The Catification Lady: Stop the Boredom, The Sequel!
One crazy cat lady explores the depths
of Cat Behavior, Catification, and Environment Enrichment.
Part 2 of 2
And you thought there were only seven
ways to Stop The Kittycat Boredom. Think again!
While those first seven were covered in
Part 1 of this article, here's twelve more...
8. Combine two toys, to make them
new, exciting and unpredictable.
While it can be good to switch out toys on a regular basis, you can
also combine toys to make them more interesting. My cat Ziggy loves
those little pop up cat houses so he can stalk his toys. Add in a Da
Bird Feather Teaser, a string toy both my cats love, and he gets all
the more excited as he stalks and catches the toy.
9. Cat's love to go up!
Add vertical space to give your kitty exercise, a safe perch and
kitty TV. Cat trees, wall-mounted cat shelves and even human
furniture helps enrich your kitty's environment. Most cats will and
should live the rest of their lives in a house or apartment. Imagine
if you could never go outside and have only those few rooms to
explore for the rest of your life. If you add a vertical environment,
it can drastically increase the terrain, alleviate stress caused by
other pets or a crowded household, and give your kitty other options
to explore. Take a look around the areas your cat is in the most and
consider how you might create vertical space with the furniture you
have already. Then add to the vertical space with shelves when you
10. Take your cat for a walk.
Yes, that's right. A walk. This isn't something all cats enjoy, but
for the right cat it can give them an outlet which will drastically
improve their life. You can get a halter at a pet store or online
that's specifically made for small pets or cats. These halters hook
at the top behind the cat's head so they don't pull on the cat's
neck. Make sure the halter fits the cat snugly, but isn't too tight.
Then pick up your cat, don't expect them to walk out, and take them
outside. Make sure there aren't any dogs or other animals around that
might scare your kitty. Taking a cat for a walk is more like taking
your cat for a sniff. They seldom go in a straight line, but they
enjoy sniffing and eating the grass and plants. If you cat starts to
pull on the leash, go to her or pick her up. It may be a little scary
at first, but easing your cat into taking a walk can enrich her life.
One note, safety first. If your yard isn't fenced in, watch for dogs
in the area. Pick up your cat at the first sign that an aggressive
dog or dog you've never met before is near. And watch what your cat
is eating. Grass is fine, but avoid plants you're not familiar with.
Some plants are poisonous to cats, so just guide your kitty to a
grassy area if you're unsure. Keep your walks short to start, just 10
or 15 minutes. You can extend the time as your cat becomes more
comfortable being outside.
11. Brush your cat. Not all
kitties like to be brushed, but many do. My short haired black cat,
Ziggy, absolutely loves to be brushed. He'll literally sit on the arm
of my chair and let me brush him for as long as I'm willing. My long
haired cat, George, not so much. He quickly leaves when the brush
comes out though I'm careful not to pull on any knots. It takes two
of us to cut out tangles, and George hates the process. But brushing
helps cut down on hairballs and keeps the fur from getting tangled
and pulling on their skin. If your cat really hates brushing you may
need to take her to a groomer. But before you decide your cat doesn't
like or need to be brushed, give it a try with a nice soft brush
watching to be careful around the face and ears. Your cat may be like
Ziggy and enjoy the process.
12. Hiding treats.
Most cats love treats and for many cats it doesn't hurt to give them
a few a day. However, to make things more interesting, try putting
treats around the house so your cat will have to work a bit to find
them. It challenges their nose and their hunting skills. Initially
put the treats out so they are easy to find and gradually make
finding them a little more challenging. Once your cat gets the hang
of it, it will be a great game for them.
13. Give your cat catnip.
Throw a little excitement in your cat's week by giving them catnip
once or twice a week. Like everything else, pay attention to how your
cat reacts to catnip. It catnip winds your cat up so she attacks the
other cats, either dial back how much you're giving or don't use it
at all. But most cats enjoy a little catnip on a carpet sample or a
small stuffed animal that's about a third the size of your cat. Give
you kitty something to bite on and play with. Safety
first: Make sure if you
give your cat a stuffed animal, that any sewn or glued bits like eyes
are secure or removed.
14. Kitty TV, Take 2! Get birds
or fish. The little hunter in your life will love watching the
movement in a fish tank or bird cage. Even a small tank or a smallish
birdcage with a bird or two can give you kitty hours of fun. Safety
first: You don't want to terrify the fish or birds by letting
your cat paw at their home. So, make sure you've placed your fish
tank or birdcage out of your kitty's reach. And fish tanks should
have a top or screen covering.
15. Get a cat tent or build a catio.
No, this one isn't for everyone. But the majority of cats do love the
outdoors. There's a reason they get so excited when you open the
windows to let fresh air in. They love it as much as we do. So start
with a cat tent, which are affordable. And consider creating a
screened in environment for your cat. A catio, or cat patio, which
doesn't actually have to be a patio, is a great way to give your cat
a safe place to enjoy the outdoors.
16. Kitty TV, Take 3! Actual
kitty TV. DVDs like Cat
Sitter are available
which feature birds, fish and other creatures moving around in ways
that some cats like to watch.
17. Talk to your cat.
My husband thinks I'm crazy. Yes, I talk to my cats and believe it or
not they often talk back in their own way. While they do not, of
course, understand what I'm saying, they do understand a tone of
voice and they usually know their names.
18. Automated toys have the benefit
of giving your cat some playtime without you actually having to
do much other than turn it on. You can buy them at the pet store or
online and they usually involve something moving. However, don't
leave them on all the time or the cat will likely become bored with
the toy. Turn them on and off. It's also a good idea to give your cat
a treat or snack after they finish playing with the toy.
19. But mostly get creative!
Life is busy and we can take our furry little friends for granted. So
imagine living your cat's life and really think about how you
can make it better. She's sharing her life with you and you both
deserve to have a full, rich world to live in.
If you have any tips of how you have
enriched your cat's life, send us an email or make a comment below
and if you've got some good general tips, we'll make it the subject
of a future blog.