Toys for indoor cats and other guidelines for environmental enrichment | Vets&Clinics

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Toys for indoor cats and other guidelines for environmental enrichment

Cats are very sensitive to changes in their surroundings. If they are not comfortable with their environment, it will have a direct impact on their health. They may even develop urinary diseases, such as FLUTD. Toys for indoor cats are essential for reducing their stress.

In this post we will explain the most important factors for reducing stress in cats as well as guidelines for environmental enrichment.

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What does environmental modification mean?

A number of actions can be implemented to change the cat’s living environment.  They are known as MEMO (multimodal environmental modification) interventions and consist of a series of modifications made to the cat’s environment in order to reduce its stress and improve its quality of life (Buffington, 2006).

Key points for reducing stress in cats: There are six key factors that we can modify in the environment to reduce stress in cats. They are as follows:

1. Provide an elevated resting area in a secluded and quiet part of the house. Make sure the resting area is draft free.

2. Incorporate hiding places with escape routes. Cats must be free to move around, including the possibility of climbing and exploring at will.

3. Keep the litter tray clean. Change the litter every day and clean thoroughly once a week.

4. Provide fresh food and water in different bowls. Food and water must be replaced frequently. It is important to remember to place food and water bowls in a quiet location, so cats can eat undisturbed, and away from the litter box.

5. Install a scratching post and alternate the toys for indoor cats. 

6. Social contact. Cats should be able to choose whether to play with humans or other cats depending on their preferences.

You will find more information in this clinical tool developed by Affinity Petcare, plus there is a diagram of the interventions necessary to reduce stress levels in cats.

Importance of toys for indoor cats

It is essential to alternate the toys. Provide a different toy every week, so that the cat is stimulated by the novelty. There is no need to buy a new toy every week, but it is advisable to have a handful and rotate them to stimulate the cat’s curiosity.

Toys for indoor cats should mimic feline prey in both appearance and functionality. They should be items that cats can bite and paw easily. Moving toys are also a great stimulus.

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