2001-Tue Aug 14 14:13:35 EDT 2018
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Cats in particular may need to have their food gradually added to the puzzle toys. For example, at first I put a portion of their meals in their bowls and a portion into two toys. I move the toys around and show them how to use them. Sometimes I may smear a bit of canned food onto the toys to encourage them to explore them. This technique also works for dogs.
Another way I encourage my cats to “hunt” for their meals is by hiding their food bowls around the house. I start by placing one bowl in the cat’s normal feeding area, then place additional bowls in other areas that I know the cat will walk by or rest close to. Once a cat starts to consistently eat from the bowls, you can move them a few feet away from the original locations. This will encourage the cat to explore the house and search for his food. In multiple-pet households, scatter several toys in different rooms or levels of the house. In the beginning, always closely monitor pets to make sure they know how to work a toy and ensure that there is no fighting over food treasure. You can always close a door or use a pet gate to ensure that one pet does not eat all the food meant for two or more.
Another way to fight boredom is to make sure your pets are getting enough physical exercise. Taking a dog on at least a daily walk is a good way to provide exercise and enhance mental enrichment. Engaging your cat in a daily game of chase using an item dangling from a fishing pole or tossing an object she can retrieve can also fulfill her physical and mental stimulation needs. Offer various cat trees or ledges for your cat to climb up or jump onto.
Social interaction is vital as well. Make sure you spend quality one-on-one time with your pet. It could be engaging in games, training desirable behaviors using positive reinforcement, or just petting or snuggle time. Remember, no matter what the activity is, spending time with your pet is one surefire way to combat his boredom. And if you’ve tried all these recommendations but still feel like your pet is “acting bored,” don’t hesitate to seek professional help.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.