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Enriching Your Cat’s Life

 

ASPCA logo Free-ranging and feral cats lead complex and busy lives. They maintain large territories that often contain a variety of habitats (forest, farmland, urban gardens, etc.). They explore, they hunt, they scavenge for food, and they might interact with other cats. In contrast, household cats, especially those who live exclusively indoors, have little to do and boredom may set in.

Even if you don’t think that your cat seems bored, there are a number of good reasons to provide enrichment opportunities for your feline friend.

  • Cats who lack enrichment can be aggressive in play, both with people and with other animals in the household.
  • Young cats without planned enrichment opportunities often pester their pet parents for play at inappropriate hours of the day and night. They may also interact destructively with furniture, plants or other objects in the house.
  • Cats lacking enrichment can become reclusive and are more likely to retreat from new people or objects that enter their homes than cats who are frequently exposed to a variety new sights and sounds.
  • Cats lacking regular play may be more attracted to perches by windows. When looking outside, they may overreact to the presence of outdoor cats they can see and become very distressed.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist

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