You may think your cat is independent, but it turns out they need you — and enrichment — just as much as dogs do!
At Nevada Humane Society, we provide fun activities for our shelter cats to get them engaged and give them some time to roam. All cats are very different, so it is imperative before these activities we see which types of cats we have at the moment in order to determine which enrichment activities will be best for them. While some are toy motivated, others are treat motivated, and some are forever dreaming of catnip! We like discovering who is who here at the shelter. Check out this muffin tin toy game that we played recently:
All Cats are Not the Same
Just remember: every cat is unique. One cat may love catnip, while the next doesn’t think it’s all that great. Take time to figure out what your cat loves. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Cat pheromone: Spray cat pheromone (lightly!) on your cat’s bedding and furniture. One commonly used brand is Feliway; it’s a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, which is used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.
- Cat furniture: Provide cat furniture for climbing and romping. You can buy ready-made cat trees and other furniture that range in cost from cheap to expensive, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Some cats are just as happy with cardboard boxes and paper bags to investigate and play in.
- Catnip: Treat your cat to fresh catnip, you can even grow it yourself. Try buying catnip-filled toys, too.
- Cat “whack-a-mole”: Take an old soda box and transform it into a toy that can be endless fun for you and your cat. simply carefully cut different holes into the sides and top of the box. Open the side so that you can reach your hand inside. Attach one of their favorite toys to a stick of some sort (we did this with just a regular stick, see below!) and pull through the box. Popping the toy up and down encourages them to follow along.
- Cat drinking fountain: Buy your cat a drinking fountain if they like to drink running water from the faucet.
- Bird music: Buy a CD of bird sounds to play for brief periods of time.
- Bird feeder: Place a bird feeder outside a window where your cat can watch the birds.
- Feline window perch: To offer your cat a better view and a spot to sunbathe, buy a window perch (available at pet supply stores) or make one yourself. Cats love to soak up the sun and peer outside, so this a great idea especially if you do not have accessible windowsills.
- Interacting with your cat: Find out if your cat likes petting, being carried around, being gently combed or brushed. It is recommend you have at least one play session with your cat per day.
- Reading to your cat: Read aloud or sing to your cats, (and if you have children, have them join in!).
For more pet tips and tricks, visit the Education page of our blog.