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Enrichment

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You can watch Molly's "Cat Enrichment" webinar on YouTube: 

https://youtu.be/qheNAHLhokY

Molly talks about the 7 CAT-egories of enrichment and why your cat needs all 45 things on the list!

You can download a pdf of the Cat Enrichment Checklist

by clicking here: 

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Catios are an outdoor cat patio; an enclosed area where cats can safely enjoy the outdoors. Every size home has room for a catio and your cat will thank you for getting them one! 

You can build window box units, a giant room, or connecting pathways and enrichment areas. But where do you begin? Sometimes it's hard to conceive of an idea, and even more difficult to plan and make a materials list.

Catio Spaces has made all this easy for you! Their site is full of great ideas and inspiration and you can buy DIY Catio Plans.

Visit them at: https://catiospaces.com

Use promo code: CatTalkRadio and 10% of the sale is donated to Cat Behavior Solutions

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Catio Ideas: 50+ AMAZING CATIO IMAGES

All cat owners want to keep their feline friends safe but also give them the best life possible. If you want to let your cat explore the outdoors in the safest way possible take a look at these catio ideas they collected. As a bonus they also included some expert advice about what to consider when planning to invest in a catio.

Visit this article for more ideas: 

https://www.wirefence.co.uk/catio-ideas/

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Large 3-Tier Cat Cage Playpen Box Crate Kennel

When you can’t build a catio, consider getting something like this so kitty can spend time outside with you while you’re gardening.

Buy this crate here

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Cat Doors 

Often it's challenging to find a place to put a cat door and a window is the best solution. This adjustable sash window cat door is a perfect solution. It is available in a couple different sizes to accommodate your window width.

There are also other cat door options for horizontal sliding windows and sliding glass doors

Sash Window Pet Door

Harness & Leash Walks

Classical Walking your cat on a leash can be great outdoor enrichment for him. You'll want to use a gradual desensitization process for getting him used to the harness. I sell the best (secure and lightweight) harness and leash system in the Behavior Boutique here.

I've created a video to show how the Come With Me Kitty harness and leash system is put on. It can be overwhelming and seem complicated when you first take it out of the box. I've tried to ease your stress with this how-to instructional.

Velcro Harness

If your cat is calm on a harness, the velcro underbelly versions work well - it is what I mostly use for Pico. They are super easy to put on - no trying to get feet through holes, etc. and while not as secure as the Come with me Kitty harness, they stay put. You can shop for the Kitty Holster® Cat Harness in our Behavior Boutique. 

This award-winning, difficult-to-escape-from, Kitty Holster® Cat Harnesses are Made in the USA. It is a soft, comfortable walking vest that secures with ultra-strong Velcro closures to keep your cat safe and sound. The breathable, washable cotton has an undyed lining, suitable for all skin types and climates. This harness is perfect for traveling, walking and taking your cat out on a balcony. They are available in 4 different designs. 

Sizes to fit almost any cat:

XS - Neck: 5" - 9"; Girth (chest): 10" - 14"

S/M - Neck: 9" - 12"; Girth (chest): 13" - 17"

Pendleton® Cat Vests

Check out our very own Genuine Pendleton® blanket Cat Vests with Pendleton® edge tape. Warm and fuzzy for your favorite furry friends. Handmade in Santa Fe, NM

Outdoor Enrichment

Walking your cat on a leash can be great outdoor enrichment for him. You'll want to use a gradual desensitization process for getting him used to the harness. I sell the best (secure and lightweight) harness and leash system in the Behavior Boutique here.

If your cat does not need the exercise, or is very uncomfortable with the harness, you can opt to take him out for a stroller walk. Remember, real men push cats in strollers! ;)

Outdoor Play Pen

If you can't build a catio for your cat, I recommend taking him outside with you (as long as he's comfortable) when you garden, etc. An enclosed play pen is an ideal way to have him near you and also safe from predators.

Click on each image to purchase that play pen. 

Window Perch

As long as you don't have outside cats tormenting your feline, a window perch is an excellent way for him to safely get enrichment from the outdoors - especially when you aren't home.

I like this one because it holds up to 60# and is nicer looking than some of the less expensive models.

Click here to purchase this window perch. 

KittyLawn, real grass for cats

I've been reviewing a lot of grass products lately and KittyLawn is one of them. This carpet of real grass is meant to bring your cats a taste of the outdoors - think of it as the backyard in a box! It is hydroponic grass grown at a farm in California without pesticides or toxins so if kitty decides to taste it, it won't hurt them - but it is meant for lounging!

