Hello again and welcome to June's Meezer Musings!
Siamese cats, as all of us know, are intelligent, energetic, active, muscular cats - cats that should, ideally, get plenty of exercise to keep them lean and agile, as well as mental stimulation to keep them out of all the many kinds of mischief that Siamese cats tend to get into when they're bored and lonely.
Cats in the wild tend to hunt twice a day, generally at dawn and dusk, sleeping up to sixteen hours in between times. Domestic cats also sleep up to sixteen hours a day, but in between times they don't always get the exercise and excitement that would be naturally provided by having to hunt for food.
Last October we looked at a range of options (harnesses, catios, fenced yards etc.) for keeping your cats safe while giving them an outdoor experience, but with many cats now being kept entirely indoors, it's important to give them as much exercise and mental stimulation as possible.
So this month we're taking a look at strategies, toys and games to help keep your cat mentally and physically in tip-top condition.
Preventing boredom and keeping your cats out of mischief generally
means making sure that they have plenty to keep them occupied and
providing them with an environment that aims to replicate what they
might find in the wild - trees to climb, lookout points, toys to chase and
catch, running, jumping, climbing ...
A high cat condo or cat tree placed next to a window or window ledge where
cats can look at the outside world and see birds, squirrels and other wildlife is ideal, like the one below belonging
to one of our Facebook visitors, Erika Zamorano, and her cats Branndi and Missy.
The taller the better, and the more hidey-holes, perches, dangling toys and sisal scratching posts it has, the more your cats will enjoy it.
Similar items to consider are specially designed cat trees or climbing towers like this one, or, if you're good at woodwork and design, why not create a series of wall-mounted catwalks, steps, shelves, and obstacles for your cat to move around on?
Perhaps something like this extraordinary house, which I've always loved, which was featured in online design magazine Houzz some years ago.
Peter Cohen, a California house designer and builder, built ramps, ledges, bridges, passageways and an indoor fish pond to turn his home into a wonderful cats' playground for fifteen rescued cats (and three humans!)
As you'll see, a number of the cats are Siamese or
Siamese mixes, and all the cats clearly enjoy their unusual and
beautiful cat-friendly home.
Peter Cohen's gorgeous, cat-friendly Californian house
Featured in Houzz
Once you've taken care of climbing and jumping, you need to think about chasing and catching, and there are many cat toys designed to provide stimulation and mimic hunting behavior through the thrill of the chase.
Simple playthings like catnip mice and other toys, scrunched up newspaper or tinfoil can be thrown for cats who like to play fetch, or you might consider a 'wand' type toy like the Cat Dancer Rainbow Cat Charmer.
Alternatively, there are battery-operated mechanical toys like the Catit Design Senses Super Roller Circuit Toy, which is beautifully modeled below by another of our recent Facebook visitors, Annamay Simpson's Bluebell.
The roller circuit contains an illuminated ball which many cats love to chase as it spins around the circuit.
Finally, it's worth considering brain stimulation, making cats work for their supper through the use of puzzle toys in which you hide treats or dry food to make the cats learn how to get the food out, and giving them some exercise in the process.
There are a number of different types of these including puzzle balls that cats can chase (very good for overweight cats needing exercise - I actually used to have one these - Bandit loved it!) puzzle wheels, and boards such as the Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder, shown below.
Sadly, overweight and even obese cats are far from unusual these days and as I said at the start, Siamese cats should be muscular, lean and agile, so anything
you can do to keep your cats moving and active and keep their
muscles toned and their joints supple, will help their health enormously
in the long run.
That's about it for June, but before we go, here's another photo from Annamay Simpson proving that all a Siamese cat really needs to satisfy its zest for play is a handy box. This is the one that Bluebell's Catit toy arrived in - two playthings for the price of one!
Meezer Musings will be taking a break for the rest of the summer as I'll be working on some much-needed house projects. I'm also planning to do some much-needed updates to this website, and (all things being equal) I hope to be back in the autumn with perhaps a slightly different format to the newsletter.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy what remains of your summer (or winter, if you're in the southern hemisphere) and stay safe, well and coronavirus-free, wherever you are.
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