they stay interesting and fun.