Environmental Enrichment

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Cat imageYour home is your cat’s haven. Just like any family member, a cat needs a healthy living environment that allows for room to grow, to play, and most importantly, to thrive. Creating an enriched environment for your senior cat can increase activity and mental stimulation, and reduces potential behavior problems.

Give your cat some (vertical) space. This gives your cat greater overall space to move and climb about, and provides the perfect place for items such as cat trees that give your senior cat plenty of places to hide, stretch or hang out.

Scratch a post off your list. Scratching posts offer an outlet for your cat to let loose. Plus, it should prolong the life of your furniture! Make sure your senior cat’s scratching post is sturdy and made from cat-friendly materials such as wood, sisal rope or rough fabric. Place it next to a window, your cat’s sleeping area or another popular spot where your cat can be a cat.

Join in the chase. Cats absolutely love to stalk and hunt. And if you have just one cat in your household, it is especially important to engage in games and activities that allow your cat the ability to chase and move about. In fact, studies show the most popular cat toys are ones that involve human interaction.

Be a good companion. Because cats are social animals, it is important to give your senior cat plenty of companionship and mental stimulation. Gentle petting, stroking, grooming and playing are all encouraged. If your cat is alone for large parts of the day, you may want to add another cat to the household to help fill the companionship void. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before making your decision.

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