Life as an indoor cat has many benefits – ready food sources, shelter, and a safe environment. But indoor cats are still cats, thriving on many of the instinctual behaviors of their ancestors. There are easy ways you can provide additional stimulation that satisfies their curiosity and keep them from being bored. Without that motivation, boredom can be bad news – potentially leading to a host of unwanted behaviors such as aggression, marking, and, well, destroying your new shoes.
Tips Keep your cat entertained at home:
1. Bring The Outdoors In
If you don’t have a good place to set up a bird feeder, try a DVD designed especially for viewing by cats. There are several DVDs available featuring wildlife such as birds, squirrels, ducks, fish, and more.
2.Invest In A Bird Feeder
Cats love to bird watch; keep a feeder near a window to attract the feathered creatures. Like most cats, Poppy is a dedicated ornithologist, and I’ve found that her drawer opening and counter hopping activities diminish when she has birds to watch. I’ve set up a comfortable spot for her in front of the sliding glass door that looks out onto my patio, where I’ve hung a bird feeder.
Once you set up your own bird feeder, don’t be surprised if the word gets out and flocks start descending. Birdseed can get expensive, so I only refill the feeder every two or three days. Even when the feeder is empty, birds will scour the ground for fallen seeds, which brings them even closer to Amelia’s eye level.
3.Create A Treasure Hunt With Toys
Stash cat toys around the house to pique your cat’s interest throughout the day, and rotate the selection to maintain interest. Shojai recommends cat interactive toys and jingle balls for younger cats, but Poppy, who’s 3 years old, seems to take a kitten-ish delight in these, too.
Or for a method you can try at home: “Try dropping a ping pong ball or other toys inside the empty bathtub for them to bat around—it keeps the cat from losing/hiding toys under the refrigerator,” Shojai says. For cats that are no longer kittens, catnip toys usually do the trick, she adds.
4.Think Vertically in home
Cats love to explore, especially up off the ground. Even if you live in a small apartment, you can likely find places for your cat to lounge and stroll when they tire of the view from the floor.
Place a piece of cat furniture near a window, but also clean off other surfaces, such as the top of a bookcase or fireplace mantle, so your cat can safely explore without breaking your things. Before I leave home in the morning, I open the window blinds so Amelia can see outside from almost any perch she chooses.
5.Food puzzles and toys
If your feline friend is food motivated, then treat based puzzles can be a fun, low maintenance way of keeping your cat entertained (and fed). The typical food puzzle is a sphere that can be laden with cat treats which only release when your kitty has figured out the correct method, stimulating both their body and mind.
For cats that are more into the hunt than the prize, toys like the SmartCat Peek-A-Prize allow you to stuff a box with plush toys that your cat can then ‘hunt’ by flipping them out of the box through the holes. It engages their natural instincts and can keep them playing for hours.
Super smart cats might figure a single puzzle out over time, but there’s always plenty of new and challenging products on the market. Just remember to factor these treats into your cat’s diet plan to avoid overeating.
6.Paper and paper bags
The crinkling sound of paper and its ability to change shape makes for an engaging, low-cost material that your cat will just love. Leave a few pieces artfully scattered around the house so your kitty can stumble across them throughout the day.
Paper bags are also fun. Like cardboard boxes, your kitty can pounce in and out and tear holes to use as tunnels. Just remember to remove any handles attached to the paper bag, as they can be a choking hazard.
7.A room with a view
Cats are drawn to the outside world and watching it go by, particularly from an elevated position. If you’ve got a second story with a balcony or floor to ceiling glass, leave the blinds open so your kitty has endless entertainment outside. Alternatively, install a shelf or move a piece of furniture like a bookshelf close to the window so they have a good view while you’re at work.
8.Fish tank fun
While fish and cats aren’t always the best mix (especially if you’re the fish), a properly secured and out of reach fish tank can keep your cat entertained and visually stimulated while you’re at work. Fish tanks also add to the interior design of your home. Just be 100% sure there’s no way your cat can get into the tank or knock it over.
Nobody knows your cat like you. Although it may take some experiments to find the right balance, the tips above should set you on the path to success in keeping your cat entertained while away from home.
You can also include toys with your home-grown dried catnip. Keep in mind to factor the hidden treats into your cat’s overall diet to prevent him or her from gaining weight.
Keeping a cat safe by keeping him indoors without the tools to exercise his instincts would be cruel, indeed. … The answer: enrich your A kitten everyday life by providing the stimulation and the action she both wants and needs. Inside—-with an extensively enriched environment.