Is the rain getting you down? Are you going stir crazy being kept inside? Well, don’t let the rain get your feline friends down, too! In fact, here are some ideas to keep your cat(s) happy and healthy on a daily basis:
Scratchers: We like to keep a nice variety of scratchers around the home. Also make sure to vary the location they are kept in to keep your cat interested (and less destructive if scratching is a problem). Tip: try sprinkling a bit of catnip on them for additional enrichment.
Cardboard Creations: As you have probably discovered already, cats LOVE boxes. Our cats are obsessed with boxes with string(s) attached (especially when we pull them around the home). We like to call them their “Cat Cars” and yes, we often decorate them depending on the season. You can also make fun-themed cars such as the “Hotdog Stand” below (the kids would have a blast helping you with this project)! Not only is it a fun craft activity to do, but the cats can either chase after the string (which helps to fulfill their hunting instincts), sit in the box, or they might completely ignore you if they’re not in the mood. Also pictured is our lovely little Maxwell hiding inside of a concrete pouring tube from Home Depot. They absolutely adore these tubes. Plus, they’re pretty cheap and you can decorate them however you want! We wrapped it with wrapping paper just to make it look a bit nicer. Tip: try varying the type of string and materials you use to provide different tactile experiences (e.g., rope, ribbon, pieces of cloth, etc), but make sure the material doesn’t come apart for your cat to ingest (which could cause a large number of potentially serious health issues).
Tubes & Cubes: Our cats are very happy when we put the tubes and cubes out. They are relatively inexpensive, but they can be a bit pricey depending on where you go. We purchased ours from Target and Amazon. There are a lot of different styles of tubes and cubes out there, so the important thing is to find the best one for your cat(s)! Location is very important, so my recommendation is to play around and see where your feline friend(s) are most likely to use them (e.g., against a wall in a hallway, under the bed, behind the couch, etc). Tip: try connecting tubes together for even more fun! Also, place toys in, on top, and around tubes/cubes so your cat(s) can get their hunting instincts fulfilled.
Toys, Toys, Toys: Make sure to provide your cat(s) with enough toys that they don’t get into trouble (either with people and/or furniture). We have a special toy box where toys are stored and we make sure to rotate them on a daily basis to prevent boredom and aggression. Try to provide a nice variety of textures, shapes, and sizes to help find out which toys are preferred and which toys you can donate to your local humane society (or friends with cats). Tip: sprinkle some catnip onto the toys and/or purchase/make toys with catnip inside for enrichment!
Hopefully this list will help you and your cat(s) become better playmates when it’s raining outside. However, I hope this also helps inspire you to provide activities and toys for your feline friend(s) to help reduce aggression, scratching, and other behavioral problems that may occur on a day-to-day basis.
Until next time, stay dry and have fun!
Ayriel, and the Ohana Animal Hospital team