Cat playing in box

Boxes are a great way to enrich cats.

Did you know that cat enrichment is a great way to keep your cat happy and healthy?

Cats and their boxes, there’s no separating them! You have probably seen videos online where the owner gets his cat a shiny new toy, but rather than being interested in the shiny object, the cat plops his furry butt in the box the present came in.

Cats are pretty tactile. They love to be petted, but they like to seek novelty from something else when they don’t. This is where your cat enrichment ideas come in. You need to be creative and mindful with the toys you create or purchase to keep your cat entertained.

Here are five enrichment ideas to help save your cat from boredom:

1.     The Cardboard Box Castle

First up are the boxes, and you know why. Think of it as making a dollhouse; only this one is life-sized for your cat. Find a couple of boxes and join them together using non-toxic glue. Now cut out windows and doors for your feline to poke their head out. If you have the time, you can try painting the boxes in different colors and attaching toys in the cutouts to increase the level of engagement for your cat.

2.     Reach Feeder

Similar to feeder puzzles for dogs, this one for cats can be easily made at home. What you need are a couple of tissue paper rolls and a shoebox. Tape the lid of the shoebox shut and cut out holes in it large enough to fit your paper rolls. Insert the tissue paper rolls in the holes and add in a few treats. Encourage your cat to reach their paws in to pull out their food! At feeding time, instead of giving your cat food in his bowl, use this reach feeder to challenge and keep your cat enriched and occupied.

3.     Muffin Puzzle

A muffin puzzle allows your cat to work his brain and find what he loves most ― treats. It’s a pretty simple game where you add a few treats in some of the rounds of a muffin pan, cover them with toys, and let your cat find out which ones contain food.

4.     Scratch Mat

Cats love rolling around on textures. This is one of the reasons why you so often find yours rubbing his body all over the bath mat. Why not give him what he is asking? You can attach dozens of things to the mat — yarn strings, pom-poms, nail brushes, fake grass, etc. Get creative and experiment with all types of textures, but make sure none of your objects could injure your cat. Find your cat’s favorite kind of texture, and let us know how it goes!

5.     Ball Game

A cat’s favorite pastime is to bat around balls. Give your cat anything round, and you will see him start to roll it around between his paws. So, why not turn this into a game of hide-and-go-seek? Get a ripple rug for your cat and hide the balls in it. Your cat will have a great time sticking his head out of the holes and trying to figure out where to go to get to the ball.

There are plenty more cat enrichment ideas. However, we recommend you start with the simple ones. Cats can get frustrated if a game proves to be too challenging. So, start with something small and simple like the ideas mentioned above. If your cat is still having difficulties figuring their new toys out, spend some time playing with them by teaching them how to use their enrichment items! If all else fails, adding a small amount of catnip might help get their attention.

If you are having a hard time training your cat, get in touch with Dances with Dogs. They offer cat training in Miami for kittens as well as senior cats. You can opt for in-person training for individual attention or attend an online cat training class. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call 786-299-1552.