Is your cat constantly meowing for attention? Is your cat getting in all sorts of trouble in the house? If your answer is yes, then perhaps your cat is BORED at home!!
Just like humans, cats need activities to keep themselves entertained to stimulate their five senses. However, depending on the weather, as cat adventurer owners, we may not be able to go outside with our cats on extremely cold days.
What could you do to make sure they are having fun indoor?
Luckily, there are still so many ways you can try to keep your beloved cat entertained!
Idea #1: DIY cat toys with simple objects at home
One of the best qualities about cats is that they can be fascinated by the simplest things in life! Like a hair tie, a string, or even an empty box. So, look around your house! All those tiny objects we don’t pay attention to can be a potential toy to keep your cat entertained for hours.
During one of the snowing days, my cat, Archer, was feeling agitated and bored at home. He kept on meowing, and eventually started biting me for attention. I immediately knew that he needed to be entertained since we haven’t gone outside for a few days.
So, I grabbed an empty tissue box, threw an elastic band inside and passed it to him. Archer quickly poked his head into the tissue box trying to pick up the elastic band. Since the opening of the box was so small, he got his head stuck inside! It was such a hilarious scene to watch!
Later on, he started pouncing at the tissue box, and pushing it around the house. I was absolutely amazed by how much fun he was having with the smallest things that are deemed insignificant to me.
Here’s a list of simple objects that can be loads of fun; however, supervise your cat during the play, to avoid him/her ingesting any of the items below.
If you’re up for some fun and simple games, you could try the following at home!
Tie a string or ribbon to a stick, and swing it at your cat.
Wrap the elastic bands around your finger, and shoot it out like a bow and arrow.
Cut tiny holes on a big box, let you cat sit inside the box, and swing toys at the holes to make him/she catch the toys.
Hand sew a kicker by stuffing dry catnip and cotton inside.
Idea #2: Hide treats around the house
Cats have a natural instinct of hunting for food. The act of hunting definitely helps them get rid of their tension and excess stored energy.
You could try to hide treats at different corners of the house (like inside a cat tree, underneath the TV stand or cupboard) for your cat to find in the house. Then, alternate the hiding spots each day to keep the activity challenging and fun.
I have tried the Doc & Phoebe Cat Feeder as a way to hide little surprises in the house at night. Since Archer is usually awake during the night, it kept him entertained so he wouldn’t bother me when I am sleeping. Of course, the most fun part for me is that I get to find out whether Archer has successfully discovered the treats in the morning!
Idea #3: Use food puzzles for brain stimulation
A great way to stimulate your cat’s brain and hunting instinct is food puzzles! Start with a simple puzzle toy to gauge your cat’s level of expertise before going for a little more complex puzzle.
When I first gave Archer the PetSafe interactive food dispenser, he was confused about what it is for and how to get what he wants. So, I introduced the toy to him by shaking it to make noises, indicating there is something inside. Then, I opened the toy without sealing the dispenser hole to make sure he discovers the treats inside. Finally, I put it on the ground and let him play with it while the treats roll out of the dispenser.
It was so much fun to watch him feeling intrigued with the food puzzle, and trying to figure out how to get the treats out. Since he was using his brain effort to solve the puzzle, it kept him busy and entertained for a while.
Idea #4: Build bonding relationship through clicker training
Since you are spending more time with your cat at home, how about try to teach them to do a “high five,” “sit,” or even “up”?
Clicker training is a great way to bond with your cat and eliminate boredom at home! At the same time, it can teach your cat to respond to simple instructions.
One of the great resources for clicker training is Cat School. Archer and I have been learning the tricks through their YouTube tutorials and online platforms. It has been a fun experience for both of us, learning how to communicate with each other through hand gestures and verbal instructions.
As an adventure cat owner, I can feel that we have both evolved together through the training experience. We have built a significant amount of trust and bond which translated positively while we are outside adventuring.
Also, it was such a celebratory moment when Archer is able to respond to my instructions of sit or high five. Guess what? He can now do 10 tricks!
Idea #5: Turn on Cat TV for entertainment
If you can’t go out in nature, why not bring nature to your home?
During the extreme cold weather, it is very rare that little critters will show up in the house, and we all know that most cats love to window watch for animal movement outside.
The solution to this is a Cat TV! You can turn on your big screen or iPad and start a video showing all of these animals. The sound and movement of the little critters on the screen will make your cat feel intrigued and focused; it will definitely keep him/her feel entertained for hours while you focus on other activities at home.
Whenever I turn on the TV for Archer, he would jump onto the TV stand trying to paw at the squirrel or bird appearing on screen. Sometimes, he would even walk behind the TV screen trying to investigate where the sound comes from. Watching Archer watch Cat TV has been so entertaining for myself too!
Idea #6: Watch the world through car rides
If the weather does not permit you to go outside, you can still enjoy the world with your cat in the car.
I love to take Archer on car adventures to see the world from within the vehicle. His eyes would get wide or laser focused whenever we go on a drive! I can tell how curious he feels with the world around him, and how much he enjoys to observe every aspect around us.
Of course, if your cat is not trained for car rides, keep it short and within both of your comfort levels. If you want to learn more about car rides with your cat, visit my blog post on 5 Tips to Take Your Cat on a Car Ride.
Idea #7: Visit pet-friendly stores for a fun indoor activity
If circumstances permit, you can take your cat to some pet-friendly stores in the city! This experience will help them expand their horizon of cat adventuring, and introduce them to a different surrounding.
Search up a list of pet-friendly stores near you, but also ensure that the environment is somewhere your cat would be comfortable in. For example, if your cat is extremely anxious around dogs, try to limit locations where there would be less dogs nearby.
I would also recommend to call the location before hand, if you are unsure whether they would accept pets inside.
Also, don’t forget to bring the essentials of cat adventuring with you. If you are taking your cat in the store, make sure you bring his/her cat backpack for safe space and treats for encouragement.
Nothing should stop the fun and entertainment for our cats because there are so many other ways we can heighten their five senses.
Open up your imagination and creativity, I know there are endless possibilities to enrich both of your lives!
As always, the most important thing is that both of you are having fun and bonding during the experience.