Cats need enrichment
SPCA Auckland is encouraging cat owners to enrich their pet’s life by making simple changes at home.
Environmental enrichment can improve an animal’s physical and psychological welfare, but it isn’t something New Zealanders think of for their cats. However, it can reduce stress and abnormal cat behaviour like aggression, vocalisation, and over grooming. SPCA Auckland chief executive Andrea Midgen says cats like exploring, nice smells, and admiring views, just like humans.
‘‘Many people think that because cats are so independent, they can amuse themselves day to day. But that’s actually far from the truth,’’ Midgen says.
‘‘Although they like to sleep a lot, cats are not built to sit around all day and eat food out of bowls.’’
Cat enrichment has been a focus of the SPCA for a few years, she says, to help alleviate stress and reduce illness.
‘‘We do our very best, but the truth is that shelters are an incredibly stressful place for all animals, including cats.’’
The SPCA recommends some simple ways to enrich a cat’s life, resulting in a happier and healthier pet. Instead of feeding a cat twice a day, divide its daily food amount into several meals to recreate their natural way of eating - little and often.
Find more SPCA tips on cat enrichment see www.rnzspca.org.nz/ catenrichment
Cats like nice smells, and admiring views, SPCA’s Andrea Midgen says.