We've already told you how important brain training is for dogs, but did you know the same applies to cats too? Again, you need to forget buying your cat a jigsaw or a puzzle book because while cats are clever animals, that just isn't the right way to stimulate them, so what is?
Cats instincts are to stalk and hunt prey, and they need to be street smart to hide and escape from predators but because your cats are well looked after, and they know where their next meal is coming from - your kitchen, then they don't practice these skills enough, and you might find that your cat is simply bored or frustrated which can lead to behavioural problems. Giving your cat stuff to do will make them a lot happier, so here are a few ideas to get you going.
Foraging for food
Foraging for food appeals to cats' natural instincts and what their natural lifestyle sequence is which is basically, hunting, stalking, playing with their prey, killing it, eating it, grooming themselves, and then sleeping and making them work for their meals is something that they love to do. You could do this by moving the food bowls around the house and to hide them in different areas or try puzzle feeders or make your own by poking holes in a cardboard box, put food inside, and close the lid and leave the cat to figure it out.
Making an obstacle course for your cat can be fun for you too, and you can do this with things you already have in the house. Use a toy your cat loves and put it on a stool so that your cat has to jump up for it, then keep moving it around to get your cat to chase it. See if you can find or make tunnels or hoops for them to run through as your cat becomes used to playing these games.
Many cats are fascinated by water so try something simple like filling up your sink and putting marbles at the bottom and ping-pong balls at the top, or perhaps some of your children's bath toys. They won't find it easy to get these toys out, but they'll have a lot of fun trying, and it will certainly keep them busy.
Move Their Things
Moving some of your cat's furniture around can be stimulating, and it can make it seem new and fun again. Even try hiding their toys around, and when they discover them, they'll be excited as if they have a new toy again.
As well as traditional interactive games you can buy for cats you can now get cat game apps which will keep them busy. However, they are a little frustrating because they never get to catch anything in the end. If you're going to try these games, make sure you finish the game with a toy that they can catch so they feel like they've actually won something.