Cat Enrichment

Your Cats’ World, Enriched, Inspired. The pathway to
your cat’s heart is through understanding his world.
1
5 Essential Must-Haves for a Happy Chirpy Cat
2
7 Tips to turn your bully cat into a team player.
3
How to Prepare the Purrfect Kitty Salad Bar
4
The Catio Super Highway: Let’s go up!
5
Wordless Wednesday – Battle of the Tunnels
6
How to create a safe cat garden your cat can’t resist
7
Inspiration for building your first catio
8
How to build a catio your cat will love

5 Essential Must-Haves for a Happy Chirpy Cat

It seems that cats have it made. The internet worships them and judging by those viral Youtube videos, they rule their households with a firm furry paw.

“Hey Mr. Dog, I need your bed if you don’t mind, thanks, you’re too kind!”

But despite this overall perception of a cat’s elevated status as Ruler of the Drooler, cats are still largely misunderstood. Cats are viewed as independent, aloof and in need of less medical and preventative care than dogs, but this could not be further from the truth. September is Happy Cat Month, an event in its 7th year running, created by the Catalyst Council, to help promote the health and well-being of our purry felines, focusing on the different ways to ensure your cat is happy, enriched and healthy. Read More

7 Tips to turn your bully cat into a team player.

When your cat goes around giving everyone in his path a powder puff for no reason, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s aggressive. There’s one in every multicat household and through no fault of his own, he’s labeled the “bully cat.” When we add more cats to an already established group, it causes a shift in the cat hierarchy. The shift may be as obvious as a stare down and a brawl with fur flying or it may be very subtle, such as blocking the pathway to a litter box. The resident high ranking cat may or may not relinquish his title as Top Cat … at first, or maybe never.

Mr. Jack, watch your back!

But that doesn’t stop the cat with ambitions to keep trying by asserting his dominance to the rest of the clan through undesirable behaviors. This could include anything from relentlessly ambushing and chasing a timid, docile cat, guarding litter boxes, taking ownership of toys, games, sun puddles and refusing to timeshare.

multicat households

Someday, Mr. Jack, I shall usurp the throne. Watch your back!

Right now in your multi-cat home, there is most likely a daily episode of Game of Thrones at play.

Read More

How to Prepare the Purrfect Kitty Salad Bar

cat grass and fountain

Kitty Salad bar and watering hole. Executive cat lounge for exclusive members only

Last updated October 23, 2017

There are many ways in which you can keep us kitties safe and entertained but we would like to talk about our favorite cat-safe plants, grasses, and herbs. Yes, we’re obligate carnivores but there’s not a cat in town that doesn’t like to graze on greens. Experts and veterinarians are still baffled as to why we enjoy eating grass and theories abound. Some experts think we eat grass to aid in bringing up furballs, or in the wild, to aid regurgitation of undigested parts of prey such as bones and feathers. Others think it provides much-needed fiber to our diets and that grass would be a naturally occurring substance in the stomachs of prey so it would make up a small part of our diet. It may also provide trace elements of vitamins and folic acid. The Lady Cat thinks we may just like the taste and texture. But what is certain is that grass is not essential to our wellbeing, but it most certainly is a welcomed treat in any cat household.

With the start of Autumn and the cooler weather, we’re excited that the humans have begun setting up our watering hole/salad bar for winter. Essentially, this is when they bring the outdoors, indoors for the duration of the winter, during which time our catio is a blanket of white. The kitty salad bar is an area in the house where we like to lounge, groom, drink, share sun puddles and snack on our greens. There are many plants that appear on the toxic list and it seems that there are no safe alternatives for us cats. Cat grass and catnip are the most popular snacks on the menu, but I’m here to tell you that you can broaden your tastes and that there are indeed many other safe varieties of plants that us Chirpy Cats have tried and tested. Of course, our plant-eating habit comes with leaving a few recycled remnants of regurgitation on the carpet, but fret not humans. Cleaning it all up is a very small price to pay for the precious purr therapy we provide to soothe your stressful living. By creating these little kitty garden watering holes around the house, you’re stepping up your cat environment enrichment game. Below, our big lady cat explains further on greening up our living spaces and tips on keeping us out of your plants. (as if!)

Read More

The Catio Super Highway: Let’s go up!

All cats want to go up! The catio highway, or better known as the “super highway” if you’re a Jackson Galaxy fan of ‘catification’ is the perfect platform for surveying territory and owning space. Here, best friends George and Mr Jack are enjoying the peace and tranquility of their super highway in the catio at sunset after dinner. Seeing George assert his presence confidently by scratching and climbing is a wonderful site. Because it wasn’t always so…

Cat scratching on post on the catio

I would like to say “George the cat was here”

Read More

Wordless Wednesday – Battle of the Tunnels

We’re finally joining the Wordless Wednesday BlogPaws hop for some hump day fun. Today features Sly Pie at his ‘pretend’ ticket booth at the entrance to the ground tunnel and he takes his job quite seriously. Anyone who tries to pass without paying the fee gets a powder puff.

