With the New Year here, we naturally ask ourselves, “what’s next?” and “what could be better in my life?” As you’re reflecting and exploring possibilities for your New Year’s resolutions, here are a few simple things to consider that could greatly enhance your cat’s life—as well as your bond together in 2019.
- Play with your cat at least once a day. Cat’s brains and bodies need to be active, and (besides) it’s adorable. Not only is exercise physically great for the both of you—known to improve muscle and bone strength, circulation and aid in weight management—it also provides mental stimulation, reduces stress and improves the emotional bond between you and your cat!
- Add a bird feeder, bird friendly plants and a bird bath to your back yard. Not only will you help the birds, this simple addition to the yard provides excellent mental stimulation for your cat. The two of you can get hours of entertainment watching the birds hop, peck and bathe close-by.
- Make sure kitty gets a check-up. In the US, cats outnumber dogs by the millions, but only one cat is seen by veterinarians for every 5 dogs seen. This is a huge discrepancy in care. As your cat’s advocate, it’s important to get yearly check-ups, especially considering cats have a tendency to hide illness. Regular physicals are an important part of healthy kitty’s 2019 enrichment. If your cat is terrified of the vet, consider a home-visit veterinary service or a Fear Free-certified practice.
- Teach your cat to walk on a leash. While it takes patience, teaching your cat to walk on a leash can be a great way to provide access to fresh air, exercise and stimulate their brain—something shown to help ward off or slow cognitive dysfunction later in life. Learn more about why and how to walk your cat on a leash here.
- Consider teaching your cat tricks. Despite the stereotypes, cats can be excellent at learning commands, and it gives you and kitty a fun activity to do together while giving you both a sense of accomplishment. Learn how to clicker train your cat using this positive reinforcement technique.
- Don’t forget the cuddle time. While cats each have their own preferred way of cuddling with you (on the lap, in the arms, by your side, etc.), they DO love and depend on that social time with you. Consider scheduling time with your cat each day to put down the smart phone and enjoy a cat nap with kitty. Not only will your cat love it, you can benefit from the power of that purr. Learn about the benefits of a cat’s purr.
- And, of course, build a catio! Cat enclosures are a fantastic way to enrich you and your cat’s lives. From providing a safe and stimulating outdoor living space to reducing indoor odors, a catio is the latest in cat wellbeing. Catios add territory for your cat and, if large enough, make way for you to enjoy outdoor time and wildlife watching together. We offer a variety of designs and sizes for a window, deck, patio or yard that can accommodate any sized cat family. Take a look at our DIY catio plans and find the one that suits your needs. We always donate 10% of DIY plan purchases to an animal welfare organization.
I hope these 7 enrichment tips help you create a more fulfilling, happy and healthy 2019 for you and your cat! We also have a lot of great tips for keeping your cat and catio both fun and safe, so be sure to sign up for our free tips and newsletter to get the latest from us. Happy New Year!