Cats are great for the busy working lifestyle. They are highly independent, intelligent and loving creatures. They do sleep for most of the day to conserve energy, and can be quite active at night. Living with cats is like living with your own personal gurus – they will keep you calm and relaxed all the time, unless its time to play! Be ready for cat acrobatics and antics that will keep you entertained for hours. So how do you keep your feline friend stimulated?
Cats can be trained to walk on a harness and you can take your beloved feline for walks into your community garden if you have one, or onto the streets surrounding your apartment block. Cats love to explore, to sit in the sunshine and watch the world go by. Try using an extendable lead so your cat can explore in the trees and bushes too. If this is new for your cat, try to take them out at quiet times of the day so they are less overwhelmed by their surroundings. Cats do sleep a lot of the day, however all cats do enjoy watching the world outside. Give them constant access to windowsills to observe, or you can cover your balcony with mesh so your cat can safely get fresh air and sunshine. For inside entertainment, keep a tall cat scratcher with hidey-holes for your cat to kip in. Always keep a variety of toys for your cat to play with – you never know, you might be their favourite toy!
Birds are fantastic to have in an apartment. Did you know they love to explore and get into everything that you’re doing? They are very inquisitive and like to work out puzzles and obstacles. Birds also love bonding time; so watching TV or reading a book is now never lonely. When picking a bird species, the smaller the parrot, the less noisy the bird can be. Budgies, Cockatiels and even Canaries are easy to care for, and a pair is much better than one on its own. It is best to stay away from the bigger birds like Cockatoos and Macaws. They can be very loud, high maintenance and do require a much bigger environment. How would you exercise a bird?
A bird that can roam freely in your apartment is a happier and stress-free bird (granted you keep the doors and windows closed). Your bird will see you and your family as the flock, so they will want to be wherever you are. Place several bird stands around your home, so they have their safety spots to rest and be left alone when they feel like it. Birds like toys too! They love to taste and test textures of different objects, so have a variety of natural toys such as wood pieces, and toys like cat bell balls for them to play with. You can keep these in a wooden basket in their cage – this will encourage their foraging instincts.
Rabbits & Guinea Pigs
Rabbits and Guinea Pigs are quite the underestimated apartment animal. Their cage is their safe haven, but they naturally like to roam and learn new things. They are very intelligent, and learn games quite quickly. Highly cautious but curious, rabbits and guinea pigs do best with a partner, as they are prey animals and feel much safer with their own kind than alone.
Did you know a rabbit or guinea pig can be walked on a leash? Get them used to wearing a harness indoors first, and as they get used to the leash then they can go out for walks to eat grass, sniff around and get some fresh air and sunshine too. As prey animals, rabbits and guinea pigs are quite cautious and get stressed easily; avoid dog friendly parks and high traffic areas. When you are home, let your rabbit and/or guinea pig roam freely – they will enjoy the freedom to follow you around and explore. Rabbits and Guinea pigs do need to graze – not only are they herbivores, they also need to graze to keep their teeth grinded down. You can grow grass and herbs in several pots and they can enjoy eating these indoors.
Not Ready Yet to Make A Commitment?
If you are not allowed to keep animals at this time or you cannot make a full time commitment, you can volunteer your time at your local animal shelter. Caring for animals gives us so much compassion, love and fulfilling purpose in our lives. There are many shelter animals that need love and attention, and more importantly reassurance whilst they are looking for their forever home. Your love and support to those animals may seem little, but to that animal it means the world.