Cat Enrichment – Let’s Play!

Is your cat bored? Do they wander from room to room – chirping and looking for something to occupy their time? Sometimes during winter months, cats can get bored, just like children. Bird-watching might be non-existent due to migration, or if your cat enjoys the outdoors – or catio time – that could be limited due to the weather changes.

In our shelter, we are constantly using enrichment ideas to keep our felines active and happy. These same ideas can be used at home for your cat!

Screen Time!

Did you know there are actually games and apps specifically for cats? These can be videos of fish swimming or birds in the fountain. Some of them are actually games where cats can paw at the screen and affect what is on the screen. We do find tablets are better than phones as it gives the cat a larger surface to play on.

Here are a few to check out:

  1. Friskies CatFishing: Free for iOS or Android
  2. Petcube App: free for iOS or Android
  3. Paint for Cats – iOS download – $1.99
  4. Pocket Pond 2 – free for iOS or Android
  5. Mouse – free for Android

There are also several free videos for cats on YouTube. Just search “Videos for Cats” and numerous ones will pop up.

Toy Time

Have special toys on hand that you only utilize for actual play time together. Catnip toys should be giving in limited amounts of time and these would be great ones to only bring out when you are playing with your cat. These are available in our store Whiskers & Wags, or other big box supply stores. You can also read our blog about how to make your own no-sew mouse toys.

By making these toys only available during special play time, the cat will stay engaged and get excited when you bring them out. This also signals it’s time for some fun. Wand toys are also great for this type of play. It allows for socializing and bonding time with your pet and gives them some enrichment too.

Treats Please!

There are a wide range of toys and puzzle activities that incorporate treats into play. Treats are hidden within the puzzle. Through their sense of smell they can locate the treat and move or slide small doors to find the treat. These are also available in our Whiskers & Wags retail boutique.

What’s In The Box?

If you are on social media you have undoubtedly watched at least one, or a hundred, videos of cats having a box party. While we are not sure why cats have such a fascination with an ordinary box it definitely gives us a great way to recycle those Amazon boxes. We have seen shelter cats at Wayside play with boxes for hours. So hang on to those delivery boxes and see how your cat enjoy them. Oh, and don’t forget to share your videos with us on our social media! We love them!

While cats do like their alone time, just like humans they can get bored. Watching for signs can prevent them from getting into trouble and getting hurt. Not to mention, causing humans some undue stress and questioning pet ownership.

Have some enrichment ideas of your own? Tell us about them at info@waysidewaifs.org or share them on our social media! Happy purring!

Written by Trish Cross



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