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Cat Enrichment Program

Cat Care Society aims to provide enrichment to our cats daily and offer tools and tips for cat owners. Thanks to our friends at KONG, it’s never been easier!
  • a tabby cat lies in a tunnel and bats at a toy
  • a black cat sits in front of a toy
  • a tabby cat sits in front of a pop-up kong house
  • a black cat sits next to a toy
  • a cat stands on top of a cart full of toys

Why is Enrichment Important?

Daily enrichment is important for cats to have a creative outlet and mental exercise, as well as choice and control regarding how they spend their time. A lack of stimulation can lead to stress, boredom or even aggression. The goal of enrichment is to bring out natural behaviors while also helping to mitigate behavioral concerns. Enrichment helps build a cat’s confidence, makes them feel comfortable and safe, and aids us in learning about their individual personalities.

There are five categories of enrichment. Each category can be utilized separately, and they often overlap. Enrichment should be different each day, providing a novel experience for your cat. It can also be helpful to consider what behavior you are trying to elicit and then select the appropriate enrichment accordingly. It should be a positive experience for the cats; challenging them and building resilience.

More Behavior & Enrichment Resources

5 Categories of Enrichment


Items like a mirror, other animals, visitors, plush toys/look-alike


Novel experiences or items offering mental stimulation


Objects that allow perching/climbing, substrates, a nest/den, visual barrier or moving furniture


Tactile, olfactory, taste, auditory or visual stimulation


A novel food or presentation of food

Safety Considerations

When offering enrichment, it’s important to observe the cats’ interactions and ensure that you do not create danger, injury, frustration or fear. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Can this cause injury to the animal or other pets (entrapment of a body part, ingestion, lodged in mouth or suffocation)?

  • Does your cat have physical or medical limitations? Is your cat geriatric or a kitten, diabetic, injured or on a special diet?

  • Can it aid in an escape to an area the animal should not have access to?

  • Will it cause blockage to another area, door, litterbox, food or water?

  • Will it cause damage to your home?

Enrichment Impact on Shelter Cats

a young woman sits next to a tabby cat against a tan wall

“Being around our shelter cats five days a week has put me in a unique position to get to know each cat and their personalities and quirks. Since the enrichment program has started, I have definitely seen a shift in the happiness and well-being of each cat that comes through the door. Overall, our cats are friendlier and more confident, they engage in play sessions and are open to anyone who comes into the rooms. We have seen our shy kitties come around at a much quicker pace. Many of the anxious and fearful cats come out of their shell faster because our dedicated staff and volunteers make sure these cats are enriched and happy. Before the program, it would take some cats months to show any behavioral improvement. Now, most of them improve in weeks! This can drastically reduce the length of time they spend in the shelter.” — Kelly C, animal care technician

a woman in a leopard print sweater holds a  white and brown cat

“While Cat Care Society has had a small-scale enrichment program in the past, our partnership with KONG has inspired something more comprehensive for both our staff and the cats. It has been so fun to build a program that targets improved mental stimulation, exercise and socialization for cats in the shelter, as well as for adopted cats. We want to see cats expressing their natural behaviors while also strengthening a bond with humans. The enrichment program has also supported our efforts with cats who need behavior modification. I am so excited to see how the program continues to grow and the impact it will have on our community!” — Sonia H, foster & behavior supervisor

Cat Care Society’s Behavior & Enrichment program is sponsored by KONG.

KONG has been innovating since 1976 to enrich the lives of pets with the highest quality pet toys and treats. The KONG product line provides mental and physical stimulation through encouraging play, appropriate chewing habits, and controlled feeding to help ensure pets are at their happiest and healthiest at every life stage.