Enrichment for cats
All cats are meant to be out in the wild. They are instinctive predators that need the opportunity to hunt, climb, run, claw, mark territories, sneak, jump and much more. Regardless of whether your cat is an indoor cat or even allowed to be outdoors, it is important that you enrich the cat's indoor environment.
What is enrichment?
Enrichment means meeting the animal's natural behavioral needs. Like those listed above, cats are instinctive predators that have behavioral needs that need to be met. It is in their genes to explore, hunt and claw. The more the indoor environment resembles the outdoors, the safer and more satisfied the cat will feel.
Food and water
Cats are predators, which means we can meet many behavioral needs through food, and it's actually quite simple. Some cats will not feel good about not being allowed to hunt, but with an indoor environment that gives them the opportunity to explore, fight for food and use their bodies, we can get quite far. Place several food bowls in the house to give the cat the opportunity to find its food in different places. Put the food in toilet rolls, or buy activation toys for the cat at the pet store. Then the cat gets the opportunity to fight for the food.
Cats in the wild do not eat and drink in the same places. Therefore, do not place the water bowl in the same place as the cat's food bowl. Also place water for your cat to choose where they like to drink best, at high altitude or perhaps under the bed. Water can also be made more discovery-friendly by using different types of bowls; deep, elongated or water fountains.
Claws and hunting
Many people know that cats itch and it is a way for them to mark their territory. Have a claw board set up in all rooms and especially at all entrances to the home; the hall, the balcony or balcony door, etc. Have climbing frames with claw options at home and set the claw boards high up; cats like to really stretch. Play a lot with your cat. There are many activation toys for cats in the pet store that stimulate the hunting instinct and it is very important to satisfy for a cat to feel good.
The litter box and sleeping area
Some simple tips for the litter box
- Have at least two litter boxes / cat and they should not stand next to each other
- Have a large litter box preferably without a roof so that the cat can stretch inside
- Place the drawers in safe and quiet places but easily accessible
Cats rest and sleep most of the day. Therefore, cats need plenty of sleeping space that is undisturbed from other animals / children. Keep in mind that sleeping places should be in different levels and preferably also by windows so they can look out. They should also be far from the litter box.