HomeCat BehaviorEnvironmental Enrichment For Domestic Cats

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Environmental Enrichment For Domestic Cats — 5 Comments

  1. I think Michael is right sadly. I have learnt so much from when I had my first cat. I regret that I was not there for my first cat in ways I should have been but I loved her very much and did everything I could for her. I even built her a tunnel to go in and out in the dead of winter so she could be totally independant. But there were things I did nopt know about toys and playing that might have helped us bond more. She was very happy all in all, and I was around most every day so she never was lonely. And since then I have learnt a lot more. She is still alive in Canada living with her sister (my ex gf) and I know now she is older and I have imposed myself on my ex (her current caretaker) with requests for good food to be given to her and a proper yearly check up to look out for kidney problems and so on. So in a sense I am still watching over her. I could not put her through coming to Europe with me. Leaving her behind, albeit in very good hands with her littermate, was one of the hardest things I ever had to do in my life. But it would have been selfish of me to drag her here not knowing what would become of my own life or where I would live. I had to leave Canada in part due to visa problems. She had a great life. But I think Michael is right about people. Most of them just don’t know what a cat wants. They see a cat complain and give it food and then they complain that the cats isnt hungry and ‘what does she want’. I’ve seen cats at people’s houses who I feel terribly sorry for. I used to visit my neighbour but actually just to spend time with his poor cat who loved me so much because I loved him and understood hime alot more. Yet I feel now that I knew nothing then, which makes my neighbour a complete idiot in the grand scheme of things. I think most indoor only cats are probably neglected and/or suffering because of a lack of good environment and connection with caretakers. What is infuriating is said caretakers wont let them out because they fear the risks. At least let the cat take it’s owqn life into it’s hands and be happy for a time. Don’t sucumb to your own fears of it dying and lock it in but without catering to it’s needs. It’s sad and not fair. Yes Michael, I would say 2/3 or 3/4 is probably about right. The only thingI would point out is it is in the context of indoor only cats that this is crucial.

  2. I know what Monty desires. He wants to catch that chipmunk that lives under the wood pile out back and rip him apart with tooth and claw. He wants to jump up and snatch birds from low hanging tree branches or in flight as they swoop down within his reach. He wants to catch that squirrel who pesters him all the time, but at the same time he’s a little afraid of him. He wants to sniff out a mouse or chase after a bunny. He wants to catch little animals and crush them in his jaws. These are his thoughts all the time, these are the things that drive his very existence. The chance to kill live prey is the true reason he wants outside. Sure, he climbs trees, munches on grass and rolls in the dirt, but that’s all secondary to his prey drive, which is always there, whether he’s hungry or not. My sister calls him “Killer” but if she’s honest, her kitty is no different. When we had mice in the basement, before Monty came, her cat was constantly bringing half dead mice upstairs to her. she was less than thrilled to receive these gifts. We blocked the hole where they were coming in, so no more mice in the basement, but I’ll bet Monty wishes there were. Of course mice are what he’s looking for in the dusty, cob webbed corners down there. It’s all about catching prey for him. I dread the carnage, but killing something is his hope every day.

    • You are so right Ruth and a lot of people don’t understand that cats have deep rooted instincts from the days when they had to hunt prey to survive.
      I hate it when people say cats are murderers, they are not, it’s people killing other people who are murderers, not cats who merely follow their instincts.
      Anyone who truly love cats accepts and understands that part of them and loves and accepts cats as they are, as cats and knows that cats are not little people with human reasoning.
      I think you are right too Michael that 2/3 or even 3/4 people who keep cats don’t know what a cat desires, they don’t even bother to try to educate themselves either.
      There must be countless cats living with less than full quality of life, some actually living in misery, because of who fate decreed would have them in their power.
      That makes me very sad.

  3. You are so right Michael, a lot of caretaker/cat relationships are unhappy because the person hasn’t bothered to learn much about how to make cats happy and content and as you said, they lose a friend if they ever were a friend, if they don’t make sure the cat has compensation for his having to conform to our way of life.
    Some people think cats just need to eat and sleep, they have no thought the poor creatures could be bored and frustrated. Worse off are the declawed cats who can’t even amuse themselves on a scratching post or grab a toy to play with.
    I really don’t know why people who don’t have time to spend with their cat have one, cats are not possessions or accessories, they are living feeling beings with the right to a fulfilled and happy life.
    We should never forget their deepest wild instincts and that we took their freedom away from them and need to make it up to them for doing that.

    • Thanks Ruth. I have a horrible feeling that 2/3rds (3/4?) of the people who keep cats don’t really know what a cat desires.

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