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Enrichment isn't just for dogs

Help your cat live its best life.

​In my last post, I talked about enrichment and, in general, why you should do it for your pets. In the dog behavior and training world, enrichment for shelter and pet dogs is becoming a more popular/trendy topic.  People are learning about creative ways to feed their dogs and to provide mental stimulation through enriching food-based, scent-based, and play-based activities.  This is great news for dogs and dog owners.  So, naturally, I am going to talk CATS first.  Our cats need enrichment as much as our dogs do and for many of the same reasons. 

Enrichment for cats can fall into one or more of these categories (and probably some others that I am forgetting):  environmental, interactive play, self-play toys, scent, and feeding.  ​Here are just a some of the reasons that enrichment is important for your cat: 

  • Environmental enrichment encourages exploration of and interaction with environment and can help cats feel safe and confident (more on environmental enrichment in a future post). 

  • Enrichment provides mental and physical stimulation and prevents boredom and frustration by allowing cats to express natural behaviors.

  • It helps you learn more about your cat which can help you build a positive relationship.

  • It is a good way to prevent behavior problems or treat existing problems.

  • Enrichment can maintain or improve physical health by increasing activity and reducing stress (which impacts physical health in all creatures!)

With the social distancing/isolation orders in place, many of us are staying home more.  What a great time to get to know your cat better and have some fun experimenting with ways to provide a more enriched life!    

Over the next week, I am going to post a series of short (and very homemade!) videos on cat enrichment on my YouTube Channel Cat Behavior Playlist.  Check out the first video below.  Try out some of the ideas you see in the videos, research other ideas and let the fun begin. I’d love to hear what works for your cat, what you learned about your cat, and any of the creative ways you found to enrich your cat’s life….and yours. 

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