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Selecting the Right Environmental Enrichment for Your Cat

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Desirable Features

  • If choosing cat trees...a size large enough to accommodate your cat(s)
  • Safe – make sure furniture is stable
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean/wash if possible
  • Interesting to the personality of your cat

    Ideal Choice

    Products that provide environmental stimulation covers a lot of product types and the ideal choice may depend on your home, your cat's preferences and your budget. Some good choices to enhance your cats environment may include:

  • Cat Tree - A basic 5 to 6 foot tall cat tree that has a perch and a spot for scratching where your cat can really stretch out. This perch on the cat should have a good view of the room and even view to the outside if possible.
  • Perch - If it is not possible for the cat tree to have a view of the outdoors, consider a window perch. You can move a table, chair or bench near the wall.
  • Scratching Post - Buy a cardboard scratching post that can used vertically or horizontally and place it as your cat prefers.
  • Toys - Good toy choices are a feathery flyer, some round crinkle balls, a laser pointer and something stuffed with catnip to determine your cats preferences and offer a variety.

    Shopping Tips

  • Choose cat trees that are sturdy and safe. Evaluate them to determine if they are likely to "tip" or fall over.

  • Don't buy toys with strings, buttons, small parts or loose fabric. Stuffed toys and rope toys are not recommended because dogs can chew through them ingesting the fabric or chew off parts like the eyes causing a life threatening intestinal obstruction or a choking hazard.

    More Tips

  • Provide more than one perch or surface for your cat.

  • Make sure your cat has a good refuge to hide from other cats or dogs. Use a box or pet taxi or special bed.

  • All chew toys have a certain element of risk involved. Extra strong chewers can tear apart just about anything. But with forethought and supervision, you can make your cat toys as safe as possible.

  • Rotate toys periodically to keep your cat "interested".


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