8 Ways to Keep Your Cat’s Brain Sharp
Cats, as a rule, are intelligent creatures and in order to keep those brains alert and active they need stimulation. Cats are independent and certainly require less attention and interaction than their canine counterparts, but they still need affection and attention and as a cat owner it’s your job to provide both in abundance. So if your are looking for a smart cat – you have come to the right place ^_^
Check out a few of our top tips on how to keep your cat’s brain sharp:
1. Make an Early Start
You should start as you mean to go on, providing physical and mental stimulation as soon as you get your cat (whether he’s a tiny kitten that fits in the palm of your hand or an older, adopted pet). Stimulating the brain slows down the aging process, helping your cat to keep his faculties and stay sprightly for longer.
2. Let’s Get Physical
Got a fatty catty? Then it’s time to put your fluff ball friend on a diet! It’s cute to have your cat lounge on your lap all afternoon and evening (we all know cats love a good nap), but if your cat is fat and lazy it’s time for a wake-up call. Are you feeding your cat the right amount and is he getting enough exercise? Helping your cat to slim down will improve his well-being and make him more alert, which means he might be keener to use his brain rather than snooze away the day.
You can offer a little encouragement by playing with your cat, get him jumping for that toy mouse and pop his cat food at the top of the stairs (a little treat on each step might work well for added motivation)! You can even incorporate a “treasure hunt” into mealtimes, hide dry food or small dishes of wet food in different spots around your home and watch your cat delight as he discovers them one by one! This will get him moving and keep that brain ticking over too.
3. Make Life Interesting
Does your cat have a tendency to view the outside world from the comfort of the windowsill or atop of the armchair? Stimulate him a little by strategically placing a bird-feeder or bird-bath somewhere in the garden where he can view it. He will be intrigued by the birds coming and going and this will hopefully keep him alert and aware.
If you have a house-cat it’s even more important that you keep things fresh and appealing.Your indoor kitty might not have the opportunity to climb a tree or paw his way through the undergrowth, give him a taster of the outdoors by bringing a few elements in.
Leave a stick in the kitchen (just make sure it doesn’t have any unsafe vegetation growing from it), your cat will enjoy the sensation of chewing the wood. You could also consider growing a few cat-safe plants exclusively for your cat to meddle with. Make sure your house-cat gets the same richly diverse experiences that their outdoor feline friends enjoy.
4. Make Time for Playtime
Try to make playtime with your cat a daily habit rather than an occasional treat. Regular play with your cat will help to keep him active and alert throughout his life. There are lots of cat toys available to buy which your cat will really enjoy (hopefully)! You know as well as we do that your kitty has a mind of his own, don’t blame us if he stares distastefully at you whilst you dangle a feather on a rope in his direction!
As owners, we often find ourselves more enthusiastic about playtime than our pampered puss. Persevere, what kitty enjoys may well vary from one day to the next. On Monday he might enjoy chasing a laser projected by a cutting-edge toy but on Tuesday don’t be surprised if he ditches that in favour of a goof old ball of wool. Some toys simply won’t last the test of time, with kitty clawing them to death in one frantic play session, so have a look what’s on the market.
If you don’t want to dig deep consider making your own toys, ribbons, a pair of tights with catnip stuffed in the toe or a plastic bottle filled with a couple of treats or jingling bells will entertain your cat. Alternatively grab an inexpensive bottle of bubble solution and blow a few amazing bubbles. Your cat will love bounding around trying to catch them! Kitty also loves larger items such as cardboard boxes and rustling paper bags, great fun for climbing into, sitting on and tearing up!
5. Here Tiddles!
Cats might not be as easy to train as dogs (you won’t catch Tiddles rolling over or sitting down just because you’ve asked nicely and offered a tasty tit-bit). But you can encourage certain behaviour, which stimulates their brain as they recognise doing something you ask leads to a reward. Call your cats name as you open their cat food tin or pouch and make a fuss of them when they arrive (providing a treat), followed by their delicious din-dins. Hopefully they will start to associate answering to their name with yummy food and will get into the habit of responding when you call.
6. Find A Friend
Another option (and this won’t be popular with everyone), is to get another pet! We’re not suggesting a budgie or hamster (not unless you want a bloodbath on your hands)! But a spirited new cat or dog could provide your cat with the stimulus and inspiration to be more active. Of course, the new addition needs to be brought into the fold carefully, cats can be territorial and your fine feline might not appreciate a young whippersnapper of a kitten or pup sneaking their way in to hog the limelight.
7. Go for a Walk
If your cat is a house-cat its important there are lots of opportunities for him to play and have fun within the home. Hence the idea of making life interesting by hanging a bird-feeder so your cat can watch out of the window. If your cat likes to spend the night on the tiles and his days roaming the nearby gardens he will have to keep his wits about him and will be well-versed with being attentive and watchful. House-cats don’t have to miss out, you could always take him for a short foray into the outside world by popping him on a leash and letting him explore the great outdoors with you.
8. A Short Attention Span
Cats aren’t able to concentrate on a task or too long and tend to get bored quite easily. You need to keep things fresh if you want to hold your cat’s attention. Swap toys around and put them in different places. Rub a couple over with catnip to give your cat an added incentive to have an energetic play session. It’s said that curiosity killed the cat, but in our opinion inquisitiveness serves to make cats more interested, and keeps them active.
Make sure your cat has enough going on around him to prevent boredom and idleness kicking in. A cat snoozing in front of a fire is a common sight, but if your cat seems to spend every hour resting on his mat, it’s time to give him a gentle prod in the right direction. As your cat ages it’s important that you don’t let him become sluggish, he is likely to live longer (and enjoy life more), if he is bright, energetic and inquiring about the world about him.