Feline Mental Stimulation Part 1 ...

Feline Mental Stimulation Part 1

During this time of confinement, we are all feeling the strain to stay mentally stimulated and prevent the boredom from setting in. This too can apply to our feline friends whether they have switched from the outdoor lifestyle, for the moment, or are indoor only already. Some behaviours you may notice are vocalisation and pestering… Read more »

During this time of confinement, we are all feeling the strain to stay mentally stimulated and prevent the boredom from setting in. This too can apply to our feline friends whether they have switched from the outdoor lifestyle, for the moment, or are indoor only already.

Some behaviours you may notice are vocalisation and pestering to go out, stress behaviours such as attacking the furniture, redirecting aggression onto us from frustration and eating and/or sleeping more to name but a few. Though cats are notorious for sleeping a lot they need to burn off energy otherwise they will gain weight, which can lead to health problems such as mobility issues, poor coat condition from being unable to groom, increased risk of developing a blocked bladder and many more.

Similar to us regular exercise and mental stimulation can prevent these and create a happier and healthier feline, which in turn will help protect our home from destructive boredom behaviours!

Some tips to try are-

  • Hiding dry food around the house to provide opportunities to ‘hunt’ and source out the food.
  • Providing plenty of high vantage points to allow them to watch all that’s going on and be their little nosey feline selves.
  • Scratching posts need to be tall enough to allow them to stand up and stretch out their front legs to scratch the post. A good product to aid with this is Feliscratch which encourages them to use the post and not the furniture by using scents and pheromones.
  • Regular predatory play sessions to provide exercise and stimulation at least once a day, which can be through toys or laser pens. This will help with the human-feline bond along with giving us humans some stimulation and a break from working at home.
  • Introducing novel items such as boxes and paper bags to explore and keep them entertained.
  • Switching their toys around as cats love novelty and variety so by keeping some out of sight this will make them even more exciting when they come back out again to play with.
  • Grooming can help keep their coat shiny and smooth, maintain the human-cat bond and give them some nice TLC (if they are happy for this to be done).

These are some ideas to help keep our cats safe, entertained and stimulated during our period of isolation. Our furry feline friends do need their own time and space but also like predictable and steady interaction on their own terms and if you can provide this, they will be happier for it. As I mentioned a couple of times the human-cat bond is a powerful thing and will help us survive this time of uncertainty and isolation, as cat cuddles will release happy endorphins and make the bond even stronger in the long run.

Next in the series I will discuss puzzle feeders and how we can get creative at home making them.

Please post pics of your cats and their favourite toys so we can all enjoy some feline fun and cuteness.

Stay safe all 😊