Kennel Enrichment for Kitties 101: Keep ‘Em Thinking
In-kennel enrichment… it’s not just for dogs. The ASPCA’s Alex Mirontschuk, Manager, Shelter Research & Development, is back for the second installment in her series, with toys and training tips to keep cats mentally stimulated.
- For those cats who are food motivated, why not try a puzzle toy? Like the ideas I featured in “Kennel Enrichment for Kitties 101: Fun on the Cheap,” this can be an affordable proposition: Cut holes in a small box or plastic container and place the cat’s kibble inside.
- Try training your cats. Stephanie Collingsworth, CPDT-KA, of Multnomah County Animal Services suggests having staff, volunteers and visitors hold a popsicle stick with some wet food on it at the front of the cage so that the cat associates people with food and will be more likely to approach when potential adopters come by.
- Another training option: clicker training! Try using a tool like the Premier Clik Stik®, a combination clicker and target stick. One of the benefits of a tool like this is that the click is somewhat quieter than other clickers, which is especially useful since some cats may be fearful of the clicker.
Clicker training is another enrichment option that has the bonus of making cats more appealing to adopters. Check out this Catster article for some tips on getting started with clicker training cats. Who can resist a cat who does tricks?!
- There’s an app for that…cat! For your tech-savvy kitties, a new trend is popping up: iPad apps for cats! If you’re willing to risk a couple of scratches on your iPad screen, try sharing it with your cats. Apps such as the “Affection Collection ” from Australia’s RSPCA keep cats thinking:
How are you keeping the cats at your agency busy? Share your experiences in the comment box.