Cats are real-life cuddly toys for many people: they are soft and love being close to humans and being spoilt! What many cat owners forget though is that their cuddly toys are little wild animals at heart! They are rarely satisfied with and stimulated by life on the couch.
Keeping Cats Occupied: Intelligence Toys and Co.
Then and now...
Not just the wild ancestors of our cats but their abandoned relatives are used to fending for themselves. Every small meal often requires a hunt lasting hours. Day by day, they are occupied with hiding, defending themselves and lying in wait. They very rarely experience calm like our domestic cats do. Although they have spent decades living with humans, our cats are little wild animals in terms of both their nature and physique, therefore have similar requirement to their relatives living in the wild!
Boredom is dangerous
It's hardly surprising that many cats get bored by monotonous domestic life! They get bogged down and listless. Without sufficient activity, many domestic cats even develop bad habits, which can range from scratching to a lack of hygiene. Domestic cats therefore need to be mentally and physically stimulated, be it by playing with humans or using intelligence toys. Of course, it's best if the cat can also communicate with a fellow feline to practise games, hunting and fur upkeep together.
How do you keep a cat occupied?
Without humans, cats have to find and catch their own food. Use this as an example and stop filling your cat's food bowl on a daily basis, instead letting it work for its food. For instance, hide crumbs of dry food in bags, on chairs and under the table, as well as using snack balls, smaller boxes or packaging. Add this loot to your cat's overall daily allowance should it receive additional meals to the food it has compiled.
These necessitate and encourage your cat's ability to think. Simply try them out to see how your cat reacts!
Nevertheless, playing with humans shouldn't be excluded, because the owner is an important reference figure for sole cats in particular. If you get inventive, you can stimulate your cat with more than just play fishing rods, mice and balls. Come up with a few party games! How about a few paper hats under which you can hide your cat's favourite toy?
You can find activity and intelligence toys for cats ranging from snack balls to drag boards in the zooplus store. You're guaranteed to avoid boredom!