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The Buzz on Enrichment

Come and learn how to spice up your pets life! Follow The Buzz on Enrichment for great DIY enrichment for the animals in your world. 

 

Filtering by Tag: cat treat

8 Days of Herbs for the Holidays

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Cats can benefit from smelling different herbs

Cats can benefit from smelling different herbs

Holidays can be stressful. Family is in town, you’re gone to work parties, out shopping at weird hours, and this is just what your cat saw this week! Let’s help them de-stress a bit in a low-effort, new-ish way.

When you get a cat, you also get the knowledge that cats dig catnip. Have you ever tried another herb with your feline friends? No? I got you.

I went to the Tucson Herb Store this weekend and restocked my Catnip stash and picked out 7 new herbs to try while I was there.

So, what did I choose?

Catnip

Valerian

Dandelion

Skullcap

Passion Flower

Chamomile

Silvervine

Mullein

PSA- Did you know that you can drink Catnip tea?! You guys, its recommended in humans for things like insomnia and anxiety. Mind Blown.

Chamomile for Kitties

Chamomile for Kitties

Cats and Herbs

While there are a lot of ways to use herbs, the only way that I use them in my home for the cats is fresh/dried and scattered in small quantities. Some cats just smell and rub, but some eat the herbs. Watch how they interact with new scents and adjust accordingly. Many herbs, when eaten in large quantities, can cause stomach upsets. If your kitty chooses to eat the herbs, stick with infusing safe toys instead.

I use herbs to “infuse” toys that may have otherwise lost their ZING. Like here when I tossed paper toys into a bag of catnip and gave it a shake to give them a little zing before tossing them around the house.

I also sprinkle herbs on rugs, cat trees, and scratching posts to encourage behaviors like: scratching, stretching, rolling, and rubbing. Better in these places than the furniture, right?!

No tinctures. No Essential oils. Not without the direct guidance of a veterinarian because the risk of potential toxicity in cats due to the potencies of the herb derivatives is way too high.

Herbs for Cats

Herbs for Cats

Cats aren’t the only ones who like herbs. Rabbits get herb mixes in their toys to encourage exploring rabbit safe toys, rather than everything else in the house(hello, allll the cords). Parrots get fresh herb gardens and herbs in their toys to satisfy their need to forage.

Cat Herbal Enrichment
Herbs for Cats

Herbs for Cats

Tatty Approves.



*Always talk to your veterinarian before adding things to your pets environment, especially those things intended for your pets. For those of us with cats, did you know that the American Association of Feline Practitioners created a program, Cat Friendly Practice, to help create stress free vet visits specifically for cats? Sounds pretty great doesn’t it?

Get Out of My Tree

sandy mcpadden

cat enrichment

There isn't much cuter than a kitten in a Christmas tree. There also isn't anything much more frustrating to me than a kitten in my Christmas tree. Thank you, foster kitten, who has no name. 

So, whats a gal to do when her kitten is wrecking the place?

Give her something appropriate to wreck instead. I made her some cat nip infused pumpkins, but I wanted something different and more fun. 

cat enrichment

{Insert catnip infused, needle-felted gingerbread man}

He's SO easy. 

I know you still have cookie cutters all over your kitchen, and now you'll have an excuse for not putting them away. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • Wool Roving (etsy has ADORABLE ethically sourced wool fiber. Your local craft store carries wool as well, just ask.

  • Needle felting needle

  • Foam

  • Cookie Cutter

  • Cat Nip

cat enrichment

Take your cookie cutter and lay it on your foam block. 

Choose a color, pull it apart a bit and place inside the cookie cutter. 

cat enrichment

The needle has a tiny barb on it that helps tangle the bitty fibers, so get all of your frustrations out and poke the little dude a million times. 

Its sort of like magic. It goes from loose fiber to a solid man. 

Once you get a layer flip the cookie cutter over, sprinkle with cat nip and put in a tad more wool. Repeat the poking. 

Keep flipping, sprinkling, adding wool, and poking until you have a solid little form. 

cat enrichment

You can even add designs. What ever you put down and poke will stay, so I added buttons.

There are fiber artists who create beautiful works of art.

I make cat toys.

cat enrichment
cat enrichment

Cat toys that encourage natural feline behaviors like using olfaction to locate prey and ripping on their prize. The fibers are also great for preventing plaque, just watch that they aren't eating the toy. 

And it keeps kittens out of my Christmas tree. 

cat enrichment


Kong Stuffers made with HEART

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Organ meat. 

The thought of eating it makes me want to gag. Even after saying that, and I am pretty sure that I will get comments telling me that I should eat them. {I won't}

For the dogs (and cats!), though, these little organs can pack a punch, nutritionally. Their odor can too, when they're dehydrating. 

When I am in the dehydrating mood, I pull out a few things at a time. This week I dried Beef liver, chicken gizzards and hearts, sweet potato and green beans. 

Playing the stocking stuffer game is pretty simple if you're using your dehydrator. 

Here what you'll need:

  • Beef Liver
  • Chicken Gizzards & Hearts
  • Green Beens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Dehydrator
  • Mason Jars
  • A WWII gas mask to prevent you from vomiting when you smell organs drying in your house

Rinse all of your goods before preparing. Cut the liver and sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices. This makes the final width easy enough to break in Kong stuff-able sizes. Some blank the sweet potatoes first, I do not and maybe thats why mine are really dull in appearance. 

I dehydrated the meats together and the veggies together. 

Miss Addie was obviously in love. As the taste tester, you get the good and the bad. She got off easy today. 

These make great stocking stuffers for your dogs and cats, but they're a wonderful gesture for friends of the fury variety as well. 

A cute Ball Mason Jar with a touch of raffia makes a for a healthy homemade gift with heart. Get it? A gift with HEART?