Sight/Visual

close up of orange cat face

The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCA pro website.

Windows  cat icon

There is ample anecdotal evidence that cats are drawn to windows that provide views of human or animal activity.

When applicable, banks of cages should be turned to face windows instead of having their backs to them. Cats should also be placed in upper cages, when available, so that they have a better view out the window.

In communal cat rooms, it would be ideal to have perches to increase the outdoor visibility for the cats. 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.

light bulb iconNatural light helps support normal circadian rhythms. When building plans or renovations of an animal centre are being discussed, it is important to remember to have appropriately placed windows in every cat room.

cat hammock on window

TV Screens and Video Monitors  cat icon

The following has been adapted from material on the ASPCA pro website

cat looking at tv screen

Some animal centres use television screens to provide visual stimulation to cats. If you choose to try visual enrichment via televisions or other media, be aware that the animal centre is already a very stimulating environment and adding some types of visual stimulation are 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.

Bubbles  cat icon

Bubbles are a fantastic and inexpensive way to entice your cats to stalk and hunt. This can be as entertaining for the staff member or volunteer as it is for the cats. You can use a handheld bubble blower, or invest in a bubble machine. Be sure to use non-toxic soap for the solution, bubble machine, or handheld bubble maker.

cat playing with bubbles

Bird Feeder Outside Window  cat icon

Simply hang a bird feeder outside the window so that cats can enjoy the bird activity. Avoid suction cup bird feeders in a communal cat room where cats could pounce at the window and frighten the birds or injury themselves.

cat in cage looking out window

Mobiles  cat icon

mobile for cat enrichment

After the room has been cleaned and disinfected, a mobile can either be hung from a hook on the ceiling or placed on the floor. It should be left for a specific amount of time and then removed. If left there permanently, the cats will become desensitized to it and it will no longer have the same enrichment benefits.

Laser Pointers  cat icon

Laser pointers can be a great source of fun when used correctly. Never shine the laser pointer directly at the cat to avoid eye damage.

Remember that it can be a frustrating experience for the cat to continually chase something he can never catch. Try adding a treat reward periodically where you point the laser. This will give the cat the satisfaction of getting something for all his efforts in chasing that red dot.

Fish Aquariums  cat icon
A fish aquarium in a cat room can be visually attractive to watch as there is constant movement within the tank — whether it is the fish swimming or the oxygen bubbles floating upwards.
Fishing Rod with a Toy on the End  cat icon

Cast the line into the room and then reel it back. This can be done several times and does not require entering the room at all, which can be especially helpful in the case of isolation rooms.


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