When I got my cat Mia I believed that cats were low-maintenance animals. That's what they told me. I soon realized that cats need a ton of mental and physical stimulation to be happy.
Mental and physical stimulation can come from the environment, from people, or from other animals in the household. I'd like to share with you 10 ideas to keep your cat happy that will also help you improve your bond with them!
Encourage Mental Stimulation
Keeping your cat's mind busy is probably the most underrated way of enriching their lives.
Cats are extremely smart and need to be challenged mentally just like people do.
There are 3 types of mental stimulation activities you can do with your cat: training, food puzzles, and toys.
Training Your Cat
You might think that only dogs can be trained but that is not the case! Cats are trainable, it just takes a little bit more patience.
Start with simple tricks like sit or come when called. You can even move on to more difficult tricks like jumping on your shoulder or even riding a bike with you.
Learn how here!
Food Challenges and Food Puzzles for Cats
There are all sorts of feeders on the market that will make your cat work for their food. This is a great way to give them mental stimulation while they eat. Some feeders even have multiple levels so your cat has to really think about how to get the food out.
There are a ton of different types of cat toys available. Some toys are designed to get your cat moving and others are meant to be played with solo. It's important to have a variety of toys so your cat doesn't get bored.
Cats find great joy observing outdoors. Give them a safe place to watch the world go by. The best way to provide your cat access to a window is to install a cat window perch. You can also provide them with cat furniture near the window.
BONUS TIP! If you have a cat that loves to watch birds you can get them a bird feeder to hang outside the window.
If you don't have a window in your home or apartment, you can get your cat a TV just for them! There are channels now that are specifically designed for cats with images and sounds of birds, squirrels and other animals.
I like dividing cat furniture in 3 big groups: Scratchers, Climbing areas and Running tools.
Most cats like to scratch. Scratching helps your cat to remove the old outer layer of their claws, to mark their territory and to stretch their muscles. It's also an amazing tool they use to release stress.
There are all sorts of scratchers on the market: posts, pads, trees and even wall mounted scratchers.
It's important to provide them with a scratching post or they will end up ruining your furniture. Look for a scratcher that is tall and sturdy so it won't tip over when your cat is using it.
Another way to let your cat get some physical activity is to provide them with a climbing area. Cats naturally love being up high where they can survey their kingdom.
There are cat trees, shelves and even wall mounted climbing systems. Again, make sure whatever you get is sturdy and won't tip over when your cat is using it.
At home I use Catastrophic Creations products, they have a ton of different options to choose from and they are very well made.
The last type of cat furniture I'm going to mention are running wheels. Running wheels are a great way for your cat to get some exercise.
Cat wheels are like massive hamster wheels for cats. They are a bit pricey but if you have the budget and the space for it, I highly recommend getting one.
Despite they were very famous a few years back, today only a few brands produce them:
I have a full video talking about indoor cat stimulation, you can watch it here:
Walk Your Cat on a Leash
Yes, you read that right! You can walk your cat on a leash.
Cats are designed to be outdoors. They thrive when they have access to the outdoors. Walking your cat is a great way to give them the mental and physical stimulation they need.
Start by getting your cat used to wearing a harness and leash. Let them wear it around the house for short periods of time so they get used to it. Once they are comfortable, you can start taking them on short walks around the block.
Remember to go slowly and let your cat lead the way. If they seem scared or uncomfortable, turn back and try again another day.
Take a look at this video to learn more about it:
Enriching your cat's life doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Just a few small changes can make a big difference in their overall health and happiness. Implement some
Stay Wild, Stay Safe, See You Outdoors!
Albert and Mia