Some people believe that because cats are smart and independent they don’t need socialization, enrichment, or fun, well that’s 100% false. Cats are amazing creatures, but they still need us! In this post, I’ll give you some easy enrichment ideas to start spending quality time with your cat TODAY! I don’t want to pretend that I invented all these ideas because I didn’t, this post is a compilation of what I do during my cat visits, ideas I’ve heard from colleagues, and things learned in conferences.
1. If you are a cat owner I am sure you know that cats have amazing eyesight, so a great way to stimulate that sense is to give your cat something enjoyable to watch, something like birds, mice, squirrels, etc. If you live in a house creating a comfy spot by the window for your cat to sit and enjoy their surroundings would be perfect, but if you live in an apartment in Chicagoland you can simply search in Youtube “Videos for Cats” and you are going to find hours and hours of videos that your cat is going to love. It’s going to be funny to see your kitty trying to catch the birds on the video lol
2.Have you heard that music has a calming effect on humans? When you listen to your favorite song your mood changes immediately, am I wrong? Well, the same thing happens with animals, they just have a different taste in music. For example, cats love nature sounds, so how do we bring nature sounds to Chicagoland? I have two options for you:
–Through a cat’s ear: this is a speaker pre-loaded with 3-hrs special music on a Micro SD card. Auditory enrichment creates a warm and safe-feeling home. This is a Fear Free Preferred Product.
-If you don’t feel like spending money, you can always go to Youtube and type “Cat Calming Music”
3.Have you become an Amazon shopaholic during this quarantine? Take advantage of the boxes! Sometimes we spend a lot on fancy toys but cats are simple, they love boxes. My favorite way to use boxes is cutting holes on them, put a treat or toy inside, and let your cat play with it until they can take it out.
4.Bubbles! this one is so simple but I am sure that you hadn’t thought about it. Blow some bubbles or get a cheap bubble blower and watch your cat try to catch them.
5.Don’t underestimate catnip. Did you know that the leaves and stems of the catnip plant contain an oil called “nepetalactone.” When cats smell nepetalactone, it stimulates special receptors that sense chemicals called “pheromones.” The result is a kind of chemical reaction that gives the cat a sense of euphoria or overwhelming happiness. Do I need to say anything else?