|Posted on January 14, 2022 at 8:00 AM|
Environmental Enrichment is Essential for Siberian cats. This intelligent, active, and affiliation seeking, medium to large sized breed will become bored, stressed, overweight without the proper safety, challenges, and stimulation in their environment. When humans made the choice to keep cats indoor instead of roaming miles a day, we accepted the responsibility for meeting the mental, emotional, social, and physical needs cats historically met themselves by roaming, exploration, hunting, and interactions with other animals. Read on to learn more about what environmental enrichment means and how to provide it for your Siberian cat.
1. https://indoorpet.osu.edu/sites/indoorpet/files/assets/documents/Herron10_EE_for_Indoor_Cats.pdf" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">This article approaches the need as a diagnostic challenge and looks at how to resolve it to provide the healthiest lifestyle for indoor felines.
2. https://www.thedrakecenter.com/resources/materials/cats/environmental-enrichment-indoor-cats#" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">This succinct overview of what environmental enrichment looks like is shared by The Drake Center for Veterinary Care. It begins by explaining, " While cats confined to an indoor environment generally live longer and are at less risk for contracting infectious diseases or injuries due to trauma, they are at greater risk for a variety of behavioral problems. These problems include urinating and defecating outside the litter box, anxiety, eating disorders, attention seeking, aggression, self-injury and compulsive disorders like excessive grooming and scratching.
Providing an enriched environment can increase activity, decrease mental stagnation and prevent many of these issues. All cats need mental stimulation, but this is especially important for indoor cats. An enriched environment will give cats the opportunity to create their own positive experiences in an enclosed space. The goal is to “create an environment of plenty” for your cat. That means plenty of room, litter boxes, food, water and things to do."
3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1098612X13477537" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">This Peer reviewed, published research on Environmental Enrichment is more technical in nature, but is very clear. The authors make it very clear that a cat’s level of comfort with its environment is intrinsically linked tomits physical health, emotional wellbeing and behavior. Having a basic understanding of your Siberian cat’s species-specific environmental needs and how cats interact with their environment willprovide a foundation for addressing these fundamental requirements.
Addressing environmental needs is essential (not optional) for optimum well being of the cat. Environmental needs include those relating not only to the cat’s physical surroundings (indoors or outdoors; in the home environment or at the veterinary practice), but also those affecting social interaction, including responses to human contact.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1098612X13477537" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Five ‘pillars’ framework: The authorship panel has organized the Guidelines around five primary concepts (‘pillars’) that provide the framework for a healthy feline environment. Understanding these principles and the unique environmental needs of the cat will help veterinarians, cat owners and care-givers to reduce stress, the incidence of stress-related disorders, and unwanted behavior in their feline patients and pets. The recommendations in the Guidelines apply to all pet cats, regardless of lifestyle."
4. https://catfriendly.com/be-a-cat-friendly-caregiver/playing-with-your-cat/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">These straightforward guidelines on playing with your cat were written by the American Association of Feline Practioners (AAFP).
5. https://www.fundamentallyfeline.com/environmental-enrichment-for-indoor-cats/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Down to earth advice from Fundamentally Feline on indoor enrichment. Please skip the magnets: Dangerous!
Continue learning by Googling "Environmental Enrichment for Cats."
Use common sense as per above tip to skip the magnet alpha letters. In these magnets, small magnets easily fall out of plastic letters and can be swallowed by curious kitties leading to intestinal issues requiring expensive surgery.
Dry food is a huge NO-NO for cats. [Dry food also void the FOrestWind Health warranty]. Dry feeding leads to dehydration and a raft of health complications. Please ignore all suggestions to buy and use "food puzzles." Feed species appropriate diets and save puzzles for finding toys. New advice from feline behaviourists suggests moving your Siberian's food plate around the home to mimic hunting behaviour.