Our cat Coco loves all things shadow and light. We have fancy cat lures with feathers, and fake mice for her to chase and fling, but they fail to hold her attention long. Coco's main love and focus has always been shadows and light. In the afternoon she’ll spend hours watching the shadows on the wall curve as the sun makes its way across the sky, and at night a single beam of light reflecting from a cell phone on to the wall is enough to peak her interest and stir her in to action.
One day I thought I’d try something new and a bit out of the box: I ordered a small (4" diameter) disco ball and hung it from the ceiling. And guess what? She LOVES it! All it takes is a slight spin of the ball and suddenly the room is filled with sparkling light, a cosmos of stars whirling around the room. Feline heaven!
TIP: In case of grey skies, use a flashlight.
If your cat also loves shadow and light, give this little disco ball a try.
Amazon sells quite a few different varieties. We bought the 4" disco ball by Rhode Island for about $6 at www.amazon.com.
If your cat starts acting out in negative ways by meowing more than usual or at unusual times, begins urinating outside of the litter box, or starts to tear up your furniture or carpet, you may have a feline in need of enrichment.*
For many cat owners, space is a premium, and for those of us in sunny SoCal where coyotes freely roam the streets at night, outdoor exploration is also limited, making it all the more important that we give our feline friends opportunities to stimulate their brains in new and exciting ways.
What's feline enrichment?
Simply put, it's play and stimulation that allows a cat to express its curiosity and natural hunting behaviors.
Pet stores sell puzzles or toys for both dogs and cats, but here’s the good news: You can make your own enrichment activity at almost no cost, and it’s really easy!
To get started, all you need is an empty water bottle, a pair of scissors, and some kibble or treats. Simply cut out one or two small holes in the water bottle, making sure that the holes are just big enough to let the food fall out. Then add the food and screw back on the top. Then place on the floor and let your cats at it. In no time at all they’ll by pushing the bottle around, releasing treats as it rolls.
Did you know that the ASPCA website has a resource library full of training tips and techniques? And did I mention that it’s totally free! Click here to access the ASPCA’s free library: http://aspcapro.org/resource-library.
Best Friends also have some great information about cat enrichment here: http://bestfriends.org/resources/cat-enrichment.
*I strongly recommend that you first visit your veterinarian to rule out any possible medical (physical/physiological) causes for unusual or unwanted behavior.