The publish Some Late Autumn Thoughts About pet cat Environmental Enrichment by Vangelis Diamantakos from the Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) appeared first on Katzenworld – Welcome to the world of cats!.
It was mid-August 2022 in Alepochori, Greece and I used to be sitting relaxed on a bench by the seacoast watching the attractive sundown. It was then, from the nook of my eye, I noticed a cat passing over my bench; she was heading in direction of one other cat who was consuming meals offered by a neighborhood, stray animal volunteer organisation. She was most probably a pet cat as she was sporting a really shiny, inexperienced, neck collar. The different cat was a stray, as I’ve seen her many instances on this space earlier than. I don’t know why however watching the 2 cats sharing their meals peacefully made me take into consideration the essential position of pet cat environmental enrichment. I’m positive that the pet cat was provided sufficient meals by her house owners. However, what made this pet cat go away her secure residence setting and have dinner with one other cat companion? This query has immediately monopolised my thought and a focus.
So, as an alternative of taking some images of the beautiful sundown colors within the sky, I used my cellular to write down down some ideas and rhetorical questions I want to share with you. Please keep in mind that I’m very a lot conscious of my bias to interpret animal behaviour with anthropomorphism as we, human animals, can’t absolutely perceive all points of different animals’ behaviours.
These are the notes I wrote:
If I have been a cat I’d ‘consciously’ or ‘unconsciously’ prefer to …:
- Interact with different cats. Do all pet cats have this chance?
- Explore locations that are situated round my den/residence. Are our pet cats given this chance/freedom?
- Utilise my bodily and psychological skills to seek out my meals. Do we provide sufficient physique and psychological stimulation to our pet cats?
I believe that these questions are fairly tough, controversial and can’t be simply answered as there are numerous elements concerned. The two main elements are first the cats’ Health & Safety issues, and second, the proprietor’s topic data and time availability to suppose, design and apply an environmental enrichment plan. Regardless of the proprietor’s issues and limitations, the cat’s want for psychological and physique stimulation will at all times be there and ready to be fulfilled.
The provision of environmental enrichment to a pet cat generally is a steady and ongoing course of. Equipment, supplies, routines, procedures, setting, arrange, human interplay, and so forth., ought to change in methods that may supply cats the chance to raised utilise their bodily and psychological expertise. Moreover, these adjustments shouldn’t over-stress the cat; the degrees of stress ought to be fairly managed by the cat, based mostly on her bodily capability and psychological state. The listing of adjustments we are able to introduce are many, if not countless, as the mix of things concerned are limitless. As an instance, I may ask you to consider the quite a few mixtures of some elements concerned once we feed our cat: e.g. space and precise location of the meals bowl, meals bowl materials and form, space lighting, environmental noises (each bodily and synthetic), time of feeding, stage of issue to strategy/discover the meals, meals sort and amount provided. If you barely change one in every of these elements, then you might have a special mixture. The mixtures might be countless and should present completely different settings of environmental enrichment.
However, I believe that if we wish to take into consideration the massive image, in relation to environmental enrichment alternatives, we are able to supply to our cats, we should always first work on the fundamentals. In the next bullet factors, I want to offer you some very fundamental instructions and solutions that may enable you to to regularly enhance your cat’s welfare requirements by means of environmental enrichment:
- Familiarise your cat with their provider field. Make your cat really feel relaxed and relaxed when they’re contained in the provider and when they’re transferred inside. Try to coach your cat as a lot as you may with this course of. You can begin by placing meals into the provider and based on your cat’s progress, shut the door and switch them from one room to a different. Gradually improve the time and the space the cat is moved within the provider. The provider is an especially essential piece of apparatus and a software that may enable you to to go to different secure locations, areas and areas; for instance, the veterinary observe or the homes of family and friends.
- Introduce your cat to different cats from a really early age. Bear in thoughts that ‘friendships’ between cats generally is a actual problem. In the identical means that we people don’t turn into pals with everyone we meet, the identical applies to cats too. Do not power your cat to turn into ‘pals’ with a cat that they don’t really feel good and relaxed round after they meet or work together. Very younger age enormously helps quite a lot of cats to familiarise and turn into ‘pals’ with different younger cats.
- Feed your cat in a means that may imitate the method of searching or foraging. When your cat can’t see you, you may conceal meals in other places and areas to make the entire means of consuming extra attention-grabbing. You may also put parts of her every day meals amount into feeder balls or related secure gadgets/toys that may necessitate extra motion throughout consuming; much like what occurs in nature.
As said above the environmental enrichment provided to a pet cat generally is a steady and ongoing course of. Use your creativeness to introduce some attention-grabbing adjustments into your cat’s life however at all times prioritise your cat’s well being & security and welfare.
SCAS is the UK’s main human-companion animal bond organisation by means of funding analysis, offering schooling, elevating consciousness, encouraging finest observe, and influencing the event of insurance policies and practices that help the human-companion animal bond. For extra particulars take a look at our web site at www.scas.org.uk