Click here to purchase KittyLawn

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Pet Greens Live Original Pet Grass, 6-Pack

Pet Greens Original Live Pet Grass is great for all your Pets! Now your pets can get their greens on in a tasty, healthy treat! Pet Greens Original Pet Grass is a super source of green nutrition and fiber and is gluten free. It is a safe alternative to dangerous houseplants and chemically treated grasses. Pet Greens are also a pruning and juicing treat for birds along as a great source of calcium for reptiles.

Click here to purchase Pet Greens Grass 6-pk

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Pet Greens Cat Grass Easy Self-Grow Kits

These convenient Cat Grass Growing Kits, available in Medley and Garden, help with: 

Indoor Wellness: Indoor cats* often try to satisfy their craving for greens by munching on houseplants. Cat Grass provides a life-enriching, safe alternative.

Healthy Digestion: Help your cat achieve optimal indoor wellness with fresh and gentle green fiber that supports digestive health. It's a natural hairball treat, grown from your own cat grass seeds kit!

*Organic Cat Grass is also great for dogs, birds, reptiles, rabbits and other small pets!

Click here to purchase Pet Greens Grass Self-grow Kits

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Clicker Training

Arguably, there is no better enrichment for a cat than clicker training! The process simulates their natural behavior of expending energy to get food. It provides mental stimulation and increases the bond you share with your cat.

Molly often does clicker training classes - sign up to receive our emails to be notified of the class schedule.

iCalmPet Ruff 'n Ready Portable Speaker 

Cool Cat Gold Pak

Classical music can calm your cat. But take that a step further and get music that has been scientifically modulated to remove all stress causing frequencies. And yes, it still sounds like relaxing music to us too. I use it when doing shelter cat work and it really works! The iCalm Cat unit comes with the music card loaded and wireless speaker all in one unit. Very cool. You need one. Or two. 

Click here to buy

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Cat Self Grooming Tool

Your kitty will LOVE this corner groomer. This is a great way for you to encourage group scenting in a multi-cat household. The comb comes with catnip to attract them and they love the feel of the teeth against their face and chin. Easy installation - you can either screw it in the wall (screws included) or stick with double sided tape (also included.) Install on corners right outside of feeding and litter box areas. Cats tend to scent their pathway through the home - especially paths leading to their resources.

Scratchers

Scratching is a natural behavior in cats. You can’t stop it, but if you provide the right scratching surfaces for your cat, you can direct it to the right places (other than your furniture.) Cats have scent glands in their feet and scratching leaves important scent markers. Listen to this podcast: Scratching and Clawing – how to make it stop! For more information

Some cats like vertical scratchers and others, horizontal. They also have individual texture preferences. The most important feature of a scratcher is that it is long/tall enough for your cat to get a full back stretch.

Here are some I recommend:

FluffyDream Cat Scratcher Cardboard Lounge Bed

 

Click Here to purchase. 

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PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

Click Here to purchase. 

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TALL Cat Tree 

Cats need to be able to get up to high spaces. Get a really tall cat tree. This one is great, as the upper bed platforms are above human head height. And there are multiple high beds, making it great for a multi-cat household. 

Honoring your cat's need to have alone time, out of reach of human hands (and dogs and other pets) will make your cat seek you out for affection more often.

I recommend making the tall cat tree "sacred cat ground"; an area where you do not reach for your cat - they are able to be on the cat tree on their own terms.

Tall Scratching Post

Notice a tall theme here? Scratching posts need to be as tall as your cat. Over 41-inches tall, your cat will have plenty of room to stretch and scratch on this post, and its sturdy, wide base ensures stability during play.

Purchase here: 

https://amzn.to/4c2tZR4

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TALL Scratching Post 

This is another good, tall post. I own this one shown to the right that is 35" tall and I love it - more importantly, Tabasco loves it! Cats need to be able to get a full back stretch when they use a scratching post - or they are not likely to use it; they'll opt for the back of your sofa, or chair instead. Combine this with the Feiliway Scratch Attractant shown below under deterrents.

Decorator Cat Trees 

Not everyone wants a carpeted cat tree in their living room. Understandable. There are some very stylish options available these days - some not as tall as I'd like to see them, but here are some good looking options.

Prey Play  is SUPER important for the health and well-being of your cat. Click here to read more about why. Below are several of the most popular prey play toys. Try several until you find the one your cat likes the most - all cats are different!

