Visual enrichment for your cat
As more and more businesses reopen, and many of us return to work, it’s important to think about how this change will affect our pets. While we know most cats are quite self-sufficient, some need a bit more intentional visual enrichment to improve their comfort in your home.
The goal of enrichment is to improve the quality of life for your cat, increase their ability to successfully cope with daily stressors, and improve their sociability. One sensory form of enrichment is visual/sight. Here are a few visual aids you can use in your home as enrichment for your cat from our Shelter Health Pro website.
The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCA pro website.
There is ample anecdotal evidence that cats are drawn to windows that provide views of human or animal activity. Allowing your cat access to rooms with good window views can be very beneficial.
You can also create perches in certain rooms to increase the outdoor visibility for your cat. A shelf could simply be affixed to the wall at window height. Alternatively, a suction cup cat perch could be suctioned to the window itself to give cats an interesting view.
TV screens and monitors
When you’re away from home during the day, a television screen can also provide visual stimulation for your cat. Keep in mind, some visual stimulation may be better than others, for example, virtual aquariums or birds.
Visually stimulating items such as perpetual motion toys, mobiles, fish tanks or bird feeders outside a window can be placed outside of cat cages to provide visual interest.
Bird feeder outside window
This is an easy one to try! Simply hang a bird feeder outside your cat’s favourite window so they can enjoy the bird activity. Avoid suction cup bird feeders where cats could pounce at the window and frighten the birds or injury themselves.
For more great tips to give your cat visual enrichment, and more – visit our Shelter Health Pro website.
Shelter Health Pro
Shelterhealthpro.com is a free online resource created by the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society to give both shelter professionals and pet owners the tools and information they need to help keep the animals in their care physically, mentally and emotionally healthy.
If you have an animal at home or work with animals, you owe it to them to visit shelterhealthpro.com. Caregivers will have access to the tools needed to keep shelter animals happier and healthier to increase their chance of adoption, and we’re helping pet owners prevent and modify behavioural issues to help keep animals with their families.
Hats off to you
To all kind-hearted and hard-working people at SPCA: hats off to you. I love animals and admire the work you do.