Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 7, 2023 by Crystal Uys
Environmental enrichment for cats has become the hot topic in the cat world in recent years – and that’s a really good thing.
At their core, cats are wild animals. When we invite them to share our lives and homes, we can’t expect them to completely give up all their natural instincts. We have to look at our living space from the cat’s point of view and provide an environment that satisfied those instincts.
Creating an environment that stimulates your cats’ senses and gives them opportunities to exercise their natural instincts is especially important for indoor cats. Cats need to have plenty of toys, places to hide, places to climb and perch, and things to watch. All of these needs can be met with environmental enrichment.
Each cat is an individual
Unfortunately, what occasionally gets lost in all the books and articles about and products designed for environmental enrichment is the fact that each cat is an individual with a unique personality.
Our friends at Summer’s Fabulous Cat Life put it purrfectly in their article Cat Enrichment is Not One Size Fits All! Here is What to Consider: “If you believe everything you read, you need to harness and leash train your cat, invest in cat strollers and elaborate cat trees, grow your own catnip and cat grass, and install an interactive cam so you can watch your cat, dispense treats, and play with them, all while you’re away. It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? And the truth is, much of it is unnecessary, and some of it isn’t even right for your cat.”
What concerns me is that some cat parents may feel that they can’t possibly live up to these expectations and that they may end up feeling guilty for not doing everything the books and articles suggest, despite evidence that their cats are purrfectly happy and well adjusted.
I encourage you to read Cat Enrichment is Not One Size Fits All! Here is What to Consider.
We all want to give our cats the best possible life, and the more information we have to make that happen, the better. After all, that’s why I do what I do here on The Conscious Cat! But ultimately, you know your cat better than anyone else. By learning as much as you can, and taking your cat’s unique personality into account, you will make the best decisions for your cat’s well being.
Featured Image Credit: Madalyn Cox, Unsplash
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.