Do you feel that your cat is bored or gaining too much weight? We do not recommend letting them go outside – as your feline companion could get kidnapped, poisoned or even hit by a car – but you can make their life indoors more exciting in many ways. You will have peace of mind while your kitty has fun in the comfort of “their” home!
First, remember that in nature, cats spend most of their time looking for food. Suggestion: make your cat’s living environment stimulating and enriching so that they can be happy and lead a balanced life.
Did you know?
Cats are mainly nocturnal animals, so it is important to offer activities during the day so that they are more likely to sleep at night.
Six games for kitty
In addition to getting your cat moving, the activities described below will require them to eat more slowly, which will promote good digestion and help maintain a healthy weight. As meals are among your cat’s favorite times of day, why not extend them and make them more fun without having to feed your cat more food? This is what you can do the games below!
1. SlimCat food-dispensing ball: The first time you use it, fill the ball with kibble to the rim so that it comes out easily when your cat rolls it. After a while, your pet will have fun alone for long periods with this toy. (The SlimCat is available in a variety of colours at the Montreal SPCA Boutique)
2. Interactive bowl, purchased or DIY: Do you have a shoebox and empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls? Cut the rolls so that they are not all the same length and then glue them vertically (standing upright) in the box. Use a non-toxic glue and let it dry before hiding kibble in the rolls. Your cat will love discovering surprises by sliding their paws into the “pipes”! (The ThinKat by Aïkiou is available at the Montreal SPCA Boutique)
3. Cat piñata: Insert kibble in an empty container (eg, toilet paper roll). Make sure your cat does not eat the cardboard and that all openings are secured.
4. Aïkiou toys: Fill the toy with kibble or canned food. To make the task more difficult, freeze it before giving it to your cat or hang it on a doorknob with a string. (This toy is available in various formats at the Montreal SPCA Boutique).
5. Senses toys by Catit: Unleash the inner tiger in your cat by allowing them to dig, scratch, pounce and paw. (Available at the Montreal SPCA Boutique).
6. Frolicat Flik and Frolicat Pounce: Mimicking the movements of a mouse, these two interactive games will capture your cat’s attention. (Soon available at the Montreal SPCA Boutique).
Supervise your cat when they play with objects so that they do not ingest any inedible materials.
Six ideas to enrich your cat’s life
By enriching your cat’s living environment, you will offer them a safe environment where they can express their natural behaviours, without ever having to put a paw outside the house!
1. Heights and hiding places: For your cat to feel safe, provide them with heights and hiding places. Cats love to climb, hide and observe from different points of views. Secure shelving by firmly fastening the shelves to the wall, get multi-level cat trees, and offer cardboard boxes.
2. Fresh catnip: In addition to being an attractive addition to your living space, fresh catnip is great for cats and promotes digestion. Cats naturally eat grass outdoors; this regulates their digestive system. Choose catnip grown without fertilizer or pesticides and ensure that your cat does not have access to other plants in the house, which could be toxic to them.
3. Scratch station: If you want to offer your feline friend the equivalent of a day at the spa, offer them a scratch pad! Surfaced with different textures and a variety of brushes, it allows the cat to self-massage and relax. To increase your cat’s enjoyment, sprinkle the structure with catnip.
4. Classical music: It is proven – classical music is very relaxing for cats, unlike other music genres that could stress them. It even allows the animal to recover more quickly after a stressful visit to the veterinarian.
5. Windows: Just as we like to spend time in front of the television, cats love to looking out the window! Facilitate access to the windows so that they can observe what is happening outside, such as the comings and goings of birds and squirrels.
6. Sunshine: Cats love to nap in the sun, so be sure to open your blinds and curtains before leaving for the day!
Laura Boisvert – Animal Behaviourist and Evaluator
Passionate about animals from a very young age, Laura now works as a canine evaluator at the Montreal SPCA. She also makes home visits to address dog behaviour problems. Her methods, based on positive reinforcement, are up-to-date and effective.