3 DIY Cat Enrichment Ideas
My wife and I have 3 beautiful and energetic cats. All of them are indoor cats, and when they aren't sleeping or eating, they are playing. While I love spending money on the "best" toys I can find, the truth is, they're just as entertained by hiding in a box or a bag, hunting for food or digging toys out of their toy-box. Here are 3 DIY cat enrichment ideas guaranteed to entertain your cats wild side.
Boredom, frustration, and environmental stress are some of the most common reasons that cats exhibit behavior problems. According to a paper published by Drs. Tony Buffington and Leticia Dantas, encouraging your cats foraging behavior using food puzzles is one of the best things you can do for your cat.
There are a lot of great puzzles that you can buy but save your money by saving cardboard tubes from your paper towels and toilet paper rolls, and build your own food puzzles. My wife Saundra created a food puzzle castle (see picture below) by gluing cardboard tubes together and hiding treats inside the tubes. The cats had a blast finding the treats and we enjoyed watching them.
What started as a storage place for all the overpriced "mousys" I bought at the pet store, actually turned into a fun destination for our cats. I took an old wicker basket (see picture below) that I had laying around the house, and filled it with cat toys. This "toy-box" is the go-to location for our cats' enjoyment. Again, you can spend a bunch of money on a cat toy-box or you can just reuse something that you were going to toss anyway. I can assure you, your cat(s) won't care.
Paper Bags and Boxes
Our cat Kara is the most inquisitive of our 3 cats. All she needs to entertain herself is a box to get into or a bag to hide in (see pictures below). "Cats like boxes because they are cryptic animals; they like to hide," Stephen Zawistowski, science adviser for the ASPCA, told Business Insider. "And a box gives them a place of safety and security."
What are some fun DIY toys your cat enjoys? Please share in the comment section below.