Are you the proud owner of an indoor cat? While they love lounging around the house, they need stimulation to stay healthy and happy. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best ways to keep your furry friend entertained without ever leaving home. So let’s get started and give your cat something fun to do!
Popular types of cat toys include interactive toys, toys for chasing and searching, scratching, and toys for physical activity. They enjoy playing with homemade toys as much as commercial ones, and it can be a great way to save some money too. Some great DIY toys are:
Cardboard boxes: they love to play hide and seek in cardboard boxes. All you need to do is cut out one or two holes for them to crawl through.
Sock toys: all you need is an old sock and a bit of catnip and you will have made an inexpensive, yet entertaining toy for your pet! Simply stuff the sock with the catnip, tie a knot at the end, and watch your kitty go wild.
String toys: tie a piece of string or yarn onto a stick or dowel rod and wave it around for your cat’s amusement. Your furry friend will go crazy when trying to catch the string!
Paper towel roll tubes: this is such an easy toy! Cut a few cardboard paper towel roll tubes into 4-inch pieces and place them all over your house. Cats love playing with these because they are lightweight and can be batted around easily.
Interactive toys are a must for any indoor cat. They encourage pets to use their natural instinct to hunt and provide plenty of mental stimulation. These toys can range from the cute cat accessories— think feathers on a stick — to the more innovative — think lasers, robotic mice, and battery-operated catnip mouse — allowing for hours of fun for your feline friend.
Scratching Posts and Trees
Different textures provide more stimulation, so look for posts that have one or more complementary materials in addition to the main scratching surface. The supports should be sturdy enough for climbing and sleeping no matter how big your pet is. Consider a post with multiple levels or complex shapes if your feline friend needs something to explore and conquer.
Common materials used in posts and trees include carpet, cardboard, sisal rope, and solid wood like cedar and cherry. Carpeted posts are good for cats that like to knead because they offer comfort and traction during aggressive scratches. But low-grade carpets can fray over time so it’s best to choose one made of premium quality plush fabric or tightly woven Berber material that won’t come apart easily even with normal wear and tear.
Create an obstacle course
This can be done with some easy-to-assemble equipment such as shelves, ramps, or even just regular objects in the house. You can also find ready-made obstacle courses on the internet. Try to make it as varied and exciting as possible by placing small treats at the end of each item to reward and motivate your kitty. Place items of various heights and widths, ensuring they are well secured so that they don’t topple over if your cat jumps onto them. Make sure you supervise your cats during their playtime to avoid any potential safety hazards or injuries.
Teach your cat tricks
Some tricks may come more naturally than others, depending on the individual personality of your feline. If they are food motivated – teaching them to come when called or when their food dish is rattled can be rewarding for both parties. If they are loyal and can be trusted off-leash – teaching them simple commands such as “sit” or “down” will be beneficial for both parties and ultimately make outings much easier when the leash training phase is complete.
Provide a variety of textures and smells
Put something new in their environment each week; if you’re looking for ideas, consider placing pine cones, pieces of fabric, or corrugated cardboard in their space. When flowers are in season, bring some fresh-cut flowers (safe for kitties!) into their space, or try using herbs like catnip to spark your kitty’s interest. Remember to switch up the scents — while they love the scent, they can quickly get desensitized to one smell after prolonged exposure.
Hide treats around the house
Start by hiding small treats or bulkier toys around the house. You can also try using interactive feeding toys that make your kitty work for their meal. This helps to decrease daily boredom levels and keep your pet happily engaged in activities that mimic their natural instincts. Different levels of difficulty can be introduced to provide more mental stimulation as your pup gets used to a certain activity or game. As always, use caution when selecting treats and toys, making sure they are safe for cats and free from any toxins or hazardous materials.
Use food puzzles
The puzzle must contain edible treats – this encourages kitties to probe, paw and sniff. Toys designed as food puzzles are widely available, such as the automated feeder ball. Fill these balls with kibble or treats and let them roll around the house for your cats to find and explore.
You can also make your own puzzle boxes and toys – cardboard boxes, paper bags, or tissue boxes will work well. Place treats inside the box so that cats have to work out how to get at them by pushing, swatting, or digging inside them. This provides a rewarding mental challenge that is stimulating and fun at the same time!
Install a window perch
Many cats enjoy looking out of windows or watching birds, or simply napping in their favorite spots in a safe, secure environment. You can purchase a window perch at most home improvement stores or pet supply shops. Alternatively, you can also make your own window perch in just a few minutes using items found around your house—just make sure it is durable enough to withstand the weight of several cats.
Place it near a spot where there is plenty of wildlife and plenty of sunshine for your pets to enjoy. Be sure to place it low enough so that your cats can easily look out the window, and securely mount it in place so that it doesn’t suddenly topple over with curious kitties climbing on top!
If you have multiple pets, be sure to provide enough space for all of them on the window perch. Some cats may also appreciate having a comfy bed placed near the window for more comfortable viewing sessions!
It is important to remember that cats have their own individual preferences and personalities, so what might work for one may not work for another. Regardless, by providing your indoor cat with toys, activities, and space to explore and climb you can ensure that your pet will stay healthy and entertained in the home setting.