(BPT) - Thanks to the pandemic, many people have gone from working in an office to working from home, giving cat owners a chance to spend more time with their furry friends. With all this extra time, you have the opportunity to strengthen the bond you share with your cat while helping them get active and stay healthy.
Fortunately, there are several enrichment activities you can set up indoors to give them some much needed mental stimulation and prevent destructive behaviors.
1. Plan a treasure hunt
One of the easiest ways to make a quick activity for your cat is to create a treasure hunt. All you have to do is hide small amounts of dry cat food in various spots around your house. Throughout the day, your cat can “hunt” for their food, which will keep them active in a fun and engaging way.
2. Play a game
Cats need mental stimulation just as much as humans — playing a game is a simple way to provide a stimulating, enriching experience. Friskies Cat Fishing 2, a free app available for iOS or Android, is a game designed specifically for cats. The app plays special sounds and displays schools of fish, encouraging your cat to pounce like she would in the wild. The more fish your cat catches, the higher the score. You can even keep track of her score and share it on social media.
3. Make a puzzle feeder
The active pursuit of food is instinctive for cats. A puzzle feeder is a great way to appeal to your cat’s desire for physical and mental stimulation. All you need is a plastic water or soda bottle and a utility knife. Use the knife to cut a few small holes in the sides of the clean, sanitized bottle. Make sure the holes are big enough for pieces of kibble to pass through. Place some dry kibble into the bottle, screw on the cap and let your cat get to work.
4. Create your own cat toy
Cat toys don't have to be expensive or complicated. Get crafty to keep your cat busy with a DIY wand toy. Start with a wooden dowel (about three feet in length and half-inch diameter), a barrel swivel and some fishing line. Then, gather materials to customize your wand — like colored pom poms, colored felt, feathers and jingle bells.
5. Go for a walk
It may seem unorthodox, but cats can be trained to walk on a leash. Many cats enjoy getting out to explore the neighborhood. Taking your cat for a walk lets them safely experience the great outdoors. It can also give them some necessary exercise.
Planning activities for your cat keeps them entertained, helps them stay healthy and can strengthen the bond you share. Try these activities for quick and easy ways to enrich your cat’s life at home.