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Importance of enrichment for cats

In an indoor setup, cats can do their thing and show off their natural behaviors like scratching, chewing, and playing. But sometimes, these behaviors can annoy their owners when they target precious household items like plants, furniture, and decorations. To avoid any frustration, it's best to give them appealing stuff that's appropriate for their needs. Scratching is not only about maintaining claw health but also a way for cats to mark their territory visually and with pheromones. Different cats prefer different scratching surfaces. Some dig sisal-covered posts or real bark-covered logs because they can hook their claws into them. Cats tend to scratch on tall objects in places they hang out often. They also scratch more after resting or napping. So, it's a good idea to put scratching posts in frequently visited areas and close to their favorite lounging spots.
When you adopt a cat, enriched environment is beneficial as it helps them to feel safe in the new home. Each of our fosters in Prague gets a set of items for a cat to get mental and physical stimulation they need.
As for unwanted chewing, you can offer cat-safe plants and grasses to divert their attention. Live plants and fresh catnip are two popular choices. You can make these "cat plants" more appealing by rubbing them with tuna juice or wet cat food. Other plants should be kept separate from the cat's main hangouts or sprayed with bitter-tasting solution to discourage chewing. If there are toxic plants around, it's best to remove them from your home or keep them in a secure room where the cat can't access. If your cat enjoys chewing, you can give them moistened chews, dried fish, or beef/poultry jerky, as well as Matatabi sticks
Having suitable outlets for play is crucial for enriching your cat's life. Play behaviors in cats are all about their natural predatory instincts, like stalking, chasing, pouncing, and biting. They also love playing with objects they can grab, toss in the air, and pounce on. To keep things safe, use toys that keep some distance between you and your cat. Avoid encouraging play and biting with your hands and feet because it may lead to play-related aggression issues. Good toy options include wand toys, battery-operated toys that mimic prey, balls in a box or bathtub, catnip-filled toys. If you play the light-beam game, always follow it up with a treat or toy to reward your cat for the "hunt" and prevent frustration. Rotate toys every few days to keep things interesting. Window perches for wildlife-watching and cat-oriented viděla on YouTube can also be fun and enriching for your feline friend.

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