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Keeping Indoor Cats Stimulated and Healthy
Monday, May 27, 2019
  By: Kingsdale Animal Hospital  In: Pet Health

Keeping Indoor Cats Stimulated and Healthy

Indoor cats lead a good life; eating, sleeping, lounging in the sun, and spending time with the family. Sometimes, their life gets too easy and they can get bored or become overweight. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your indoor cat is continuously stimulated and healthy!


Scratching Posts
Cats love to scratch! Scratching posts help keep them stimulated so they are less likely to scratch furniture, people, or other belongings. You can buy or make your own scratching post. Remember that some cats prefer different materials including cardboard, rope, or sisal fabric. The scratching post should be sturdy so it doesn't fall over and tall enough that your cat can stretch his or her whole body while scratching. Scratching is a natural behaviour and it provides stimulation, exercise, and a means to reduce stress.



Toys
Having a variety of toys for your cat provides them with stimulation and endless hours of play. Remember to switch up the toys every once in a while to continue to stimulate them. Toys can include toy mice or birds, balls, sticks or string toys, or lasers. Playing with your cat on a daily basis keeps them stimulated and healthy! It is also beneficial for overweight cats to help them lose weight. 

Interactive Feeding
Cats love to hunt. Sometimes their indoor life gets too easy when the food just gets placed in front of them in a dish. Try getting or making a few interactive feeding toys or puzzle toys so they have to "hunt" for their food. You can buy a feeder toy that is filled with kibble and requires your cat to play with it and bat it around in order for the kibbles to fall out. This not only provides stimulation and a challenge, it also encourages exercise.



Training
Yes, cats can be trained too! Teaching your cat to sit or stay is not only a good trick for guests, it also provides stimulation for the cat. Some cats are food motivated, while others prefer a head pat or special toy.

Obstacle Courses
Keeping an indoor cat active can be a challenge. We often see indoor cats become overweight over time because of their lifestyle. One of the methods to prevent this is to keep your cat active and stimulated in an obstacle course. A series of boxes, climbable cat trees, and interactive toys provides your cat with fun stimulation. If your cat is hesitant about it, try adding a treat or some catnip to it.


Resting Areas
Sleeping, lounging, and resting are important parts to a cat's day. Cats love being on different levels in the home. Make sure to provide your cat with a variety of levels to rest and play on. Cat trees with a variety of levels provide this opportunity.  If possible, your cat will also enjoy being able to watch the birds and squirrels outdoors while lounging. Consider setting up a lounging area for your cat with a nice view of the wildlife outdoors! To help encourage wildlife in your backyard, consider putting up a bird feeder in the view so your cat can watch the birds from the comfort of their indoor home.




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