For years, Jolene and I have referred to keeping animals entertained as "giving them a coloring book." I suppose the more up-to-date reference would be similar to "giving them screen time." Examples of what we mean by this would be puzzle feeders, activity toys, training games, etc. "Coloring books" are a valuable way to not only meet your pet's needs, but to also give them opportunities to practice species-typical behaviors.
We frequently will explain concepts in ways that help clients understand the role that our recommendations play in a behavior modification plan. Providing "coloring books" is a way to prevent problem behaviors from occurring like counter surfing, inappropriate chewing, screaming, feather plucking, etc.
Finn working on a "coloring book."
Convenient times to offer activities like this are during human meals, when visitors come over, or when the human family members are trying to relax (watching tv, reading, etc). Engaging with a "coloring book" is a way to channel an animal's energy onto something that is appropriate. We want them to use their brain!
Some wonderful resources that we provide to clients to learn more about "coloring books are:
Cats - Food Puzzles for Cats
Birds - Avian Enrichment