10 Great Ways To Keep Your Cat Entertained
One of the many appealing traits of a cat is the fact that they are independent and can often keep themselves occupied. But to think that cats don’t need company or some form of entertainment is a mistake as felines are also prone to boredom. Ensuring your kit has ways to keep themselves stimulated can help to reduce any negative or unwanted behaviors that can disrupt your home. So, whether it’s to keep an indoor kit busy when you are out of the house or fun ways to play with your pet, it’s good to know the best things to do with cats.
Here are our top 10 ideas on how to keep cats entertained.
Toys and puzzles
It’s not just dogs that love their toy box, cats are partial too! And with a cat, you can tap into their natural feline instinct to keep them entertained. Cats love to hunt so a toy that flexes their ‘cat and mouse’ instinct is always a good idea. Check out your local pet store for toys that will hold their attention and keep them coming back for more – balls or furry toys that move along a track or hide and seek style toys are always a good idea as they can play with them on their own. Or for snack-orientated kits, a puzzle toy is a great choice for cat games. Usually a ball-shaped toy where you tuck away treats for your cat work out how to get to, puzzle toys are also an effective way to keep their grey matter stimulated in a positive way. Just make sure you don’t overdo the treats and always factor them as part of their daily meal allowance.
Cardboard Boxes and Paper Bags
We’ve all been there; you buy your pet a smart new toy for them to run away and play with the packaging! Cats are serial offenders so why not take inspiration and give them a cardboard box – surely one of the simplest solutions to how to entertain a cat? Cats love to play inside boxes and whether it’s jumping in and out, playing a feline game of hide and seek, or for a nice space for a little snooze, they are a cheap and easy toy to leave out for them. Tear a hole or two in the side for a tunnel, then let them play. Paper bags are also a draw, as cats are attracted to the rustling sound they make and the way they can scrunch up and change shape. So, make the most of your own shopping and leave the cardboard and paper packaging out for your cat and watch them be entertained for hours.
Cats love high places so you can protect your drapes or furniture while giving your kit something to do, with an indoor perch. Cat perches also offer a way to exercise and stretch those muscles as your cat climbs and scrambles up the post. Opt for a single perch or go more elaborate with a specially designed cat tree – or ‘kitty condo’. Padded perches also help to protect their claws and give them somewhere super-comfortable to hang out and relax. Install the perch near to a window and he will love to climb and watch the outside world from his new lofty viewing position.
Set Up a Scratching Post
As your furniture may testify, cats also love to scratch, and it is a totally natural thing for them to do. Scratching helps to keep their claws in top condition and to stretch and exercise their paws. It is also a way for them to mark their territory. Especially if you are leaving your kit indoors or you are out at work all day, investing in a scratch post will not only help to keep your cat occupied but also help to protect your furniture. Scratch posts come in all shapes and sizes, from a simple post to an elaborate ‘jungle gym’ which is ideal if you are a multi-cat household. A taller scratch post can also double up as a perch and give your kit and place to hang out and relax once he’s curbed those claws.
Give Them a Window On The World
For a soothed and calm cat, ready access to viewing the outdoors is going to really help alleviate his boredom so if you can, create them their own window on the world. It can be as simple as leaving the blinds or drapes open and positioning a cat bed so they can see outside, or you could go all-out and install a shelf in their favorite window for the ultimate kitty viewing spot. Pick a window which overlooks something that will interest them – for example, a view over the garden with a bird feeder that’s in easy sight (but not reach!) will give your cat plenty to watch and is the perfect indoor cat entertainment. A sunny window is also a good choice, especially if your cat is a sun worshipper. This means that in-between viewing sessions, he can settle back and snooze, basking in the warmth of the sunlight. Just make sure he has access to plenty of fresh water and a place in the shade if he needs it.
Set Up a Fish Tank
On paper this may not seem the best idea but trust us, a well-set up and secure fish tank is going to be the equivalent of TV for your cat. The colors, movement, and shapes you find in a well-stocked and maintained fish tank will keep your puss visually stimulated and endlessly entertained. Cats can spend many happy hours watching the life and goings on of a fish tank so if you have the space, it can be a nice addition to both your home and your cat’s indoor entertainment. Just make sure the tank and its fishy contents are totally secure and stable and cannot be knocked over or accessed by a curious cat.
Create Their Own Play Space
Especially if your feline is an indoor cat, it’s important that they have their own space, and creating a special play area just for them can really help to keep them happy and entertained. If you have room, set up a play space for your kit and make sure they have access to it whenever they want. You can even buy a small enclosure for the back yard your pet can safely access and get some quality time outdoors. Inside their play space, set up their favorite playthings, mixing up hanging toys, bells and scratching posts with hiding spaces, tubes, comfortable cushions, and soft play toys.
Snoozing is a favorite pastime of many cats and daytime is a good time for your pet to doze and dream. But an unstimulated or bored cat can sleep too much, meaning they are not moving around as much as they should. If you are worried your cat is getting too lazy when you are not at home, a timed or automated feeder could be a good investment. These nifty gadgets let you set times when your kit gets fed which is really useful if you are away from the house for long hours at a time for work. And, with your cat learning to expect their next mealtime, they won’t be tempted to sleep all day and will be motivated to get up to have their next timed snack.
Consider a Companion
If you are running out of things to do with your cat and he is still showing signs of boredom or bad behavior, bringing a new feline friend into your home could be something to consider. It may not be for every cat but adding a playmate to your cat’s life could provide the extra stimulation and companionship he needs. Do your research first and if you do want another cat, introduce them slowly to your original kit as not all cats are sociable animals. A good idea is to visit your local animal rescue shelter and spend a little time getting to know the cats up for adoption, which can help you choose a kit that will match or complement your own cat’s personality and habits. And, if they are open to a new cat on their home turf, the benefits are obvious, from mutual grooming to doubling up the fun, come playtime.
Make Time to Play With Them
This may seem the most obvious way to keep your cat stimulated but with our full-on and busy lives, it can be easy to forgo quality time with your kit. But just a little daily playtime can make all the difference and can actually strengthen the bond between humans and cats.
Aim to play with your cat each day and you will both benefit – your cat will get the exercise and stimulation they need to keep boredom and lethargy at bay and will also be able to stretch their mental as well as physical muscles. And you will get some quality time with your pet, which is both soothing and stressbusting – especially after a long, hard day. That sounds like a win-win to us when it comes to keeping your cat entertained.