Posts Tagged: cat enrichment
December is National Cat Lover’s Month. How great is it to have an entire month dedicated to those of us who love cats? I am proud to say that I am definitely in this camp. This is a very busy time of year but don’t forget to celebrate your feline friends this month. For this month I am proud to be a crazy cat lady! Who are we kidding, I am a crazy cat lady every month.
How Will You Celebrate?
Celebrate your month of feline fantastic-ness any way your heart desires! There are so many ways to say “I love you” to your cat. Here are a few ideas of what you can do.
Schedule a Wellness Visit with Your Veterinarian
Ok, your cat may not love this idea but good health is definitely a gift at any age. Schedule a visit and bring your cat for an exam and vaccines. Always take advantage and get lab work performed as well. No matter your cat’s age, the best value at your visit is blood work because of the information it gives us! As a young cat it gives us a good base line and as your pet ages, we can detect abnormalities early with blood work.
Give Your Cat A “Spaw” Day
Grooming not only helps your feline look and feel better but it helps provide some great one-on-one time with your feline friend. Give your kitty an extra round of brushing. You can take the opportunity to take notice of any new lumps and bumps that may need to be looked at by the vet. Also take the time to brush your cat’s teeth if you can. Start slowly with a gauze-covered finger and work up to a toothbrush.
Cats need professional dental care too so consider scheduling a dental cleaning with your veterinarian. Dental health is so important and your cat will feel so much better getting any painful areas dealt with sooner rather than later.
Buy Some New Cat Toys
Did you know that your cat will actually appreciate a toy that allows you to interact with him? Try a toy like “Da Bird”. I can tell you from experience that all my cats come running when they hear this toy come out! Cats love toys that simulate prey activity that they miss out on while living indoors.
Other great toys include food puzzles, balls to chase, toys to bat around and anything containing catnip.
Try Furniture Made for Cats
I’m sure some people might think that cat furniture is going overboard but it really helps meet the need of enrichment for our feline friends. Cats instinctively love to seek out a high spot in their environment to perch. This allows them to see all while remaining safe in their environment. This makes cat trees a great idea, especially if your kitty is not the only pet in the house. If you also have a dog he doesn’t love or even other cats, try getting a cat tree. It gives your feline friend his own space and gives him a place to retreat to thus cutting down on his stress.
Another piece of “furniture” that I have had great success with is a lounger. Find these loungers at Amazon and provide a place for your kitties to relax or scratch. This particular product and those like it are great because once one side gets worn out you can turn it over and extend it’s life. Then after both sides have been scratched, you can use a saw to cut it in half, then turn each half over to the new side and now you have two new half-loungers! You can extend the life of your lounger with a little DIY.
Scratching is a good thing
Another item you can add to your home that will bring much joy and enrichment for your cats are items for them to scratch. As much as many humans dislike for cats to scratch, scratching is a very natural part of a cat’s life.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on scratchers but do provide an acceptable place for your little tiger to scratch. The important thing about scratchers is that they are sturdy enough to withstand intense scratching.
Some cats like scratching carpet while others like sisal (a rope like material). Once you know what your cats like you can either buy or make a scratching area. Store bought or hand-made, something as simple as putting some carpet on a piece of cardboard and attaching it to your wall or the back of a door with some nails or adhesive of some kind. Make it tall enough for your cat to stretch up and scratch. Some people even put a cute painted picture frame around it to finish it off. What a simple way to provide enrichment for your cat!
Can You Teach a Cat a Trick?
You sure can! You can teach cats trick by finding a treat that they love!! Try freeze dried chicken, shrimp or salmon. Then shape your cat’s behavior by simply waiting until he does the desired behavior to reward him. This can provide you with great bonding time with your feline companion as well as some entertainment.
Make Your Celebration Last All Year
No matter how you choose to spend time with your ball of fluff, make sure you give your cat a little extra attention for the month of December. Then maybe make it a habit for every month of the year. After all, what is a better way to celebrate National Cat Lover’s month than by giving your cat extra love year round?