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Feline Environmental Enrichment – The Basics

[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ay attention, Bengal lovers.  This is the important stuff.

When we bring these exquisite predators indoors, we are protecting them.

But, we are also depriving them of their natural habitat.

A human home is made just right for humans, but it lacks some things that are essential to the health and happiness of a cat.

Veterinarians (like me!) and behaviorists have devoted entire careers to figuring out exactly what these essential things are and how we can make our homes into a habitat where cats can thrive.

For Bengals, this is particularly important.

Cats that don’t get their environmental needs met suffer.

They show their suffering by being aggressive or destructive, urinating/defecating outside of the litter box, and/or waking you up at night to be fed.

These cats can become food obsessed. Some gobble up their food and regurgitating it (scarf and barf!), others become lethargic and overweight, and some shut down and struggle to eat.

On the face of it, feline environmental enrichment can seem overwhelming. Simply put, when we understand the natural state of the cat, we can create an indoor living environment that fulfills his or her physical and mental needs.

Bengal cat hunting prey

And you can do it in 3 easy steps!

  1. Give your cat places to climb and hide.
    Your cat has the instincts to climb to heights to survey their surroundings and to hide in small spaces to feel safe.So, give your cat climbing shelves, cat trees, boxes and beds to make them feel safe and sound.
  2. Play with your cat.
    Short and sweet. Cats like short bursts of activity and they want you to play with them.So, schedule 5 minutes of active play with your cat twice a day.  It will make you both happy.
    And here’s a little tip – Finish your play session by letting your cat “catch” the prey and give them a treat.  This lets them know that the hunt is complete and they can relax.
  3. Get rid of the bowl.
    Your cat is a hunter. It was born to hunt, catch and play with at least 5 small meals a day, not to be served from a bowl.  Meet your cat’s natural instincts to hunt with and Indoor Hunting Feeder.

Cats Sleep, Hunt, Catch, Play, eat, Groom Circuit

Follow these steps for a happier, healthier cat!

Liz Bales
Liz Baleshttps://docandphoebe.com/blogs/the-catvocate-blog
Dr. Liz Bales is a veterinarian with a special interest in the unique behavioral and wellness needs of cats. Dr Bales is a writer, speaker and featured expert in all things cat around the globe. She is the founder of Doc and Phoebe’s Cat Company, and the inventor of The Indoor Hunting Feeder for cats.