Our Happy Cat Month celebration continues with week two focusing on how to improve your cat’s happiness through enrichment, stimulating the senses,and providing safe outlets for natural instincts and cat-friendly spaces and elements.
A happy enriched cat is one who feels both comforted and stimulated by its environment, which involves places of safety and comfort, ways to express feline instincts, stimulation to remain active, and engaging toys and interaction.
Though your cat may seem happy lying about the house and receiving endless amounts of affection, it’s important to remember that cats are predators and explorers by nature. Providing opportunities for your cat to act on these feline instincts is a core component of an enriching environment.
Provide exploration opportunities. One of the easiest ways to make a cat happy is with a new toy or a new way to explore their environment. Every cat has a preference as to what they like best, and experimenting will be fun for both you and your cat.
Find fun ways to work for food. Pet parents can purchase or make food toys that release kibble in small amounts or hide a cat’s food in different places so that they have to find it. Working for food is great physical and mental exercise.
Explore the outdoors. There are ways pet parents can safely take their cats outside and allow them to broaden their horizons. Cats can be walked on a leash with a harness or confined in a special outdoor area and always under supervision. This allows them to periodically and safely experience the world outside.
Ensure there are scratching areas in your space. Cats should have places they are allowed to stretch and care for their claws. Scratching is an important aspect of feline behavior. Providing a long and sturdy scratching post in a vertical, horizontal or angled position is a good way to keep your cat happy.
Find out what works best. Sometimes cat owners try their best, but the cat has other ideas. Cats can also get their very own subscription boxes that provide a consistent variety and allow owners to see what their pet fancies.