Physical and Mental Stimulation


In the natural environment, cats spend their days hunting for prey. They run and jump, hide and pounce, bat and play until they've completed their kill. Today, most pet cats are indoor creatures and do not need to defend themselves from predators or hunt for food. You need to give your cat the opportunity for active times to keep it physically strong and healthy. Designate a play area in your house where you allow your cat to run, romp, jump and play. Put the scratching post in this area. Spend play time with your cat for at least one hour every day. Keep lots of toys around — some chew toys to exercise its teeth and jaw, toys the cat can push and paw at and toys that make the cat work to get a treat hidden inside. Use kitty teasers and cat dancers to engage in play with your cat and keep it moving. Rotate toys frequently to keep your cat from becoming bored. Keep them active and watch their body shape to make sure your cat remains muscular, trim and healthy.

Please note: Do not use string or play any form of a tug-of-war game with your cat. These activities damage cat's teeth.

It is important to remember that cats are nocturnal and their most active time will probably be while you are asleep. So be sure there is plenty for your cat to do when you aren't around. To make sure you get quality time in with your cat, plan play times in the early evening. And to keep cats from waking you at night, feed them a meal right before your bedtime.

Mental Stimulation

When pet owners experience problems with their cats, like destructive behavior, it usually is the result of a bored or neglected cat. Even though cats don't have long memories and depend upon strict routine, they still need ways to engage their minds. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to feed your cat's mental vitality. Toys give cats a means of working on challenges. Some, like bat toys, are designed to reflect hunting behavior. Others simply build on their natural instincts to intrigue them. For example, many pet owners find videos of birds, squirrels or other small animals fascinate their pets. Cats can watch these videos for hours. Cats like observing the real thing, too, so be sure your activity room has a window for your cat to watch the world outside. You can even place a bird feeder outside the window for a constant and ever-changing display. Movement of any kind attracts a cat's interest. Cats will watch a lava lamp or changing colored lights. They love toys with movements, like a ball in a track they can push around. Cats also love to explore empty boxes and bags. Just be sure to clip off handles that might trap your cat.