6 Tips For Helping Your Cat Stay Mentally Stimulated

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on October 26, 2017

Every cat parent knows that mental and physical stimulation is imperative for cats to live their happiest, healthiest (nine) lives. Cats are very instinctual creatures, so it’s important for them to be able to tap into their primal side. But sometimes, it’s helpful for us humans to have new ideas on how to entertain our kitties and keep things interesting!

Below are 6 tips to help keep your cat mentally stimulated.

1. Try Training

We get it: many cats aren’t as eager to learn tricks as dogs can be. But that doesn’t mean they can’t! If the reward is high enough – say, a special treat, or those chin scratches that they beg for – you may be surprised at what you can teach your kitty to do!

2. Incorporate Puzzle Feeders

These clever gadgets allow your felines to “hunt” for their food, something they’re naturally driven to do. Puzzle feeders are great for three reasons: they help tap into your kitty’s primal instincts, they can entertain themselves when you’re not around, and you can even make one yourself!

Watch a how-to video below:

3. Explore The Great Outdoors – In Safety!

Does your cat stare yearningly out the window day in and day out, but you’re too afraid to let them roam? Maybe it’s time to try taking her for a stroll with a harness and leash. Just remember to practice with the walking gear inside before venturing out the door… some cats don’t react well to it!

If you’re really committed to your feline’s love of fresh air, consider adding a catio to your home! Either of these ideas will keep your cat happily occupied while savoring the nature around them.

4. …Or Let Them Enjoy It From Inside

If neither of the above options are possible for you and your furry explorer, make windows as easily accessible as possible. Add perches in your windows so your kitty can easily observe the outside world – it’s like feline television!

Image Source: Oster via Amazon

5. Play “Chasing” Games

As mentioned earlier, our favorite household hunters love to chase, pounce, and capture! That’s why you should always have some sort of fun-moving gadget in your feline’s toy box. Try one with feathers, which is reminiscent of your cat’s natural prey: birds!

Flexible Feather Wand With Bells Cat Toy, $5.99. Each purchase provides a toy for a shelter cat through Project Play™.

6. Give ‘Em Catnip

One surefire way to keep the feline fun going is by offering Kitty a toy filled with fresh catnip! While not all cats are affected by the stuff, the ones that are always seem to have a ball when they’re playing with this herb.

Catnip Filled Sushi Box Cat Toys (9 Pieces), $19.99. Each purchase provides a toy for a shelter cat through Project Play™.

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