Spring fever definitely isn’t just for the dogs! For your cat, spring means more daylight for sunbathing, windows cracked open for the first time in months with interesting smells wafting in, and that is not even mentioning the return of very tempting wildlife - like birds and squirrels - to watch! If you’ve noticed your cat has been spending more time staring longingly out of the windows, basking belly up in a sunbeam, or even trying to sneak out the door with you, you aren’t alone!
While some cats have mastered indoor-outdoor living, many of our pets are safest when kept indoors. If your feline friend is feeling cooped up with spring fever, here are some tips to help!
Cats are natural born hunters, but modern cats don’t need to hunt to eat. However, they can still benefit from the mental stimulation of working for their food! Finding ways to make your cat search for, puzzle out, or otherwise earn their meals provides great benefits for weight loss, digestion, boredom busting, and even some behavioral issues!
- Use an interactive feeder! Interactive feeders and puzzle toys offer an exciting way for your cat to express natural hunting and problem-solving behaviors. This feeder from the Company of Animals prevents the cat from simply leaning down to munch their dinner; they have to use their paws to nudge and pull bites out from the maze!
- Teach your cat tricks! Cats can learn tricks just like dogs! Try starting with a “sit” by holding a treat directly above their nose, slightly out of reach. Once they have their butt planted, reward with a tasty snack! Make sure to use something your cat absolutely loves!
- Hide and seek! Who says you have to feed your cats in the same place every day? Hide small portions of their food in various spots around the house. Start with places they already frequent and let them watch you “hide” it. As they begin to understand the game, you can increase the difficulty!
Feed the Mind!
- Set up a bird feeder! Find a window that your cat loves to look out, and hang up a bird feeder. Within a few days, your cat will have live entertainment at all hours of the day!
- Stimulate the hunter within! Cat teaser wands are very effective interactive toys for many cats. Some favorites at the LBC are the feather wand from Da Bird and the Purrfect Leather Bouncer!
Enjoy the outdoors - safely!
Cats can learn to safely enjoy the outdoors.
- Build a catio! Some lucky cats have safe, secure enclosures attached to their houses so they can explore the outdoors without the dangers of roaming freely!
- Go for a walk! Cats can absolutely learn to walk on a harness and leash just like a dog. However, finding a SAFE and SECURE harness for your cat is essential. Cats can slip out of improperly fitted harnesses in the blink of an eye. We recommend the Come With Me Kitty harness, which is created with cats in mind and has cinching safety features to prevent wriggling out! Harness training is best started inside, working up to short trips out and eventually full walks!