How to Keep your Cat Entertained
Cats play many roles in our lives: best friend, keeper of secrets, cuddle buddy, and even therapy companions, but anyone who has lived with a cat probably knows they can get easily bored. It’s our responsibility as pet owners to create a stimulating environment to keep our cats mentally sharp and return the love they give to us. Check out some unique ways below to keep your cat entertained.
Create an interesting environment
Do you have a cat?
Cats are creatures of their environments. It’s especially important for indoor cats to have a stimulating environment where they will not get bored and have plenty of activities and areas to explore to keep them mentally sharp.
Some things to invest in for your home to encourage your cat to explore:
Designated eating and sleeping area
Cardboard box with holes cut for entering and exiting
Private litter box area separate from sleeping and eating
Investing in tunnels, climbing toys, and other apparatuses will give your cats different levels and various shades of light and dark to explore. Consider placing the tunnel in a quiet area for cats who like to bury so they feel safe and get to tape into their adventurous nature.
Creating an interesting indoor environment will also encourage your indoor cat to have plenty to do so they are not jumping on counters, tables, or trying to run outside or into areas where you do not want them venturing.
Keeping eating, sleeping, and litter box areas separate will encourage more activity and allow your cat to feel safe and quiet if those areas are placed somewhere in your home that do not get a lot of foot traffic.
Use a variety of toys to engage
Playing directly with your cat will not only keep them engaged and entertained, but will also encourage bonding between the two of you and help kitty burn off some energy.
Some great ideas for “staple” toys you should keep around the house
Fishing pole games
These should keep your cat entertained for hours and is a good way to encourage your cat to play and bite on the toy instead of on others or your own feet and hands if they tend to be overly playful with humans.
Soft mice, balls, bells, or feathers will give your cat something to keep occupied with while you are away and allow them to play independently without counting on you to be there during play time.
Soft Chew Toys
Keep some soft chew toys lying around which are especially handy if your cat or kitten is teething to help sooth their new teeth and stay busy.
Make your cat think
Look for toys that are designed to intellectually stimulate your pet. Several games are designed with feathers or small stuffed creatures that kitty has to work at to catch. There are even games designed to have your cat push a ball through a loop which can provide hours of entertainment.
Self-feeders are another great option to keep your cat sharp. It will prolong feeding time and allow your cat to learn how to get food which is closer to how their ancestors found food in the wild.
Shop for toys that result in giving your cat a treat if they “win.” Self-feeding treat toys allow owners to fill the toy with a small amount of treats and as kitty plays with it, they figure out how to make the treats come out so they can enjoy a surprise. These types of games are great because they not only allow your cat to play independently, but also get a reward for their hard work.
Create your own toys
You can even create your own toys at home to help keep kitty sharp without spending your hard earned cash! Check out two of my favorite, creative, make-at-home toy ideas below:
Paper bag with a toy in it
Next time you go grocery shopping, bring home a paper bag. Lay it open on the floor and throw one of your cat’s favorite toys inside. Sit back and watch hours of entertainment ensure! Your cat will love how the texture of the bag feels and the dark, playfulness of trying to catch his toy buried inside.
Hang a ribbon from the back of your door
Most cats love nothing more than jumping and climbing. This easy, no-cost game provides both! If you have a hook on the back of your door, you are already halfway there. Simply hang a few strands of ribbon, yarn, string, an old belt, or even a waist-tie from an old robe on the hook and let your cat jump and play.
Place a perch next to a window
Cats are curious by nature, so providing an environment that allows them to explore their curiosity is every cat’s dream. Place your scratching post, an end table, or a small box next to a window to allow your cat to jump up and take a look at the outside. Having an outlet to the outside world means your cat will have something to look at (birds, grass, your neighbors and passers-by) if they start feeling restless.
More DIY cat toy ideas
Turn the TV on
This is a great tip for when you are not home or if your cat frequently feels lonely or clingy. Keep the TV or radio on if you are going to leave for short periods of time. Hearing people’s voices will help reassure your cat and remind them of you when you are not around so you do not come home to your house in shambles because of a lonely kitty.
Get a companion
If your cat seems to show signs of loneliness frequently, consider adding another companion to your home to keep your cat company when you are away. Adding another cat or dog to your environment can be challenging along with a sometimes long grace period before the two become friendly, so a simpler option may be considering a fish.
Adding a fish to your home if you only have one cat will give your pet something to watch and pay attention to. They will curiously watch the fish swim around and around and help stave off some of the loneliness when they are left home alone.
Let your cat entertain you
Most cat owners know that your buddy will go through highs and lows throughout the day: sleeping for hours, followed by hyperactive exploring and playtime. No matter how stimulating an environment you create, your cat will probably end up feeling restless or bored at times. No problem! Let your cat entertain you. What cats want most is attention from their owners. If you give kitty enough options to keep busy with, you will more than likely end up being the one staying entertained! Take photos, shoot videos, and most of all, enjoy the company of your 4-legged friend.
Are you a cat owner or thinking about adopting one? What other strategies do you use to keep your cat entertained? Share in the comments!