The saying ‘cats have nine lives’ has been used since Ancient Egypt to describe how our feline friends are able to survive the situations that their curiosity leads them to. Fast forward 5000 years and they continue to be known for their inquisitive nature today – why else would they so often wind up stuck in trees!
In the wild, cats are driven by their instincts to survive and stay safe, so it is important for them to know everything about their environment – every hiding space, every safe space and every spot a predator or rival may hide in before an attack. Of course, curiosity seldom killed the housecat as they aren’t in danger in their own home. However, cats never lose their innate curiosity and explorative nature so it is important for owners to keep their cats’ minds stimulated in order to avoid stress and boredom.
Since you can easily get lost in the advice of the internet, we have made it incredibly simple and easy by compiling a concise list of ways to keep your cat stimulated mentally, as well as suggesting the best products to help!
Cats have active minds that thrive on challenges, so playtime is crucial for their mental and physical wellbeing. While it is fun for both you and your kitty, it is also incredibly important to help them learn and develop important survival skills, such as how to hunt their prey. Even for house-bound cats, their instinct to hunt will always exist, so we need to give them the opportunity to express such natural behaviours through playtime. It is recommended that you play with your cat for at least 10 minutes every day, while kittens and energetic cats will require more.
While those 10 minutes may be very rewarding for both you and your kitty, the remaining 23 hours and 50 minutes of the day may become incredibly boring for your curious cat as they are left to entertain themselves. So, this is where interactive toys come in…
In recent years, pet and toy experts have united to create some of best stimulating toys for cats that are both fun and satisfy their inquisitiveness. Among them is the Catit Senses Cat Play Circuit. This play circuit entertains while engaging your cat’s natural senses of touch, sound and sight, as well as their instincts to hunt and toy with their prey. The peek-a-boo track design draws cats in to move and paw a rolling ball. With its bright colours and movement, this is a toy that has been specifically designed to attract your cat’s attention, and is sure to provide them with many hours of fun. So, you can rest assured your kitty will be entertained while you can’t play with them!
Good Scratching Posts
Everyone knows that cats love scratching posts, but do many of us actually know why? Just like us humans, cats need to exercise and destress. A cat scratcher is the perfect solution for both. Without one, they can become wound up and act out of character, which may include scratching your furniture or carpets. A cat scratcher also acts as an important place for our feline friends to mark their territory, so will help to prevent your kitty urinating where they shouldn’t.
Psssttt… cat scratchers file down your cats claws for you too, meaning that you will need to clip their claws (or take them to the vets or groomers to do so) much less often! It’s a win-win!
But what is a ‘good’ scratching post? You want to choose one that is durable, sturdy and big enough for your cat; those are the three factors to keep in mind when choosing one.
A wonderfully durable choice is the versatile Arty Cat Scratcher by P.L.A.Y. which has been designed with the fiercest scratchers in mind, featuring multiple surfaces and angles to handle any cat’s needs. Moreover, its bold curved design separates into two pieces and can be used together or apart to provide more than one scratching outlet in your home.
Ticking the ‘big enough’ box twice is the MiaCara Volto Scratch Panel which is crafted from a sleek aluminium frame that can be screwed to the wall and fitted with a removable felt scratch panel. The smart design of this wall-fixed scratcher makes it tall enough for your cat to fully stretch his body up it for a great back stretch!
Hunting for Food
‘Look what the cat dragged in!’… We’ve all heard that expression before and an unfortunate bunch of us will have experienced it too, having discovered a mouse in the house. Such behaviours are perfect examples of innate predatory instincts which, even when they are given all the food they need, our pet cats continue to act upon.
In the wild, a cat would never be handed a plate of food by their mother; at least five times every day they would have to stalk, chase and capture their prey before they could eat. So, it is a great idea to stimulate your cat’s mind by playing into such hunting behaviours. Before you worry, we’re not going to recommend encouraging your cat to hunt live animals or the neighbour’s small pets –there’s a much easier way: the Catit Senses Cat Food Maze.
This brilliant food maze by Catit is a fun game for your cat that challenges them to move the food through a maze until it falls to the bottom where they can retrieve it. It can be used with treats for a tasty snack or with your cat’s dry food. The latter is a great way to feed greedy cats or kittens who often eat too quickly, thus promoting healthy digestion and avoids an upset stomach.