Pet boredom is as real as it gets. Keeping your pet cat entertained is one of the best ways to make sure it doesn’t suffer from boredom. This can also help minimize the occurrence of behavioral issues that can spring from such a phenomenon. Entertaining your cat can be a real challenge for some pet parents as they may have to leave their feline friends alone in the home. There’s no need to fret as there are different ways you can keep feline boredom at bay. Here are 10 great ways you can keep your kitty entertained.
Give Your Cat Food Puzzles and Pet Toy Boxes
Food puzzles are one of the best ways to keep your feline friend entertained. This works well for cats that are food-motivated. The best part of these gadgets is that they also feed your pet. Pet food puzzles come with a toy-like design with hidden compartments for filling with cat treats.
You can fill these with treats or your cat’s favorite food. The scent will stimulate your cat’s curiosity and allow it to explore the toy. Since food puzzles work on the premise of solving the “puzzle”, it also helps improve your cat’s cognition.
There are also cats that prefer the hunt more than the prize. You can purchase a cat toy that comes with plush toys and holes. The plush toys resemble prey animals that your cat will try to get through the holes. You can also make your own “hunter’s box” with an ordinary cardboard box. You can create holes that are big enough to allow plush toys to pass through. Make sure the plush toys you put in the box are safe for your pet, though.
Buy a Sturdy Scratching Post
Scratching posts are a must for any cat. These feline pieces of furniture are perfect for helping your furbaby clean its claws and to keep them sharp. This is a fundamental requirement for any predator in the wild. It is quite impossible to imagine a predator that doesn’t have sharp claws.
But there is another reason why a scratching post can be a worthy addition to your pet accessories. When cats get bored, their natural tendency is to look for an outlet to vent their boredom. True, you can see your cat lazing off a window ledge for countless hours. But this doesn’t mean that it is fine doing nothing. Its predatory instinct will always kick in.
A scratching post can provide a vertical structure for your pet to scale. You have to choose a taller scratching post, however. It is also critical to get a scratching post that has a stable base. Otherwise, your cat can topple it over with relative ease. The thing is that a scratching post can keep your cat’s mind on a particular activity and not on something else.
Invest in a Multi-tiered, Multi-function Cat Tree
A good alternative to a scratching post is a cat tree. Some say it is a cat condominium or a cat apartment. Whatever you wish to call it, a cat tree can offer a lot of opportunities for your pet to entertain itself. Multi-tiered or multi-level cat trees can come with different features. There are sections where you can attach a hanging cat toy. Your cat can swipe these soft and colorful toys for hours.
Some sections of the cat tree already integrate a scratching surface. Your cat can stretch its legs and back and allow it to sharpen its claws. It’s perfect for keeping it ready to pounce on a prey. There are also cat trees that integrate a perch. This is perfect for both resting and for reliving the life of a topnotch predator in the wild. Predators don’t stay on the ground to hunt for prey. They stay high up on tree branches and large boulders to get a better view of prey movement down below.
But the real benefit to a multi-tiered cat tree is the opportunity it provides for climbing and scaling. Cats can jump from one elevated platform to another or from section to the other. They can scale or climb the legs of the cat tree to reach the top. In other words, this is a tree that is full of feline adventure possibilities.
Use Cardboard Boxes and Papers
If you don’t like spending a fortune on a cat tree, cat toys, or cat food puzzles, there are inexpensive alternatives. One of the most practical ways you can keep your pet cat entertained is by giving it cardboard boxes and papers. You can find these in your house and you’ll never run out of them. If your cat tears them to pieces, it is easy to replace these boxes and papers.
Cats love playing in boxes. They think of it as their private den. They can play hide and seek or turn it into a feline fort. Boxes are also safe for your pet. It also keeps your cat away from your expensive furniture and carpet.
Crinkled paper can also provide lots of fun for your furry feline. Crumple old paper into balls and place them on your floor. Sooner or later your cat will be swiping and batting at them like prey. You can also employ some of the skills you learned from your origami art class. Make paper rats, birds, and other animals so your cat will be more than willing to pounce on and play with them.
Set Up a Bird Feeder
Birds are the natural prey of cats in the wild. Of course, there are birds of prey that can also hunt smaller animals like cats. But in the natural order of things, cats do love preying on small birds. Ever watched Sylvester and Tweety Bird from Looney Tunes? It is true that Sylvester always get pummeled in the end. But it goes to show the unmistakable relationship between a cat and a bird.
