5 Easy Ways to Make Your Cat Happier

cat superhighway in a home
Kate Benjamin
A cat superhighway allows a cat to navigate a room without touching the floor, accommodating her natural instincts to climb and perch.    

3. Spice Up Playtime

Schedule some interactive playtime with kitty everyday. For these workout sessions, I recommend using a wand toy with a feather or other eye-catching attachment on the end of a string. Make your cat jump and chase the toy just like she would do with her prey in the wild. Use your new cat superhighway as part of the racetrack.

So kitty will have something to stalk while you’re away, make sure to have some smaller toys that she can toss around and carry in her mouth. (Just don’t leave out any toys with string, ribbon, yarn or rubber bands while you’re not at home.) Many cats enjoy toys with catnip, plus there are several other herbs you could try. Cat toys with valerian root, silver vine and honeysuckle are becoming more and more popular and could make your cat very happy. Remember to checkwith your veterinarian before giving your cat any herbs.

4. Create a Challenge

While you’re away, kitty will play, so why not give her a little challenge? Puzzle toys and treat dispensers are great ways to keep your cat entertained and active. These toys are designed to dispense treats or food while your cat bats them around, encouraging her to exercise and catering to her natural instinct to hunt prey.

If you’re trying to cut kitty’s calories, rather than adding treats, you can divide the normalfood allotment for the day into smaller meals dispensed by the food puzzle. Another alternative is to use alarger puzzle box that can be filled with small toys (big enough not to present a choking hazard) instead of food.

treat and food dispenser for cats
Courtesy of PetSafe
Puzzle toys and treat dispensers like the SlimCat meal dispensing cat toy can keep your cat active and entertained when you’re not there to play.    

I recommend filling puzzles with treats or toys before you leave in the morning and before you go to bed at night. Place them around the house so your cat will come across them as she goes about her daily or nightly activities.

5. Change It Up

You don’t want things to get boring for your cat, so think about changing the environment a little on a regular basis. Try moving the cat tree to a different corner or to the center of the room—your cat may see it as new again. I also like to rotate the cat toys; I put some away for a while and then switch the toys for variety. When the old toys come out again, it’s like Christmas!

What have you done to enrich your cat’s environment?

More from Vetstreet:

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!