Posts Tagged ‘food puzzles’

Your cat has a good life — no doubt about it! Here are two things you can do today to make your cat’s life even better:

Find the perfect scratching post. Cats are naturally wired to scratch objects in their environment — even declawed cats exhibit this behavior.

Scratching serves several purposes, according to feline practitioner Dr. Elizabeth Colleran: “visual signaling [to other cats], conditioning of claws, scent signaling with sebaceous glands of the feet, and stretching.” In short: cats scratch objects because it is good for them. But it’s not so good for your furniture, so finding the right scratching post will help keep the peace.

Look for a scratching post that is taller than your cat when she is stretched to full height, for vertical scratching and stretching; also look for a post that has “scratchable” material as the base, since some cats scratch horizontally. Be sure to either secure the post or look for one that your cat can’t pull over. Place the post (or multiple posts) in your cat’s favorite areas of the house. Reward your cat for using the scratching post (or lure him to it) with treats. [Hint: some cats respond very well to catnip.]

Make feeding time a challenge. Cats are predators that benefit from the mental and physical stimulation of hunting and catching their prey (i.e., food.) Placing a bowl of food in front of a cat short-circuits the hunting instinct, which can lead to boredom. A bored cat can become overweight or exhibit behavior problems.

Food puzzles (also known as foraging toys) can satisfy your cat’s need to “work” for its meal. You can find more information about food puzzles for cats here, and be sure to check out their How To Guide which explains how to successfully introduce food puzzles.

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