Tips for keeping your indoor cat active
All cats need both mental and physical stimulation for their general wellbeing. Does your cat seem bored or restless? Then it might be a good idea to come up with something to keep your feline friend busy
1. Let your cat look for its food
A simple way to occupy your cat is to spread the dry food in different places in the home instead of putting it in the food bowl as usual. Instead, hide some food dry food kibble in the cat tree, some on the windowsill and some more under a table. This way, your cat will be kept occupied looking for food.
You can also create interactive feeders for your cat at home or get one from the pet store. There are plenty of such interactive feeders available to buy.
2. Play with your cat
Cats are creatures of habit and like routines and playing at times that correspond to when they would have been hunting (and their prey is active), meaning that many cats are extra active at dawn and dusk. Take this into account and schedule play in the morning and evening. Preferably several, short playtimes (about 5 minutes) and offer the cat things it can occupy itself with, in a safe way.
To adapt as much as possible to the cat’s natural behaviour, the toy should imitate the cat’s hunting behaviour. For example, use toys such as:
- Toys that interact like a prey animal
- Toys that look like a prey animal (such as toy mice or feather toys)
- Toys that make sounds (e.g., rustling toys)
- Interactive Feeder toys
Some cats also become extra interested in toys that contain catnip.
However, primarily play with your cat under supervision and don’t forget to put away anything that could be dangerous when the game is over. Strings and yarn that get stuck in the gastrointestinal tract are common reasons for veterinary visits!
3. Create opportunities to play and explore in your home
A large cardboard box can amuse a cat for a long time or why not build a hut for the cat to explore by placing a blanket over a table or chair. New objects to explore will stimulate the cat’s curiosity.
You can easily create your own DIY interactive toys for your cat using boxes and various different household items, your cat will be kept amused exploring items of all different shapes, sizes, colours, textures and will enjoy experiencing new sounds and smells.
4. Teach your cat fun tricks
Why not teach your cat to wave, sit and lie on command? Cats can also learn to jump or crawl. Clicker training is easy to train indoors and builds your relationship.
5. Go outside and walk with your cat in a harness
You can also try to train your cat to walk in a harness and leash. Your cat will need to have been gradually conditioned to a harness long before the first venture outside, and not all cats will tolerate a harness. Only then you can take your cat outside and let it feel the grass under its paws.
Your Cat’s General Wellbeing
In addition to the need for keeping your cat mentally stimulated and physically active, your cat has other basic requirements. Your cat needs its own resting places, opportunities to scratch and places to hide to thrive. Cats also like to lie high up, preferably on a shelf or in a scratching post. It also needs to have other basic requirements met such as access to food, water and a litter box. Cats are not herd animals but are still social creatures along with us. Therefore, make sure to set aside time to be with your cat, especially if it is alone for large parts of the day.
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