Enriched environment for cats: “work” for the senses - Wikipet
The sensory organs of the cat are unusually developed and sensitive, therefore it is necessary to ensure such conditions that the purr can fully use them. And this is also part of the enriched environment. Otherwise, the cat suffers from sensory deprivation, gets bored, experiences distress and exhibits problematic behavior.
Research results (Bradshaw, 1992, pp. 16–43) have shown that cats spend a lot of time studying the environment and observing what is happening around them. If the windowsill is wide enough and comfortable, they love to look out the window. If the window sill is not suitable for this purpose, you can equip additional "observation posts" near the window - for example, special platforms for cats.
Since humans have little sense of smell compared to other creatures, they often underestimate the need of animals to use their nose and do not give them such an opportunity. However, odors play a huge role in cats' lives (Bradshaw and Cameron-Beaumont, 2000) and, accordingly, new odors must be incorporated into the cat's environment.
Wells and Egli (2003) studied how the inclusion of objects with three odors (nutmeg, catnip, partridge odor) in cats' environment affects the behavior of cats, and no artificial odors were added to the control group. The animals were observed for five days and recorded an increase in activity time in cats, which had the opportunity to study additional odors. Nutmeg caused less interest in cats than catnip or the smell of partridge. Catnip is a well-known stimulant for cats, although not all cats respond to it. This smell is also often used in making toys for cats, and you can also grow peppermint specifically for pets.
Sebaceous glands are located on the cat’s body, especially on the head and near-canal region, as well as between the fingers. By scratching something, the cat leaves smell marks and thus communicates with other animals. Also, similar marking behavior allows you to leave visual marks and keep the claws in good condition. Therefore, it is imperative that the cat is given the opportunity to scratch suitable surfaces. For this purpose, a variety of clawpaws have been created. Schroll (2002) proposes to place the clawpot in different places (in any case, the clawpot should not be one), for example, at the front door, near the cat’s sleeping place and in any places that the cat wants to mark as part of its territory.
If the cat does not leave the house, it is worth growing grass for her in special containers. Some cats love to chew grass. In particular, this helps them get rid of swallowed lumps of wool.
By creating an enriched environment for a cat, you improve the quality of its life, which means that it significantly reduces the risk of manifesting problematic behavior.