Just like people, cats are living, breathing, thinking and feeling animals. Their thoughts and emotions may not be as complex as ours, but they still need to exercise their minds. Putting effort toward your cat’s physical health through exercise is great and necessary, but channeling your cat’s mind is just as important.
If your cat is bored you’re going to find out very quickly. Cat that lack mental stimulation are often ill-behaved. They need an outlet for their minds and if they aren’t provided an appropriate resource, they’re going to come up with their own. This often means scratching furniture, destroying household items like curtains and blinds and even hunting more small animals.
There are many different ways to employ your cat’s mind. Playing with your cat is an excellent way to offer both mental and physical exercise. Cats enjoy playing and spending time with their owners, and the more games you can come up with the better. There are also toys made for cats that don’t need human interaction. These automated toys will keep your cat’s mental wheels turning for hours. There are also toys that can be stuffed with food or catnip for your cat to play with for extended periods. It takes some thinking to figure out how to get the goods out of these toys, so your cat will definitely be pre-occupied. Remember to always switch up toys so your cat doesn’t get bored of any of them and are always playing with something new.
Another thing cat owners are picking up on is training. Training has long been a dog-related activity, but cats can learn tricks too! In fact, basic clicker training for your cat’s favorite treats is a great way to work your kitty’s mind. There are plenty of articles and videos about teaching your cat tricks and training is guaranteed to be fun for both of you. Consider it a bonding activity that exercise both of your minds!
Mental stimulation is important. A bored cat is an unhappy cat that is usually in some sort of trouble. This isn’t good for anyone in the home, including the cat! Take the time to make sure your kitty has enough mental exercise and be sure to switch up the mind games you play to keep everything feeling new and fresh. Many cats are relinquished to shelters due to bad behavior, when really they weren’t bad cats at all. Many of them just needed more mental stimulation in their lives. Remember that health comes in both body and mind, and the right amount of exercise is going to make a world of difference in both of your lives.