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Just like dogs, cats also need mental stimulation. Outdoor cats automatically get this mental stimulation by constantly having to deal with many different things such as other cats, dogs, foxes, cats, mice, traffic, people, avoiding dangerous things, living out hunting instincts, etc. The mental stimuli in this blog therefore only applies to indoor cats who do not have the same daily challenges and get the same impressions as outdoor cats. For indoor cats, it is up to the owner to give the cat this mental stimulation compared to outdoor cats who manage it themselves.
How do you stimulate your cat mentally?
Scratching boards are absolutely essential for indoor cats, as they do not have the opportunity to scratch trees etc. in nature as outdoor cats. There are a lot of different types on the market, but a stylish scratching panel that is mounted on the wall will fit nicely into any home with a cat.
It is the cat's nature to jump and jump, among other things to get away from dangers, but also to sit and observe small prey and keep a lookout. Therefore, make sure that your cat has the opportunity to jump up to a high place. Some cats find themselves on tables and cupboards, but every cat will be happy to have its very own spot where it is meant to be and where it may have a bed.
For example, a scratching board can be combined into tall, attractive scratching furniture where the cat has its own place to sleep and sit. Some people also go the extra step for the cat and have "cat-friendly" shelves mounted on the wall at different levels so that the cat can jump from one level to the other. By having its own place raised from the floor, the cat is stimulated to jump and balance.
Since the cat is a predator with still strong hunting instincts, it is important to stimulate these instincts, even if the cat is kept as an indoor cat. The indoor cat's hunting instinct can be stimulated using different forms of movement with toys. For example, toy mice, toys/fishing sticks, pompoms on strings, small balls, small scratch animals, etc.
At Petlux, you will find many different types of cat toys of the highest quality, which are guaranteed to give both you and your cat a lot of fun. When you play with your cat and stimulate its hunting instinct, you also ensure that it gets to touch and move, which is important to bear in mind for indoor cats, who do not get the same amount of exercise as outdoor cats.
You can also give your cat different tasks to complete in order to get food or treats. Just as there are activity balls for dogs that are filled with treats, there are similar ones for cats. These balls are filled with dry food/dry treats and then the cat has to roll them around so that the food falls out. This kind of ball stimulates both the nose and the brain and ensures that the cat does not lie still. You can also play the classic turning game with the cat, where the cat has to turn over a plastic cup to get the treat.
In addition, you can be creative with things that are already in the home such as paper bags, empty toilet paper/kitchen rolls, cardboard boxes, shoe boxes etc. It is only your imagination that sets the limits and if you only think that the cat's nature is to jump, hide and move, you can come up with a sea of fun games.
Agility tunnels for cats for indoor use are also a big hit with most cats, as cats love to hide and have to move through narrow passages. You can build dens for your cat in areas of the home such as in corners, under beds, at the bottom of cupboards (if it is always open so the cat does not risk being locked in) etc.
So it's about being a bit creative and remembering that the cat's nature is to move, hide, jump and jump and chase. The more the cat has the opportunity to exercise these instincts, the better it thrives.
A mentally stimulated cat is a happy cat.