Cats get bored when spoken to

Intelligence toys prevent boredom in cats

Cats often seem like they invented relaxation. But a little variety is also good for them. The right toys get the animals going.

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Such a toy demands the full attention of cats and does not allow boredom to arise.

In the wild, cats have a lot of variety. They climb trees, ambush mice and chase other species out of their territory. Indoor cats lack these employment opportunities. So-called intelligence toys can help, because they encourage the hunting instinct and the creativity of the house tiger without being outdoors.

Variety is part of animal welfare

Cats are individualists. But almost all of them have one thing in common: They really enjoy playing. "So it can't do any harm to offer animals something to do, including in the form of intelligence toys," says Marius Tünte from the German Animal Welfare Association in Bonn. If cats had enough variety, housing could also be animal-friendly. In addition, the animals received new ideas and noticed that their owners were busy with them, says Astrid Behr from the Association of Practicing Veterinarians in Frankfurt.

Under-challenged animals scratch furniture

"If you keep your cat in your apartment, you should contact her as often as possible," says Behr. Just lying on the sofa is not enough for velvet paws. Under-challenged chicks quickly become frustrated and come up with stupid ideas. "Then they scratch furniture, for example, or become unclean," says Heidi Kübler from the Society for Holistic Veterinary Medicine in Schallstadt (Baden-Württemberg).

Food hide-and-seek: move first, then eat

The intelligence of the animals can be addressed with appropriate toys. According to Kübler, food and hide games are particularly exciting. The animal has to open drawers to get treats. Food balls are particularly suitable for cats who tend to be overweight. “The balls have to be kicked through the apartment so that the treats fall out. In this way, the cat also has a bit of exercise, ”says the veterinarian.

Laser pointers can be dangerous

When it comes to intelligent toys for cats, retailers have even more to offer. There is a food maze where the snacks have to be guided through the maze with the paw. But you can also do it without treats. With a laser pointer, points can be thrown on the wall that the animal wants to catch. However, this toy is not entirely without: "Laser pointers can cause damage to the retina, which can even lead to blindness," warns Tünte.

Small parts can be swallowed

With toys made of fur or hard plastic, animals could swallow small pieces of wire, glass, metal or plastic. Cats should only deal with hung toys under the supervision of their owners. Otherwise there is a risk that they will get stuck or cut off body parts, says Tünte.

Tinker intelligence toys yourself

But owners can also make intelligence toys themselves. "You can hide small snacks in boxes or bags," suggests Behr. That is harmless and challenges the animal. But not all cats are equally intelligent. "Just as with humans, there are also cunning and less cunning ones." How smart your own darling is, however, is easy to find out. Kübler advises depositing treats in the apartment and watching how quickly they are found.

Cats don't take every treat

However, unlike dogs, some cats cannot be baited with just any treat. "Cats tend to be picky and have certain preferences when it comes to treats," says Tünte. Food imprinting at a very young age is responsible for this. "What the animal received in its imprinting phase from the third to around the twelfth week of life, it will also prefer later." Holders may have to experiment a little to find out what they like.

Cats get bored easily

There are also differences in terms of stamina when playing and exploring. Some cats get bored easily. “How old the animal is and what experiences it had at a young age certainly also play a role,” says Tünte. In contrast to dogs, cats do not allow themselves to be overwhelmed by their owner. If a cat doesn't want to play anymore, just back off.

The home furnishings should also offer variety

But the home furnishings should also offer variety. The animals must have several rooms and sufficient hiding and climbing opportunities, says Tünte. In addition, the cats should have enough opportunities to look out, as they like to sit by the window and watch.

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| Updated January 8, 2016

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