In the last few years, cat adoption rates have risen dramatically, and more people than ever are looking for ways to give their cats the best life. However, it’s not because there are more cats. According to Dr. Cindy Galbreath at Sadie Vet in Portland, vets are seeing more cats in their clinics because of the pandemic.
“COVID-19 sparked an increase in cat adoptions because people were stuck at home and wanted companionship,” she says. “Cats that would normally be seen in the shelter are being brought to vets by their new owners.”
Whether you’ve had a cat for a while, or you’ve adopted a cat because of the pandemic, your feline companion deserves the best. If you’re like most cat lovers, you’d build your cat a palace if you had the money and space. The reality is that you’re probably on a budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spoil your furry friend.
If you’re looking for ways to give your cat more enjoyment without draining your wallet, here are some great ideas.
- Find toys your cat can throw around
You only need to own a cat for a few days to know they love stalking their toys. It’s in their nature to enjoy pouncing on a toy from around a corner and then batting it around for a while. Many cats will even lift their toys up and throw them across the room if they can get the toy lightly “stuck” on their paw somehow.
If your cat likes to entertain themselves by throwing their toys, find some cat toys they can get their paw into while batting it around. Once they realize the toy can be tossed easily, it could become their favorite toy. Many cats will entertain themselves for a long time this way.
- Give your cat boxes
Never underestimate the power of boxes to entertain your cat. The key is finding out what kind of boxes your cat prefers, and yes, your cat will have a preference.
For instance, they might like to leap into big, tall boxes, or they might prefer to squeeze into a tiny box. Some cats like to launch themselves into soda boxes, and other cats just like to sit on top of cardboard.
The general consensus is that cats love boxes because they feel safe in an enclosed space, but that doesn’t explain why some cats will go to great lengths to squeeze into a tiny box that doesn’t offer any kind of protection. No matter the reason, the truth is that cats love cardboard containers of all shapes and sizes
- Get toys with feathered textures
Some cats go crazy over toys with fake feathers and soft, feathery-like textures. Find some toys with fuzz they can feel in their mouth when they pick up the toy. If your cat loves it, you’ll know right away.
- Cook some chicken
Cats are picky about their treats, but nothing will make your cat happier than freshly cooked chicken. Once in a while, give your cat a delicious, home-cooked meal and they’ll gobble it up fast. Just make sure that plain chicken is only an occasional treat and you always feed your cats balanced meals.
Chicken can be a good snack for some cats, but it can also be an allergen, so only give your cat chicken treats if you know they aren’t sensitive or allergic. Most cats love poultry, and unless your furry friend has a chicken allergy, it’s a safe food for cats.
- Put a cat hammock in the window
Your cats will love having a comfortable place to relax in front of the window where they can watch the squirrels, birds, other cats, and even people passing by the window. Getting your cat a hammock is great if you don’t have any windows easily accessible from the ground. Besides, cats enjoy heights. You don’t need to put the hammock up too high, though. It can be low enough that they can jump into it from the ground or higher and accessible from their cat tree.
You don’t have to build a massive, expensive cat tree to make your cat happy. Spoil them with things they want, not what marketers tell you to buy. You can keep them stimulated with just about anything from bottle caps and feathers to boxes and random toys with texture.