Deer Run Animal Hospital

308 E. US Hwy 30
Schererville, IN 46375

(219)864-7180

deerrunanimalhospital.com

FELINE ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT

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Or how to make your baby feel at home!

 

Feline Environmental Enrichment helps our cats relieve stress and enjoy their lives.  The benefits are immense and will help increase the bond you and your kitty share as well as minimize health and behavioral risks.  Enriching the environment for our feline companions means providing RESOURCES, RESOURCES, RESOURCES! 

 

This means lots of litter boxes, offering multiple feeding and watering stations throughout the house, providing lots of heights and levels for perching, as well as secluded areas that provide privacy and refuge. Frequently present new toys that stimulate and satisfy your cat's prey drive and rotate your toys in and out of use so your kitty does not become bored.

 

What Cat Owner's Can Learn About Captivity 
Learn how enrichment helps to keep cats healthy

 

Environmental Enrichment for Cats
An article by Veterinary Behaviorist, Dr. Lisa Radosta

 

Enrich your Cat's Life with lots of play!  Here are some simple Ideas

1.  Cats love boxes and paper bags. Put some out and let you cat jump in to find treat surprises or to play hide and seek.
     Click to Learn Why and How Do Cat's Like Boxes? 
                            And more on Why Do Cats Like Boxes?! 


2. If you are really ambitious, use boxes to build a "Rufus Tower"!


3.  Cats love to chase things, simple household items can be tossed like crumpled up paper. 


4.  Toss in a ping pong ball into a dry bath tub for some Kitty Hockey playing!


5.  Toss kibbles one at a time down a hallway or the stairs, and get her to run up and down and back and forth to eat them


6.  Throw away your cat's food bowl and use Food Toys to feed your cat instead.


7.  Learn how to Make Catnip Soup!   Or make Catnip Marinade by placing soft fuzzy toys in container with catnip to “marinate”. You can do this as often as needed to refresh  the scent. This can be financially helpful because you won’t have to buy new toys as often.

 

8.  If you have an IPad, Search the Apple APP store and download a free interactive IPad Cat game such as Friskies JitterBug or Friskies Cat Fishing!

 

9.  Provide safe outdoors exploration by Teaching Your Cat to Walk on a Leash

 

10.  Bring the outdoors in!  Bring in tree branches, rocks, leaves, things from the outdoors to pique their senses. Try hiding treats around or under these       items for extra fun, or fill a box with leaves and throw a handful of treats in for your cat to forage

 

11.   Five-FREE-or-darn-close Feline Enrichment Ideas!  Great Ideas for use in Shelters by the ASPCA but great ideas for our homes too!


12.  Have a kitty keeping you up late at night?  Here is our Handout on Feline Nocturnal Behavior.  Read this one online to access additional Internet resources.

 

13.  Clicker Training Cats!  Keeping indoor cats happy and fulfilled is more than just adapting their environment, try engaging their mind through                        the magic of Clicker Training!!  For even more ideas about clicker training check out the library at Karen Pryor's Clickertraining.com



14. Brush and Groom your kitty!  Use clicker training to teach your cat to love brushing here are some Step by Step Instructions on Teaching a Cat to Love Being Groomed


15. Provide your kitty with some Cat-A-Vision!  Play some bugs & birds buzzing & chirping with YouTube videos such as Winter Birds: Entertainment for Cats or Kittyshow.com DVDs

 

 

 

 


LEARN MORE ABOUT WAYS TO ENRICH THE ENVIRONMENT FROM THESE LINKS AND RESOURCES: 

 

For a great overview of living with multiple cats check out this article: 
10 Commandments of Multicat Household Management

 

 

Keeping Indoor Cats Healthy: Tips and techniques for preventing stress-related health problems A great video from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine featuring Dr. Tony Buffington!  Take a tour through and average house as Dr.Buffington describes how to set your home up for success for your cat's happiness!


Indoor Pet Initiative for Cat Owners This is the link to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine site for the Indoor Pet Initiative.  It has many tips on how to reduce stress in the life of indoor cats.  We feel that many feline diseases are caused or worsened by stress.  Reducing stress in your cat's life can keep him happier and healthier!

 

What Indoor Cats Need  From The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Feline Indoor Initiative Site above,  this is a link to a great handout on What Indoor Cats Need.  It has lots of tips on how to keep your feline companion stress free!!  Decreased stress makes for a healthier kitty!



Feline advoCATe  A great website full of enrichment ideas!

 

Vertical Height Space for Cats?  What is that all about?  See it here from the Fundamentally Feline Website!


Environmental Enrichment Ideas  a link to Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Lore Haug's Texas Veterinary Behavior Services website

 

Wonderful Environmental Enrichment Ideas from the Fundamentally Feline Website

 

Nine Strategies for Enhancing Enrichment


Why Can't We All Just Get Along  Did you know cats prefer to be solitary feeders?  Changing the way this household of cats were fed reduced stress, tension and fighting amongst housemates.



Whisker Stress: Does Your Cat Have It?  Have you thought about your cat's food bowl? 


