How do I provide mental stimulation to my cat?

How do I provide mental stimulation to my cat?

Our question this week was:

I am wondering if you may help me with some ideas regarding how to make sure my cats get the mental stimulation they need. I have two Bengals, and I play with them every day. However I think they would love more mental stimulation. There are lots of articles about this subject regarding dogs, but I have not found anything written specifically about mental training for cats (apart from behavioral training). Can you help us?

Bente Woldseth


Hi Bente– thanks for your email. Bengals are very smart and active cats that can really benefit from "mental stimulation".

I think plenty of toys that stimulate them are great ways to keep them interested. If you don't already have their play preference figured out, I'd recommend that you do that. Go to Choosing toys based on play preference article and see what you think.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Playing with your cat with their favorite toys is a great way to stimulate your cat.
  • Some cats really like the cat "puzzles". Some cats are more interested in them than others. There is one where they try to get toys out of different holes that some cats like. One toy that some cats like is SmartCat™ Peek-a-Prize Toy Box.

  • Some cats like the bird or outdoor soundtracks or videos as well as stimulation. Several companies make these now – you can find them at most pet stores.
  • A bird feeder by a window can also give "mental" stimulation.
  • Window seats that keep them interested in the outdoors – even if it is people walking by can be helpful.

    For more ideas on stimulating your cat, check out the article called Cats home alone.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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