Enrichment Ideas For Your Cat During COVID-19 Pandemic

June 11, 2020
Enrichment Ideas For Your Cat During COVID-19 Pandemic

This article was written by our friend, Clara Lou, from PetsLoveBest Inc.

What’s the bright side of this quarantine life for you? For me, it’s getting to live with my beloved pets more than ever! My, American Shorthair, Lucy, seems so happy to see me being home all the time. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives and is affecting our pet’s lives too. Even the smallest changes in a cat’s environment can be overwhelming for them. But my ‘catified’ home makes my cat’s life happier. That being said, we need to focus more on enrichment so that our cats stay happy.

What is Enrichment?

Enrichment is the method of enhancing the environment that provides enough opportunities to express species appropriate behavior. When you provide enrichment for your cat, that won’t only let them be themselves but also provide enough physical activity, exercise, and mental stimulation. This will alleviate your cat’s destructive and nuisance behavior.

All cat parents, at some point, face cat litter problems. Even after setting up litter boxes right way, the lack of enrichment may lead a cat to feel insecure about his territories, destructive behavior can be observed, and litter related problems increase. Unfortunately, if you’re trying to find a solution to a cat’s behavior related problems during these tough times, ensure your cat’s environment is enriched.

Cat Enrichment Ideas

In this section, we will be discussing different environmental enrichment ideas that will let your cat have the most entertaining, satisfying, and engaging life indoors.

Identify Where Your Cat Finds Himself or Herself The Most Confident

Unlike humans, cats see territories in a three-dimensional way. For instance, we mostly like to live and make adjustments to horizontal space for our comfort. But your cats look at every cubic inch of space for assessing possible rest spots, keeping an eye on their hoomans and their activities from above, or for camouflage spots where they can disengage themselves from the real world when they want.

So, identify where your cat feels the most confident. They like to sit at some specific spots generally with stout posture and ears upwards as if saying, “This is my territory, you can live here with me hooman.” The following are common types of dweller cats.

Tree dwellers can be seen dwelling anywhere on the vertical surface but on the ground. They feel more confident when they’re high and prefer to be on a chair or a top of the couch.

Bush dwellers love to be under the coffee table or behind the planters. The habit is due to their hunting and pouncing behavior and would feel confident when they have four feet on the ground.

Beach dwellers also like to keep their four feet on the ground but they do not like to hide under the coffee table. They would sit right in the middle of the room and feel confident that way. It sounds like your cat is sending a message, “You have to walk around me.”

This information will help you to know where you should make changes in the space for your cat.

Territorial Sign Posts

The biggest territory signposts are litter boxes. Set them the right way. I have seen many cat households have litter boxes beside the washing machine or under the car in a garage. But, cats need to mark their territory at socially important places and that said, litter boxes should be placed where your cat lives.

Some other territorial signposts are cat beds, blanket, scratch posts, and towels. Cats love to put their visible markers(claw scratches) and fragrances. When your cats feel secure about their territories, they will stay happy indoors.

Cat TV

The central focus of our drawing room is a TV. The same can be done for cats so that they can enjoy passive engagement in the activities going on in the world. Cats love to watch out of the windows. They just sit there and watch squirrels playing, birds splashing water in the birdbath, and eating from the bird feeder. While at night, they watch insects flying around the source of light in the darkness.

For this, you can arrange a cat tree, cat bed, or a window perch that will provide a comfy space to lay down and binge-watch cat TV. Cats also love to look at aquariums and fish swimming inside. Before you get an aquarium, ensure that you’re able to take care of fish well. Or else the alternative is you can get an aquarium plastic fish swimming inside. That would also work. In addition, if you really can’t do anything, cat TV shows can be entertainment for your feline.

Cats Olympic Setup

Like dogs, cats too need to have enough physical activity to stay happy. Use vertical space to build perches and shelves at different heights, so that cats can run around and play when the motivation takes them. You can purchase stuff online but if you have a DIY soul, you can easily craft the setup.

Moreover, if you want to bathe a cat, it should be followed by a good playtime. That way, your cat will have lesser energy when he will enter the bathtub and the task will be easier for you.

The End Note

This was a basic yet mostly missed out environmental enrichment process by cat parents. If your cat is behaving weirdly, having litter problems, and is anxious for unknown reasons, have a trip to a vet’s office after contacting them on a phone. You can also try food puzzles, different food games, follow trends like ‘toilet paper challenge’ for better mental stimulation. All in all, during the Coronavirus crisis, environmental enrichment becomes more crucial for cats. The changes made to your home should look attractive and should serve the purpose as well. That way, you won’t have to compromise with the aesthetics of your home and you’ll have a satisfied cat.

This article was written by our friend, Clara Lou, from PetsLoveBest Inc.

This is not veterinary advice and we always advise that you check with a veterinarian you trust if you have questions about your cat's behavior.

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