We’re not saying you should get your own Tweety Bird for your cat. No, that’s not it. What you can do is to set up a bird feeding station in your backyard. It should be in a spot where your cat can see it from the window. As wild birds flock to the feeder, your cat will be more than happy to watch them feed.
You can also choose a bird feeder that you can mount onto the outside surface of your glass window. This is a lot better than having a bird feeder hanging on the porch or the branches of trees. Do keep in mind, however, that this type of feeder is only effective in attracting certain species of birds.
Get a Fish Tank
Aside from birds, cats have a special bond with fish, too. These aquatic creatures can mimic the movement of a hapless prey being in a contained environment for the rest of its life. It is not because cats are natural marine biologists, but it is all part of their being predators. As predators, they thrive on other creatures often smaller than them. Think about it. Would your cat want to pounce on a giant Arowana that is more than ten times its size? We don’t think so.
It is for this reason that when you do decide to get your cat a fish tank, make sure that it is of the right size. Goldfishes and other small aquarium fish should fit the bill. It is also important to get a fish tank that has a secure top cover. Otherwise, your cat may not be able to contain its predatory instincts and decide to dip its paws into the water. It should also be on a stable platform so it will not get knocked over by your overzealous cat.
The plus side of an aquarium is that it can also brighten up your living space. It’s a great way to entertain your cat while giving a new visual element to your décor.
Set Up a Special Feline Play Zone
If you want to keep your cat entertained the whole day, you may want to allot a special place for your cat to stay. This can be its private play area where it can play all it wants. If you have an extra small room in your house, you can turn this into a play zone for felines. You can place the different toys, scratching post, and cat trees that your furry friend can use.
If such a room is not available, you can purchase a pet enclosure system. This is similar to baby play pens that you can set up almost anywhere. Your cat can stay inside the play pen with its favorite toys.
There are also small enclosures that jut out from windows. This is perfect for indoor cats so that they will also have a better view of the outdoors. This is ideal for those with bird feeders in their yard. You can also hang cat toys like balls and bells on the topmost portion of these enclosures so your cat can play with them.
Let Your Feline Friend Watch TV
You may not know it, but your kitty has a knack for watching TV. We’re not talking about ordinary TV shows, of course. There are certain channels that can provide entertainment that is specific for cats. If you do not have access to such channels, you can download videos from YouTube or other video sharing platforms. There are plenty of videos that your cat can watch to keep it entertained for hours.
There are also cat videos that you can play on your DVD. These videos are made for cats. It provides both visual and auditory stimulation for their optimum cognitive development. Strange as it may sound, but cats do love watching their fellow kitties on the TV screen.
Invest in Smart Devices for Pets
If you are a believer of smart home technologies, then you can purchase one of those smart pet camera systems in the market. These devices come with full HD camera and a two-way communication system. They work by facilitating the flow of communication between you and your pet. Think Skype or other video messaging platforms and you’ll know how this can be a good way to entertain your cat.
The two-way communication system is better suited for dogs, however, since their bark is often louder than the meow of a cat. What happens is that the device picks up your cat’s meow. This sends a notification to your smartphone or tablet. You can then view your cat from your own mobile device screen. From the same platform, you can “talk” to your pet. Some smart pet devices also come with their own color display. This gives your pet to “see” you.
Many of these smart devices come with treat dispensers. You can activate this device to toss a treat to your cat using your smartphone. Or you can program the device to toss cat treats at specific intervals. There are also some gadgets that come with laser light to make it more interesting for your pet cat.
Get Another Kitty
Getting another kitty for your cat to play with and bond with can also help address its need for entertainment. They may not be known for being as social as dogs, but cats do cherish the opportunity to play with another cat.
It is important, however, that your cat is not going to fight the new kitty. Most cats prefer living alone. As such, it is important to pick a breed of cat that can live with other cats. Otherwise, you will be courting war right inside your home. It is also important to be ready with the additional responsibilities. Having one cat may already be challenging. Having two in your household could be daunting.
Keeping your cat entertained is one of the best ways to keep it from boredom. It’s also a great way to keep it happy. These 10 great ways to keep your cat entertained can be the keys to your cat’s happiness.
- 4 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Entertained While You’re Away – PetMD
- Understanding Cat Behavior – HowStuffWorks