Creative Ways to Engage a Bored Cat

Is your cat bored? How can you tell? Well, your cat may not lie around and sigh, meowing longingly but excessive sleeping may be a clue. Also, behavioral issues are a big red flashing sign. A cat with natural high energy, with few outlets for expressing it, will demonstrate that bad attention is better than none at all. They can’t help playing with whatever appears to promise some excitement, even things they know they shouldn’t, if they are left too much to their own devices.

If you come home to find chaos when your young cat is left alone in the house all day then he is probably begging for a playmate and companion. Opposite of popular belief, getting a second cat does not mean there will be twice as much mayhem. Having two cats, and things for them to play with, will result in less destruction. As the result of having another living creature to be the object of his playful ambitions will often cause the frantic cat to be able to calm down and relax after exhorting energy. Also the restless cat can find peace in the presence of a constant companion.

Additionally, older, less energetic cats will express boredom in less dramatic, but no less worrisome, ways. They can start scratching where they shouldn’t, knock over things they’ve always left alone, or pace and wail, especially at bedtime, when the prospect of a long, lonely night is looming.

Whatever the damage you may find, you are responsible for helping your cat to have a healthy outlet in life. Here are some exciting ways to spice things up for your feline friend and hopefully help you each obtain peace. 

New treats

Speaking of spice, try some new cat treats to regain your cats attention on items that will really get your cat moving, like a stringed feather on a pole that your cat will never get tired of swatting at.

Laser pointer

A laser pointer is a great device to use with your cat. The bouncing light will get even the most felines to paw at it for as long as you are willing to shine the light. 

Vertical space

Make sure there are safe vertical spaces in your home for your cat to jump up onto. This could be a window sill, set of empty shelves or a cat tree. This way, even when you’re not home to play with your kitty, he still has an opportunity to burn some energy by jumping.

Water and food work-out

If you’ve got a super lazy cat that does nothing but eat, make that work for you. Separate his water and food so that simply moving from one to another burns some calories and keeps kitty engaged. Keeping the food and water bowls on different floors would be ideal.

Homemade toys

Keep a look out for non-toys that your pet loves and using those to get his attention. Cats like to play with paper, boxes and bags. Leave these items around the house in high places where your cat can safely jump to amp up the play time.

Get a Scratching Post

Cats will use a cat scratching post for many reasons. One is to help shed the outer layers of their nails. Another is to mark territory-not only visually, but through tiny scent glands at the bottoms of their paws. Even a declawed cat will use a cat scratching post. It’s an instinctive behavior that cats never lose and enjoy. Make sure the scratching post is tall enough that he or she can really stretch when used. 

Create a Cat Refuge

Cats like places where they feel safe. We call this a “cat refuge”. This is often in a high location – such as on top of a dresser or table where a cat can evaluate the environment for “dangers”, just as they would in nature and be relatively hidden from view. The location of a refuge can be anywhere – low or high and the substrate can be as simple as a paper bag or cardboard box. 

Find the Cat Right Toys

 Not every cat likes the same toys. Make sure you know what your cat likes. If you are not sure what toys will entice your cat – get one of each and do a test. Once you know what toys your cats like – make sure you have plenty of them. It is common for them to get “misplaced” (you usually move the sofa and find a dozen). Cats become bored with the same toys after a while. A great tip is to hide it for a while and reintroduce. Keep a supply that you rotate. 

Get Some Catnip 

For cats sensitive to catnip – offer some catnip periodically for your cat to enjoy. Also – marinating toys in catnip is a great way to encourage your cat to enjoy them even more when you reintroduce them. 

Schedule Playtime

Schedule time twice a day to play with your cat. Allow him or her to chase the ball, laser pointer or feathery flyer. Take at least 10 minutes out of your day to play with your cat. You can even do this while you are watching T.V. in the evening. Get out the laser pointer, feather flyer or just toss a ball across the floor to simulate your cat. 

Plenty of TLC

Some cats just really want some of your time and attention. Encourage your cats to curl up with you when you are resting. 

go Grow Some Cat Grass

Some cats love the ability to chew on a little cat grass – just like they would if they were outdoors. 

catch some rays

Cats love the sun. Look around your home and see what window allows the sun to shine in and consider placing a cat bed in that location. If you have the blinds or curtains closed – consider opening them to allow your cat the ability to bask for a while in the sun. 

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