Creating An Enriching Environment for Cats

June 14, 2020
By creating better environments, cats are better able to follow their instincts. It also keeps them busy and active with games!

Today, most cats are indoor cats. This means that they aren’t able to go outside to the yard or the street. As a result, indoor cats don’t encounter many of the dangers that stray cats face, such as cars and dogs. However, neither will they go hungry nor get cold. However, living all day locked in a house can be boring, just as it is for people. So one solution is to create an enriching environment for cats.

What is an enriching environment for cats?

The term environmental enrichment is often used concerning wild animals in captivity. It involves adding objects, such as plants or other elements from their natural habitat, to their living area. As a result, the animal feels less isolated from their world. In addition, they also have objects to amuse them.

A cat with a plant.

When creating an enriching environment for cats, we aim to satisfy their basic instincts. In addition, we give them some fun and entertainment. You can also change elements of your house, which can help your cat feel more comfortable.

A cat’s instincts and their environment

Cats have several instincts that you can satisfy by creating an enriching environment for cats:

Cats like heights

In the wild, cats are both prey and predator. From a height, they can watch what is going on below and run away from any predator that might be stalking them. Although indoor cats have nothing to fear, they still have the instinct to climb up high.

You can satisfy this basic need by giving your cat places to climb and look down from. It will also help your cat get some exercise.

A cat climbing up a structure.

To create this, you can put up shelves that are anchored to the wall. Alternatively, you can create almost a ladder with boxes or arrange pieces of furniture in the living room so there are different heights your cat can jump from. Another option is to leave space on shelves so that your cat can jump between them.

In fact, there are some cat lovers who have gone beyond just putting up shelves. Instead, some people have created walkways up near the ceiling so that cats can explore the whole room from above.

Scratching

Another basic cat need is scratching. You must get a scratching post. However, there are also other places you can turn into scratching areas for your cat to choose from.

A kitten playing with a scratching post.

For example, you can cover the legs of a table with cord or buy a structure made of scratching material so your cat can climb and scratch.

Sleeping

You’ve probably noticed that sleeping is one of a cat’s favorite activities. Although your cat probably already has a bed, they still decide to sleep all over the house.

This is because one of the characteristics of cats is that they get bored easily. For example, they prefer to try new things and discover new environments. In fact, you can encourage your cat to try out new places to sleep. You can do this by leaving a cushion or a folded blanket in a new place.

Safe entertainment in an enriching environment for cats

Creating an enriching environment for cats also affects how your cat is entertained. Your cat should have toys to play with from time to time. However, you should vary these toys little by little.

One way to create an enriching environment for cats is through toys.

As we’ve said, cats get bored easily. They also enjoy new things. As a result, rotating their toys is an easy way to keep your cat entertained.

These toys don’t have to be sophisticated. In fact, cats are happy playing with bits of string, bottle caps, or even balls of crushed paper.

Another thing that these animals love is watching birds. If you can leave curtains open, especially at sunrise and sunset, this will allow your cat to do some bird-watching. Also, there are ways you can make it easier for your cat to observe what’s going on outside.

A cat watching a bird.

If you have a garden or yard at your house, you can install a bird feeder. That way, your cat will have plenty of birds to watch!

Avoid laser pointers

However, many people make the mistake of playing with their cat with a laser pointer. Laser pointers are non-material prey that your cat will never be able to reach.

Therefore, this is a game that your cat can never win. Instead of exciting them, it ultimately will frustrate them. There are so many other options for entertainment that won’t be frustrating. So, forget lasers!

These are just a few examples of ways to create an enriching environment for cats. If you take into account a cat’s instinctive needs, it’s easy to keep them amused with a little imagination. Help your cat enjoy itself without suffering the dangers of being outside!