Dear Critter Corner: When the weather’s warmer and nicer outside, I let my cat Tigre out into his catio where he can watch birds and squirrels, and jump from perch to perch. With the rainy and colder weather, Tigre hasn’t had as much time in the catio and I worry about him going stir crazy from being indoors so much. What can I do to help?
It’s great that you’re thinking about what mental and physical stimulation you can provide Tigre when it’s cold out and how to increase that when he’s unable to go into his catio due to the weather. Try to think of his play time in terms of bringing the outdoors indoors. Some simple ways to increase his indoor fun could be to include a few cat trees or window hammocks near spots around your home where Tigre can still watch the birds and squirrels but from indoors. Some of these cat trees and hammocks will also include dangling toys or attached feather wands that Tigre can play with while resting in the tree or hammock.
There are also quite a few homemade cat toys that Tigre may enjoy. Try taking a few recycled toilet paper rolls, fold off one end and add treats inside. Tigre will enjoy batting around the roll to get the treats out. Tissue boxes and shipping boxes can be great fun for the curious cat, either by putting a few treats or catnip inside, or just letting Tigre explore them. You can even put the toilet rolls inside of the box or add a few of Tigre’s toys to entice him to jump in and explore. If you’d like to make the boxes more comfortable, you could add a soft blanket or towel inside the shipping box with a few cut out holes on the sides to let Tigre peak through. Feel free to check online as well for some fun cat videos that your Tigre may find entertaining to watch, as well as, a few cat apps that can be played on a phone or tablet for Tigre to enjoy. Try to provide an assortment of mentally and physically stimulating activities for your cat to enjoy during these colder rainier winter months.