The Cat Friendly Home Great tips from Europe's International Cat Care Website on how to make a cat friendly home.

 

Building Cat Shelves for Your Home Cats are meant to climb!  It is important to provide opportunities for climbing and perching.  The Moderncat.net website has ideas on how to build cat climbing shelves for your home.

 

Cat Shelving...helps all cats to get along!

 

"CATIFICATION"  means doing creative Do-It-Yourself Projects to build an incredible world of fun inside your home.  The Moderncat.net website has many ideas!



Environmental Enrichment & Why Does Your Cat Need It! From the Cat Behavior Associates website and Certified Cat Behavior Consultant Pam Johnson-Bennett.

 

Hauspanther.com Cat products, cat toys, cat furniture!  For unique products and ideas  to enrich your cats environment check out this website!

 

Cat Bed and Toy.com  Enrich your cat's environment with cat trees and scratching posts.  Check out this website for some great examples.

 

www.cat-power-tower.com/ Another great example of a cat tree that will bring lots of fun to your feline family!

 

 

Below are several links to more great cat toy companies:


Catsplay.com  

 

CatDancer.com

 

Nekoflies Cat Toys

Hex Bug Cat Toys

 

 www.kongcompany Active Toys for Cats  



 

Enrichment for Household Cats Part 1 from the Best Friends Society

 

Enrichment for Household Cats, Part 2  More ideas from the Best Friends Society

 

Feliway for Cats Cats communicates through smell much more than people do. Feliway Pheromone therapy comforts cats in their own language! Feliway is available at Deer Run Animal Hospital.

 

Frequenty Asked Questions About Feliway


Measure Your Cat's Stress Risk Level  Try Feliway's Cat Stress Risk Barometer to evaluate your cat's stress level.

 

Feline Introductions  Thinking about adding a new feline friend to your household?  Click here to help smooth the introduction.

 

Feline Scratching Behavior 

 

10 Tips for Improving Litter Box Appeal

10 Tips for Improving Litter Box Appeal


Litter Box Woes  Is your kitty missing the litter box?  Click for our web page full of help!

 

Cats Love Food Toys Stimulate your cat's natural prey drive, use food toys!

 

Play & Squeak Prey Toys Bring the wild inside with these realistic prey toys. Our cats play with these for hours!  All toys feature an electronic sound module that produces the amazingly realistic RealMouse™ sound - a "squeak" that is the same frequency and loudness as a real mouse! We love the Mouse Hunter!  It is so looked & sounded so realistic that it had us jumping on chairs and squealing thinking our cats had caught a live mouse.  Truly satisfies the prey drive of your indoor "Tiger"! (always supervise small toys to make sure small parts are not being consumed, throw away and replace if they are being torn apart)



Frolicat Toys For fun exercise for your cat with amazing automated laser toys and much more! IMPORTANT TIP--When playing with cats with any laser toy, it is important to end the session by letting them actually catch a prey toy like a toy mouse, or stuffed animal so that your cat does not feel frustrated by not being able to catch the laser spot!!  Have a few treats scattered about and end the play sesson with the laser light landing on a treat for your cat to "capture" and enjoy!

 

Cats & WaterTips to encourage your cats to drink more water for their health with these tips!

 

Prevent a Great Escape How to keep your cat safe indoors and avert escape-artist behavior

 

 

HOW TO MAKE THE OUTDOOR FELINE SAFE!

Most cats can enjoy indoor living if we work hard enough to provide sunny sleeping spots, interactive toys, scratching posts, clean flowing water and a clean litter box. Enrichment goes a long way, but the...re are some kitties that will still jet out the door no matter how hard you work to make indoor life pleasing. For these owners, the University of California at Davis Veterinary Behavior Department offers  the following ideas to make the outdoors safe, while making your cat happy:


  1.  Build a Catio: A screened in area, be it a porch or back portion of your house. This may entail a lot of effort, but for DYI enthusiasts it’ll be great fun: http://catiodesigns.com/sales.php   For more ideas Best Friends Society Handout on CATIOS

    2. Portable cat area: There are various models of outdoor kitty pop-up mesh tents. Some are very simple and inexpensive, while others are full on condos: http://www.wildwhiskers.com/ or www.kittywalk.com.

    3. Get cat-friendly fencing for your backyard. This isn’t cheap, but is terrific for keeping cats within your yard and other cats out: http://www.purrfectfence.com/

    4. Get a regular cat cage and convert it into an outdoor adventure area: http://www.catsondeck.com./

    5. Teach your cat to wear a harness and walk him! This is NOT to be done as a tie out. It will take some training, but in the end your pet will get the opportunity for a low-cost stroll outside. http://www.kittyholster.com/ or http://store.petsafe.net/come-with-me-kitty-harness-and-bungee-leash

    6. Take a walk with a kitty stroller!

 


C & D Pet Products a great source for cat trees, scratching posts, and safe outdoor cat enclosures.  Great products to enrich the feline environment.

Just4Cats

Purr...fect Fence for Cat Enclosures and Cat Fences to give your cat a taste of the outdoors while remaining safe