Cat Enrichment Toys
Cat enrichment toys are important for your furbaby to have healthy physical and mental well-being. Your cats must always have the opportunity to communicate the behaviors that are innate to them, in suitable and proper ways. Plus, being able to satisfy your cats’s physical, mental, and emotional needs will be able to help them live a happier, healthier life with lesser behavioral issues and a stronger bond between the two of you.
In this article, we will talk about different cat enrichment toys together with the different types of enrichment. We'll share some of the best interactive cat toys and DIY cat enrichment so that you can provide daily enrichment for your cat.
What Is Cat Enrichment?
What is enrichment for cats and why is it important? Cat enrichment is providing your cat the stimuli they need to fulfill their natural behaviors. Enrichment activities will help provide your cat with healthier physical, mental, and emotional states. It will also lessen the physical and behavioral problems in your cat, like cat anxiety, spraying, and aggression.
The following are some of the enrichment toys for cats and interactive cat toys you can provide:
Self-play toys are cat enrichment toys your furbaby can play with on their own. These self-play toys usually encourage cats to chase, pounce, stalk, or paw which is entertaining and mentally stimulating for them. These interactive cat toys provide extra enrichment when they are alone, or when you cannot find the time to play with them. These enrichment toys for cats may be as simple as cardboard boxes or crumpled pieces of paper. Some of these may also be battery-operated.
When choosing what toy best fits your furbaby, take into consideration your cat’s age. Younger cats love toys that are quick-moving, while older cats or obese cats might enjoy slow-moving toys. No matter what type of self-play enrichment toys for cats you choose, always make sure that they are safe to play with and see to it to spot any potential safety concerns, especially when your furbaby is alone. Avoid pieces that could be chocked on or exposed batteries.
Forager™ Mats or Bowls
Food enrichment toys, like snuffle mat for cats, are a great way to satisfy and encourage your cat’s foraging skills. Cat snuffle mats, like Pet Parents® Forager™ Mats and Pet Parents® Forager™ Bowls, are an excellent choice for your cat’s enrichment. These snuffle mats for cats and bowls make your furbaby’s meal times more fun and challenging, and make every mealtime an opportunity for cat enrichment. These provide mental stimulation because your cat will spend a longer time foraging through the Forager™ Mat or Bowl for their food, rather than eating food all out of a pile in a bowl and finishing it in just a few minutes. Aside from boosting your cat’s foraging skills, Forager™ mats and bowls also prevent speedy eating, burn energy for a calmer cat, keep your cat entertained.
The Forager™ Bowl and Forager™ Mat can also be used outside of meal time as interactive cat toys with treats to help curb separation anxiety, reduce stress, stimulate the sense of smell, and help redirect inappropriate behaviors into a positive one. These can be a great option for cats who experience separation anxiety or need a distraction from a stressor, like visitors in your home or a new pet. Plus, both the snuffle mat and bowl are triple stitched for durability, and machine washable for a safe and easy enrichment experience. And with a SoftSnout™ material, your cat will enjoy digging through the snuffle mat or bowl for tasty rewards.
"Cat enrichment toys are important for your furbaby to have healthy physical and mental well-being."
Perches and window sills act as your cat’s climbing spaces. Window perches allow your indoor cat to enjoy the outdoor scenery or other activities through a window. These will allow your cat to see what is going on outside and will serve as an enriching experience that satisfies a cat’s curious nature. You can also consider cat climbing towers or climbing trees for the same purpose.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests that inexpensive boxes can be turned into enriching toys for your cat. For DIY cat enrichment toys using empty pizza boxes, you can cut holes and insert treats in each hole. This makes a fun cat puzzle toy that is inexpensive. Just make sure that it is not greasy and therefore will not make your cat unclean. Plastic milk crates can also be made into jungle gyms. Jungle gyms are great cat enrichment toys as these will serve as equipment where your furbaby can exercise on. Jungle gyms may include attached toys and may also be used as a scratching post.
Even when offered a variety of cat enrichment toys, cats will get bored with a particular toy after some time. It is important to provide them with a variety of toys or provide them toys on a rotating basis to keep their interest. You may also incorporate cat enrichment toys with cat enrichment activities and training to make enrichment and stimulation more effective.
Different Types of Enrichment for Cats
Cat enrichment activities are important for cats. Knowing what type of enrichment your cat needs will help you determine what enrichment toys they will need.
Environmental enrichment. Environmental enrichment for cats are factors that help promote their welfare. These cat enrichment activities involve all of your cat’s senses. This type of enrichment must present an array of activities for them to interact and explore their environment.
Social enrichment. Aside from environmental enrichment, your cat will also need social enrichment. Social enrichment included interaction and play because even though most cats act independently, they are also social creatures. According to All Pets Education & Training, any interaction between your cat and any person or animal without conflict is social enrichment. You sitting beside your cat is socially enriching. Your cat sitting on the window perch and watching birds outside is socially enriching.
Cognitive enrichment. There is also cognitive enrichment where your cat gets to use their mind and thinking abilities. This type of enrichment involves your cat to solve problems and figure out things. Cognitive enrichment includes training and puzzles that use their physical and mental capabilities. This type of enrichment can also physically tire out your cat.
Cats that lack enrichment may become frustrated and may begin to show inappropriate, destructive behaviors like potty accidents, excessive scratching, and even aggression.
Providing enriching experiences for your furbaby through the use of cat enrichment toys is a great way to stimulate their mind, body, and emotional states, leading to a healthier, happier life for both of you.
"Cat snuffle mats, like Pet Parents® Forager™ Mats and Pet Parents® Forager™ Bowls, are an excellent choice for your cat’s enrichment."
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