How to Keep Your Indoor Cat Stimulated

January 25, 2019 8:34 pm Published by

Traditionally, cats were predatory creatures that lived outside. They chased and hunted prey to survive, which kept them physically and mentally stimulated throughout the day. Now, many household cats are kept strictly indoors. While indoor cats are generally safer from potential threats outside, they also can get quite bored. And when cats are bored, they can start to whine or even destroy things.

Many cat owners ask the team at our cat care clinic in Alexandria, VA how to keep their indoor cats stimulated. The answer is actually pretty easy. Cats are naturally curious animals, and all it takes is a little attention and care to keep them physically and mentally active:

  • Purchase or build a cat tree: Cats love to climb. This preference is due to their biological instincts, where a cat high up in a tree is safe from predators on the ground. Climbing and leaping from one high place to another is a great way for your cat to exercise its body and mind. Cat trees with different levels can help with this. So can cat shelves or perches that attach to sliding glass doors or windows.
  • Play with it: One of the simplest and easiest ways to stimulate your indoor cat is by playing with them with toys. Feathers on strings, plush animal toys and balls with bells are great choices for tossing around and teasing your cat with. Since cats are predatory by nature, they love being able to “stalk” and “attack” toys. Be sure to switch up the toys every so often so your cat doesn’t get bored. Many cats also love to chase around the light from a laser pointer or flashlight. By dancing the light up your walls and across the carpet, you can entertain a cat all day!
  • Install a scratching post: Many cat owners don’t declaw their cats, but hate the idea of letting their cat scratch up the furniture. To prevent scratching while simultaneously giving your cat some stimulation, buy a scratching post (or a few!) to place around your home. Cats like to go up and sharpen their claws against the posts, and the posts also offer good stress relief.
  • Clear a window: If you have a bird feeder or other device attractive to outdoor animals that is able to be seen from a window, clear the window sill or create a perch for your cat to sit on. By doing this, you allow your cat to hang out and watch the birds and other happenings within your backyard, which stimulates its brain. Many cats could sit for hours watching birds fly to and from a feeder and be perfectly happy.
  • Give a little TLC: While cats can be fiercely independent, most do enjoy bonding with their human companions. Take time out of your day to brush your cat and pet it to show it love and care. While this is relaxing and not as mentally stimulating as some other activities, it will help you and your cat bond, which is important for all cat owners and their pets.

In addition to providing hours of mental and physical stimulation, you can show your cat even more love by getting them a routine wellness exam at a cat care clinic in Alexandria, VA. Kingstowne Cat Clinic offers wellness exams, surgery, dentistry, vaccinations and acupuncture for your feline friends, as well as a variety of cat care products and accessories.

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