Catio tunnel entrance

“If you’d like to pass, tunnel toll is five bags of catnip please.”

 

Kitty walk

“Okay, let’s see who is trying to sneak in from the south entrance. All looks clear”

But the tables are turned on the bridge tunnel. Will Sly be allowed to pass?

Kitty walk tunel

George is on the other side, I wonder if he will let me in.”

 

Two cats meet at the tunnel

Sly: “Please Sir George, can I pass through?” George: “Condo”s taken kiddo, move along now son”

Read More

How to create a safe cat garden your cat can’t resist

cat snacking on grass

Mr. Jack snacks on some Blue Oat grass

 

Let’s face it, all cats need in terms of greens is a patch of grass and perhaps some catnip to keep them happy. But what about a kitty jungle to provide dappled shade and fragrant scents, some hiding/stalking spots from which to launch a ninja attack, or just for a simple snack or two from kitty’s very own all-you-can-eat-garden buffet! Below is a list of non-toxic plants and flowers that I have grown in their catio. Not only is it safe for them to munch on, but they provide the closest thing to a natural outdoor setting, where they can fall asleep on a thick patch of grass, or just ‘hide’ behind some foliage while stalking bugs. They also love to smell the flowers even if the plant is not necessarily on the snack menu.

A simple to navigate website called Pethelpful lists popular plants which are toxic to cats. Also, have a look at the ASPCA website which has an exhaustive list of toxic and non-toxic plants. I found this site really errs on the side of caution as it lists plants that may only cause slight stomach discomfort but nothing serious. Still, better to be safe than sorry, especially if you know your furry friend is indiscriminate and loves his greens, as well as, all cats may react differently to the same plant.

Emily, the site owner of Catalogical, has put together a comprehensive list of toxic plants to avoid, 470 to be exact! It’s a very easy to understand list, using common household names easy to remember and pronounce when verifying with your garden center expert.

Cats are essentially obligate carnivores, so why do they chew on grass? One explanation for cats eating grass is that it helps to bring up hairballs and offers relief from an upset tummy. Cats in the wild eat every part of their prey, including indigestible parts like bones and feather. Eating grass is like fiber with no significant nutritional value for cats, but helps to expel undigested matter. For your spoiled little Miss Diva cat who doesn’t hunt, this undigested matter is her hairball. Some cats are more prone to throwing up than others so don’t be alarmed if you see evidence of grass-infused hairballs on your carpet. Below is a list of container plants which are all safe for your furry friends.
Read More

Inspiration for building your first catio

We look forward to Spring each year, which brings with it, the promise of beautiful colourful blooms and a very happy bunch of chirpy kitties. Each will find their own zen space, their little niche in the shade or the sun. With ramps and climbing platforms to play in and romp about, and a plentiful supply of fresh catnip from the hanging baskets, no kitty can complain of boredom. There is also space for the humans to enjoy this enclosed kitty garden of tranquility with their furry companions if they wish. Would you like to wake up with the birds and have your morning cuppa with kitties? Yes please! Would you like some tips on how to begin building your catio? Read my previous post on Building your Cats’ dream Catio.

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How to build a catio your cat will love

Senior cat, Earl Grey in the catio tunnel, enjoying a little sunset meditation.

Last updated 20 June 2017

Building a catio or outdoor enclosure is one of the best gifts you can give your cat to keep him safe from harm. The idea of creating the perfect safe haven for our indoor cats to explore and experience a piece of their natural habitat seemed like the natural thing to do. So what is the best way of merging the two worlds of a cat, indoors and outdoors? By building an outdoor catio space in which they can thrive and be happy, where our cats can feel free to roam, protected from outside hazards.

As a child, we always had outdoor cats and this was the norm at the time. Today people are more aware of the dangers lurking outside and of the statistics of cats lost to road traffic accidents, not to mention exposure to diseases, poisons, cars, and cruel people. It’s no surprise that indoor cats enjoy a longer lifespan than their outdoor counterparts. But keeping cats indoors comes with its own set of challenges. Behavioral problems may arise from boredom due to a lack of exposure to a changing environment. There are many ways to provide a stimulating environment for your cat but building an outdoor enclosure will make your cats feel like they ate the canary. I really do feel that allowing your cats exposure to a natural but safe environment outdoors will make for a happier cat.

Before we built our homemade catio space, my cats were leashed trained and that worked for a while…

But things changed when my husband adopted three more cats! Read More

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