It seems that nowadays we are busier than ever. In this age of fast moving technology, mobile TV, sports, dance class, school, work and all manner of things that keep us busy, it is easy to overlook the fact that your furry best friend is bored. If she could talk she would be telling you so. You might not realize how bored she is until she starts to get destructive in your home or crawling onto your keyboard as you try to compose your next Facebook post. This is your wake-up call! Here are some simple tips to avoid cat boredom and keep her engaged.
Many cats these days are strictly indoor cats. With their wild nature, it is easy to understand how an indoor environment can bore them. Cats deserve the same amount of attention as dogs, even though they are more independent by nature. Boredom can lead to a variety of problems such as inappropriate urination and destructive behaviors such as scratching.
Some cats will enjoy walking outside on a harness and leash. Start them indoors first to get used to the harness and then progress to the outdoors. Not all cats are into this so don’t force it, but your kitty might love it! Even if you only get 10 steps away from your front door and kitty decides to sit and not budge, she might just enjoy the change of scenery, hanging out with you and watching what’s going on around her. Then you can scoop her up and take her back inside.
An important factor in keeping your kitty happy is making sure her environment is stimulating and she has lots of things to do. Indoors (and if you have a “catio” as well), set up your home with your cat’s entertainment in mind.
- Provide window perches and viewing areas. Cats love to keep tabs on the neighborhood. Outside the window, you can hang bird or squirrel feeders for kitty’s entertainment.
- Provide a scratching post or two. It should be tall enough for your cat to get in a good stretch. Scratching posts which also have platforms to perch on are great!
- Find a special hidey hole for your cat to retreat to, somewhere up high and a place they can feel safe.
- Grow some cat grass for kitty snacks
A stimulating environment is a great start, but you still need to make sure you spend time each day interacting with your feline family member. There are so many feathery, fun toys for cats on the market, you are sure to find one or two that your cat loves. But it doesn’t even have to be a store bought toy.
- Many cats will have a natural preference for either “mousing” or “birding” so try a few different options like a feather wand or small ball to see if kitty has a preference for batting things in the air or racing along the ground to chase something
- And remember, if you’re playing with a ball or something on the ground, don’t roll it directly to kitty, roll it away from her – did you ever see a mouse run directly towards a cat?!
- Lots of cats love to bat around a balled up piece of tin foil
- Some cats go crazy for racing into empty paper bags and hanging out inside, ready to attack
- Cardboard boxes are another favourite. Most cats will jump into them quite readily and stay inside relaxing or playing with whatever toy you offer them. Move the box around to different locations every few days to keep things interesting. Cats also have a keen sense of smell so turn a box upside down, cut a hole in it at ground level large enough for kitty to get into it and then put a couple of treats in there. Your cat will enjoy hunting for the treats.
- Offer catnip from time to time. Kitty antics are quite hilarious when catnip is in play and you can put a bit inside the box or paper bag as well.
- If you’re out all day at work and there is a computer screen that kitty can easily see, check out the huge variety of bird and animal videos online that you can set up for her to watch for entertainment, many of them will even play in a loop.
Your kitty does not have to be bored. A little play or training, a little cuddle or quiet moment together two or three times a day will help your cat overcome her boredom and be a happier member of the family.
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