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Feline Enrichment

Some days I wish I could trade spots with my cats, they laze the day away; cats seem to have it so easy. I’d love to lie in the sun all day, with not a care in the world.

The truth is, cats need help to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Boredom can lead to many health issues such as stress, lower urinary tract disease, obesity, high-stress, over-grooming, to name a few.

There are many ways to keep your felines busy and entertained. These are also great bonding tools for you and your cat.

  • Scratching posts are a fantastic tool. Scratching is normal behaviour for cats, as it releases stress, marks territory and can help prevent them from scratching other items. Many different materials can be used such as carpet, twine, cardboard. Some cats are very particular about what they will and will not scratch.
  • Cats love height. If you can provide cat trees or hang cat shelves on the wall so they can climb and explore, this is a natural behaviour.
  • Toys are a great bonding tool, there are so many types! Mice that squeak, bells in balls, feathers on sticks, catnip pillows, laser lights, these can provide hours of entertainment, for both of you.
  • Treat dispensing toys are great mental stimulation. They have to roll the ball around, dig in the right hole, etc. to get to the treat.
  • Window sills. Cats love lying in the sun, watching the birds and squirrels outside. Again, this can provide hours of entertainment. You can even add a piece of wood to your window sill so it’s wider for the cat, even carpet it so he can make it his scratcher.
  • Brushing your cat, if they allow you to. Some cats love this and give you their bellies, my boys fight over who gets the brush first. I make it a habit of brushing and clipping their nails at the same time.

Cats are very particular and love routine. The more time you give them, the happier they will be. In turn, the healthier they will be.

Written by Amanda Chamberlain, Practice Manager

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