Wand Toys

Cats have differing preferences on type of wand toys they like. Some like mice at the end, some feathers. So buy a few to test what is their favorite. Keep wand toys out of sight when not playing with them so your cat doesn't lose interest. 

Wand Cat Caster Fishing Pole Toy

There is something about the sound of the crinkle paper with the smell of the feathers that drives cats WILD for this wand toy.

Click here to buy

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GoCat Cat Lures Catcher Cat Toy

with 2 Refill Mouse

Is a great toy for cats in shelter kennels. The wire makes it easy to maneuver in small spaces. The mouse on the end is very durable and long-lasting.

The Cat Dancer 

Cats need interactive play every day. This does not mean you throwing out toys and hoping they'll play by themselves. Prey Play requires you to be on the other end the toy making it move like natural prey. This entails pulling it around corners, out of sight. Flipping it up in the air, etc.

The Cat Dancer is a good choice for many cats. The metal construction lasts a long time. 

Da Bird 

Cats This is one of the most popular cat toys; favored by trainers everywhere. If you are working in a shelter setting, this toy works best in group rooms; the string makes it harder to maneuver in kennel spaces. See the Go Cat Catcher for kenneled cats above.

Click here or the image to purchase DaBird.

Felicity Cat Wand Toys 

Cat Feather Wand Toy with long Bamboo stick and 5 Feather Refills (2 Cat Bird Toy), 36 Inch Wire

Click here or the image to purchase this wand toy.

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Self-moving toy

Oftentimes you can’t be there to prey play with your cat – and even when you do, your cat still gets bored! Ans that’s because they’ll spend six hours a day hunting when in the wild. Self moving toys are a good way to provide enrichment when you are away. We like Caroline’s Cats automatic shut off and catnip ball interactive toy and think you will too!

Toy: https://amzn.to/4aBt6y4

 

Replacement Butterflies: https://amzn.to/3vfXu0X

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Mylar Crinkle Balls 

These are GREAT cat toys. So simple and inexpensive. Kittens especially like these. Squish them in your hand to make the crinkly noise and then toss them across the floor and watch your cat scamper after them.

Click here or the image to buy the mylar balls. 

Food Puzzle Cats in the wild spend 6 hours a day hunting and when we feed them meals they don't have to work for, pent-up energy builds, which can result in behavior changes. Food puzzles are one of the best mental stimulators you can provide for your cat.

 

Start your cat with an easy puzzle. It's important for them to have successes. Start with this ball type Slimcat. Once they have that mastered, give them the scoop bowl, Vitakraft Puzzler Treat Dispensing Toy (treats incl).

 

Then a slider challenge, with the Interactive Cat Treat Puzzle. Then the ultimate challenge with the Puzzle Toy 2 Levels, Slow Feeder.

Organic Fresh Cat Grass 3-Pack

Pet Greens Live Grass Cat Treat is fresh, all-natural, pre-grown and organic. This super food is made and sourced in the USA for all breeds and ages. It has plenty of vitamins and minerals and is a natural hairball treat. Plus, Cat Grass is good for diabetic support and digestive health. Pet Greens has brought the outdoors inside for your furry friend, because pets need healthy greens in their lives. Indoor cats often try to satisfy their craving for greens by munching on houseplants, so our Cat Grass provides a life-enriching, safe alternative.

Purchase the 3-pack here: 

https://amzn.to/49ZnIUq

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Pheromone Diffusers

Cats will feel more calm when you plug in a pheromone diffuser. It is not a magic wand that can change your cat's behavior by itself, but when used/layered with other calming products and enrichment strategies, along with behavior modification plans, it really helps.

The new Feliway Optimum really works a lot better than the original – I suggest you buy this over it.

If you have more than one cat, I recommend using the multi cat diffuser. The pheromones are slightly different and I find this to be more effective. 

If you want a more natural, less expensive option, I recommend the Pet Remedy Calming diffuser. It is a natural blend of valerian root, vetiver, basil, and clary sage essential oils. It has good reviews and independent studies. 

Click each image to the right to purchase the diffuser and/or the refills. 

Pet Safe Air Fresheners for YOU  

It’s nice to use an air freshener in the bathroom, or around the litter box – but finding one that has clean ingredients, that aren’t harmful to your cat AND smell good, is a real challenge. Here are three of my favorites:

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Warm Snuggle Donut Bed 

My Tabasco loves his snuggle donut poof bed. I have it in the white, which goes perfectly with my decor. I move the bed close to me when I'm sitting in different places and he climbs in and snuggles right next to me.

Click here or an image to purchase this donut bed.

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