Curiosity killed the cat.

Think of your cat’s 5 senses – smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch. A cat needs to have entertainment and enrichment to live a happy life. Cats are both social creatures and predators, they must have opportunities to express their natural behaviors, especially as indoor cats.

Why should you entertain your cat

A boring environment can contribute to problems such as destructive behavior, intercat aggression, depression and anxiety. Under-stimulated cats are at risk of developing boredom-related or stress-relieving behaviors such as over-grooming, chewing inappropriate items, picking on other pets, retreating into isolation, over-eating, self-mutilation, compulsive behavior and loss of appetite.

Better for you and your cat

  • Lack of enrichment can cause being aggressive in play, both with people and with other animals.
  • Young cats without enrichment opportunities often like to play at inappropriate hours of the day and night.
  • Cats might interact destructively with furniture, plants or other objects in the house.
  • Cats might retreat from new people or objects because they are too scared.

Enrichment ideas

There are many ways to enrich an indoor cat’s life. Toys are an obvious method, both self-play toys (those that the cat can play with, without your involvement) and interactive toys (those that are usually handled, at least in part, by you) and all sorts of little changes in the house.

  • Fresh browse
  • Feathers
  • Water fountains
  • Radio/TV (sounds and images)
  • Cat scratching post
  • Hand made toys and bungee toys
  • Cubby houses
  • Soft bedding – in high places and in cupboards
  • Food puzzles
  • all sorts of boxes with holes in it
  • Frozen treats
  • Catnip pouches
  • Swimming – yes some cats love shallow water.
  • Music
  • A fish tank
  • Digging – access to fresh soil will provide an outlet for digging.

5 free ideas for cat toys

Did you know you could even train your cat? Training your cat can give her a great mental workout. They can learn tricks, like sit, come when called and shake.