Make them feel at home: environmental enrichment for cats
Cats can enjoy staying home as much as you do!
Indoor cats tend to live longer because the restricted access to the street keeps them safe from potential harms like injuries, infectious diseases or any other consequences to their exposure to external threats. But there's something you should keep in mind: while keeping them inside has a very positive outlook, there are some behavioral consequences that can include anxiety, eating disorders, and urinating in uncommon spaces. Here's how you can help them feel better about their own indoor routines and improve their overall health and behavior at home.
Back to basics
An enriched environment for cats means putting an effort into discovering what they appreciate having around the house when they are relaxing, playing and even sleeping. You can start with the basics: provide two or more litter boxes - especially if you have more than one cat, invest on their food quality and change their water constantly. This improves their perception on how well you're taking care of them and has a good impact on their health. And if you want to take the next step, add some food puzzles, interactive toys or food balls to increase interaction and reinforce a positive connection to what they eat.
Netflix and meow
The next step is entertainment. Make sure your cat has plenty of room and toys to play with, paying attention to their personalities and adapting the fun based on what they consider appealing to their hunting or just-chilling moments. With this approach, they will be able to create their own positive experiences without leaving the house.
Invest in cat furniture for climbing and romping. You can choose a cat tree that has it all or create new possibilities by providing the entire environment with shelves on the walls, toys and scratching poles around the house. Other great and accessible additions to the toy section are ping pong balls in a bowl and a cardboard box - because you know how easily entertained cats can be.
Most cats enjoy the routine, so planning your activities like feeding and playing at the same time every day can be a great option. Managing common behavior problems in indoor cats requires identifying the stressors in their environment, so creating a schedule allows you to be on top of those changes to act on them as soon as possible.