In the Cage

Here are several inexpensive enrichment ideas to incorporate within a cat’s cage:

cat playing with cat tower

Scratching Posts or Pads

Scratching posts/pads are important to cats for scent marking and stretching, as well as for grooming their claws. The scratching pad must be placed at a height where cats can stand on their hind legs and get a complete stretch in their back when scratching. In smaller enclosures a smaller (usually cardboard) scratcher can be attached to the cage door.

Purchase inexpensive cardboard scratching pads and tie them to the front of the cage using twist ties. You can also tie carpet remnants to the front of the cage using plastic zip ties.

Treat Balls/Treat Toys

Treat balls can be filled with dried liver bits or other highly desirable cat treats. Use of these balls or toys requires monitoring by staff to ensure special dietary needs are not compromised.

Hide and Seek Paper Bag

Use large cat-sized paper bags, with a toy or treat inside to encourage the cat to play hide and seek.

Tissue Paper(or Newspaper)

Cats enjoy playing with crinkled up paper. Staff can wad up the tissue paper into a loose ball and throw it in their cage.

Wine Corks/Bottle Caps

These make wonderful roll and swat toys. Remove them if they become damaged or fragmented.


These also make a fantastic roll and swat toys.

Plastic Easter Eggs

This enrichment item can function as a roll and swat toy. You can also unscrew one half, smear a small amount of wet food on the inside rim, and the toy becomes a treat.

Pipe Cleaners

Tie them to the front of the kennel for the cat to use as a swat toy.

Toilet and Paper Towel Rolls

These can be cut into smaller sections (2-3 inches) and also make great roll and swat toys for the cats.

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