Last Caturday, Claire followed a training about cats again ; this time, the course was given by Philippe Bocion, behavioristic veterinarian. There were so many interesting things that’s we’re going to need 3 articles to tell you everything !
According to a study of Bonnie Beaver (Feline Behavior, 2003), the approximate time dedicated to various activities by a free cat is the following one :
- sleeping : 40% (9 hours)
- resting : 20% (4-5 hours)
- bathing : 15% (3-4 hours)
- hunting : 15 à 40% (4 à 9 hours)
- moving and feeding : 5% (1 hour)
- other activities (game, marking, elimination) : 5%
Unfortunately, numerous indoor cats are sub-occupied and spend their days sleeping to pass the time, while they would need at least 4 hours of activities a day (hunting, feeding, playing, interactions), according to a personal estimation of Mr Bocion, to respect their natural needs.
For example, we eat between 7 and 15 times a day when we are free ; it is thus essential to split our meals. Besides, the zoos staff knows that having to make an effort to obtain his food is generally appreciated by animals : we call it contrafreeloading. Hey yeah, looking for his food, it takes time !
How to put food available in a way which increases the cat’s level of activity ?
You can realize this very easily :
- by tinkering a device by means of cardboard rollers, egg boxes, plastic cups,… (warning on the used glue!)
ADVANTAGE : it does not cost anything ; INCONVENIENCE : it’s little hygienic
- by buying a device in a store
ADVANTAGE : it’s hygienic ; INCONVENIENCE : that costs between 20 and 70 CHF
- by hiding food in various places of the apartment
Any device must be presented to the cat at its lowest level of difficulty (open drawers or open lids, food effortlessly accessible). The level of difficulty will then be gradually increased : closed lids or closed drawers, food more difficult to reach,… At the beginning, the cat must be helped and encouraged.
Claire had never perceived the importance of this phenomenon, then necessarily, it gave her ideas.
Without particular device, the food can be hidden in places where we don’t see it at first glance, or in places where it will be necessary to catch it before being able to eat it (under a piece of furniture, between a piece of furniture and a wall, …). Obviously, as you eat kibbles, canned food, or raw meat, certain devices will suit better than on others !