Beyond just the basics of food, water and shelter, cats need enrichment. An example of a cat enrichment activity would be anything that offers safe and natural stimuli which allow cats to express natural behaviors. Without proper cat enrichment, an indoor cat can become bored and they may exhibit behavioral concerns.
Cat enrichment toys and activities should satisfies a cats' physical and mental needs. Everyday cat-enrichment opportunities include things like a cat’s favorite hiding place, a preferred cat toy, scratching surfaces, and getting ample playtime with their human friends.
Cat Enrichment Toys
A cat enrichment toy includes things like felt catnip toys, puzzle feeders, and cat trees. All of these kinds of cat toys will provide multiple-sensory stimulation through sight, sound and scent.
Felt catnip cat toys, like those made by Chips Toys, are ideal cat enrichment toys. Cats love the fresh, organic, 100% Oregon-grown catnip inside; humans love the hilarity of watching their cat carrying a felt Bloody Knife toy around the house. Chips Toys’ thoughtfully-handmade designs ensure that every toy is loved by both humans and cats alike.
Cat Enrichment Environmental Opportunities
Consider getting your cat a "Spinny Ball" track toy, like the Catstages Tower of Tracks. This pet-toy-store favorite features 3 levels of tracks, with 6 brightly colored balls inside that can roll, spin & bounce. Cats love batting at and pouncing on the moving balls, engaging their natural instincts to hunt and chase prey.
Pet Toy Store Options
Places that sell pet toys will often offer cardboard cat cottages with multiple cut-outs, which allow for fun exploratory play. The variety of textures and spaces in a cat's fun-hideaway-house provides exploring opportunity, which keeps your cat mentally stimulated.
Puzzle Cat Feeder Toys
For a fun way to encourage active play, consider a feeder-based toy for cats. Start by stuffing several pieces of kibble into a special-purpose cat feeder toys. Eventually, as your cat catches on to a new routine, change it up and use smaller portion of food in the toy, Puzzle feeders require cats to "work" for their food, exercising their natural hunting instincts.
Cat Enrichment via Scent
If your cat is reactive to catnip in a toy like the Catnip Apple with Worm, that indicates your cat has a well-developed sense of smell. Almost all cats enjoy the scents released by catnip toys, but not all cats react to catnip itself.
Fred and Mollie are currently enjoying a blue heart catnip toy from Chips Toys
When your cat plays with a cat enrichment toy with catnip in it, they regularly chew and bite the toys, which releases aromatic compounds in the catnip. These aromas can trigger multiple areas of your cat's brain related to pleasure, reward and emotional responses.
Cat Enrichment Hideaways
A cat hideaway is something like a felt tunnel, or a cat igloo, or cubby hideouts, and they're great for cats who like to explore. The dark, interior chambers provide a safe-yet-exciting play space and gives your cat a quiet space to retreat when overstimulated.
When you provide your cat with a variety of enrichment opportunities that match their personality, you will greatly improve your cat’s quality of life. It’s important to start small, for example, introducing a single new catnip toy on Monday and watch how the rest of the week goes.
Likewise, if you introduce a new cat hideaway, it's important to give your cat time to explore it on their own terms. Take note of your cat's reactions throughout the week or month, and adjust the situation, as appropriate.
Great Cat Enrichment Toys
These cat enrichment strategies and toys can all help to stimulate your cat mentally, physically and emotionally. Whether it's a new felt catnip toy from Chips Toys, or simply setting aside 15 minutes each day for playtime, its important to enriching your cat's environment. Cats want to play naturally, and they love new opportunities to explore, so be sure to give them a new experience every so often.