We hear often about dogs needing stimulation and playtime to keep unwanted behaviors at bay. Often dogs that are cooped up and not walked enough – or not played with enough – will develop bad habits like chewing, barking and even aggression in some of the worst cases. Cats are no different. As humans, we have domesticated an animal that hunts to survive and put them indoors only with food delivered regularly. That does not take away the instinct or drive a cat has to hunt prey.
The number one reason for cats to be surrendered to shelters and rescue organizations is behavior issues. These issues can range from not using the litter box to aggression towards humans and other animals – all issues that could be the product of boredom and easily solved with learning how to give your cat some ways to alleviate the boredom.
Here is a great blog post about aggression issues in cats from our friend, Jackson Galaxy, that might help define the issues you are having with your own cat: https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/aggression-in-cats
So short of stuffing our homes with mice for them to pursue – there are plenty of options out there for you to keep your cat entertained and lessen some of the unwanted behaviors cats can display (just like dogs) that make them difficult to live with! Here are a few we carry at our store:
Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Feeder -- https://docandphoebe.com/ -- we sell this awesome set that allows you to stuff a face “mouse” food contraption with your cat’s favorite food. Then you hide the stuffed mice around your house for your cat to find and devour. This gives the sensation of hunting and gives your cat a rewarding scavenger hunt.
Neko Flies Cat Toys -- http://www.nekoflies.com/ -- this is an interactive toy that consists of a wand with several different attachment options that mimic the movement of bugs and small birds to entertain your cat. The realistic movement of the attachments combined with the action of flying through the air – provides for hours of entertainment for you and your cat. We have heard our customers say that their cats will go and drag the wand out to encourage their owners to play with them.
Animated Cat Toys – battery operated toys that pop in and out or dance around on their own are an excellent source of entertainment for cats. The erratic movements and motion keep cats moving while engaging their instinct to chase and hunt.
Bergan Star Chaser Turbo Scratcher -- http://www.coastalpet.com/products/product/bts01.aspx?style=70128&color=D29&size=CAT – for the energetic cat this is a perfect product to get the cat crazies out! Sprinkle the refillable cardboard insert with some catnip to entice your cat to play.
Catnip, Honeysuckle and Silver Vine – if you have a cat that does not appear to enjoy catnip, never fear! Your cat is not abnormal. Here is some additional information from one of our favorite vets, Dr. Karen Becker. http://www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/why-doesnt-my-cat-like-catnip . If your cat is one that is not turned on by catnip you might try honeysuckle spray or silver vine to see if either of those interest your cat.