Cats are known to be independent pets, you can leave them with enough food and a litter box for whatever period of time you need without any problem. However, an indoor cat left alone for extended periods of time can sometimes become a bored cat. Cats’ boredom isn’t to take lightly, it can lead to serious issues, for instance: the litter box problem, sleeping overtime, depression, aggression…etc.
Before you consider leaving your cat home alone, think about your home environment, is it stimulating enough for Fluffy? Does she/he have everything she/he enjoys?
While the outside environment is more stimulating for your kitty, it’s still a very bad idea to consider for your cat’s entertainment. Indoor cats live longer than the outdoor-indoor cats, for the simple reason that they’re not exposed to all the dangers of the outside world, such as accidents, toxins, infections, diseases and so on.
So how do I know if my cat is bored? How to prevent boredom in cats? And do cats get bored sleeping all day?
Boredom in cats: signs and symptoms
Is my cat bored?
If you notice some of the underlying symptoms in your baby kitty, then she’s probably suffering from boredom:
- Decrease in appetite
- Aggressive behavior
- Depressive attitude
- Littering outside the litter tray (even to the point of creating bald patches)
- Over-grooming to the point of having bald spots in the fur.
However, before jumping to that conclusion, you need to consult your vet, as some of the signs of boredom in cats might be symptoms of a lot of medical conditions. And even if it’s the case, Boredom can contribute to accentuating it. Therefore, do not neglect the behavioral side in any case. Your baby needs to enjoy her presence at home anyway!
How do I keep my indoor cat entertained?
You sure want the best for your furry friend, so here are fifteen tips to make her have fun at home:
#1 Get some scratching posts and pads
Scratching posts and pads are mandatory for cat parents. If you already have one, but your kitty doesn’t use it, then it’s time to try and figure out why, because usually cats don’t give up on scratching that easy.
If you have a carpeted post, then it might be a good idea to consider the sisal-covered one, it’s the cat’s favorite. Also, the post should be high enough so that your furry friend could lean against it and stretch, because, well his highness likes to use things differently, and who are we to judge?!
Moreover, the post should be placed where Fluffy likes to hangout and scratch. It might not go well with the room’s design, but who cares she’s the boss now, and she’s making the rules!
There’s a variety of scratching posts out there. All you need to do is specifying your cat’s needs and then buy her a scratching post that responds to them. Overall, it’s a very important element to have in the house, because not only it serves to shed the outer layers of her nails and stretch, it also serves to mark her territory to make her feel safer.
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#2 A nice view is requested!
How do you help a bored cat? One of many boredom remedies is A fine view…Yes, you read it correctly, your finicky guest is requesting a window view!
One of the reasons cats like to climb and stay in high places is that they want to have a bigger picture of their environment. Therefore, it’s wise to have a window bed attached to the window frame or a window perch or seat where your cat can seat and enjoy the nice window view. Otherwise, you can buy a cat tree and place it in front of the window for your cat.
For more entertainment, you can place a bird or squirrel feeder outside the window to stimulate your kitty’s hunting instincts.
3# Cats are natural climbers :
Cats like being in high places, it makes them feel safe as they observe their surroundings and preys. They also enjoy the climbing process.
You can create a safe indoor environment where your cat can jump and climb, just by implementing indoor cat trees. There’s a variety of cat trees you can buy according to your own standards, the most important thing is that the tree should be strong and sturdy.
You can also install window perches or cat shelving or even cat walkways. You’ve got a lot of choices for this matter, all you need to do is make sure whatever you decide to buy is strong enough to hold your kitty.
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4# The sunlight is a gift!
Is it OK if my cat sleeps a lot? The sunlight is a beautiful gift and cats love it so much. If you have a sunny spot in the room consider placing a cat bed in it, so that Mister bored cat can come in to have his normally long nap and stretch.
Also one of the benefits of having window perches is that your cat can lie down there and nap in the sun. So, make sure your curtains are open!
5# Puzzle feeders for extreme fun!
Maybe cats look like lazy animals, which they are, nobody is here to deny this fact. However, they still are wild animals, with deep hunting instincts. Sometimes, your cat can have a bowl all piled up with food, but Fluffy just isn’t feeling like eating there, even though you can see she’s hungry. That is because she likes to look for the prey, chase them, hunt them, THEN enjoy eating them, as a reward for this proud act of hers.
Therefore, it is recommended to have food-dispensing toys for bored cats. First: it will entertain them, second: it will oblige them to eat slowly and enjoy the treat!
It’s a stone to hit two birds with! You can find puzzle feeders for dry and wet food, though it’s better to use dry food if you’re going to leave your friend alone all day. And you can use wet food when you’re with your kitty, as it’s better to serve it fresh.
6# Toys to elevate the fun:
How do I keep my cat entertained for hours?
One great way to do that is by having your cat’s favorite toys around, and also by engaging in a 15 mins playtime session at least twice a day.
Toys help stimulate bored cats, thus it’s important to have interactive cat toys, as well as toys that are meant for individual cat use only.
Interactive toys help you engage with your kitty in quality playtime sessions, which besides entertainment benefits your relationship together.
On the other side, solo use only cat toys, are especially valuable for cats who are left home alone all day.
Playtime and toys are very important, as they prevent boredom in cats. You can find them in the market places in so many forms and features; you just need to find the appropriate ones for your furry finicky friend. And don’t forget to expose them in interesting ways for your kitty all around the house, also every once in a while, rotate them so that she doesn’t get bored of them quickly.
#7 Prepare treasure hunts :
How do you entertain a cat that doesn’t like toys?
Simple: you get rid of them…one less cat means fewer problems, right?!JUST KIDDIIIIIIIING!
If your cat doesn’t enjoy his toys there are a lot of ways that can maintain him entertained. Well, boredom in cats won’t even be a condition if you’re used to creating treasure hunts for your kitty.
Spread a few treats around the house and hide them in places where you know your kitty will go. Of course, you shouldn’t be all excited about this game and use all the treats you’ve got since they should represent only 10% of your cat’s diet. That way you’re cats will have fun chasing treats and enjoying them!
#8 The ultimate power of boxes and bags:
You might probably be familiar with this scenario: You order a very sophisticated and entertaining cat toy online. You finally receive it. You unbox it. Suddenly here’s Fluffy coming more excited than you are. You’re happy that she’s happy with her new toy. You wait to see how she deals with it. And then ….surprise! The disappointment of your life! You realize that you shouldn’t have splurged this much money on that toy since she fell terribly in love NOT WITH THE TOY, but with…the F*** BOXE IT ACTUALLY CAME IN!
Spoiler alert:” Cats don’t give a damn about your fancy super expensive toy. They simply find boxes and empty bags more interesting!”
You can take a bunch of boxes and bags, make strategic holes here and there and finally form a homemade kitty tunnel (you can find online the DIY you find the most practical for you).
Cats like exploring mysterious places, which can make this a cheap and easy way to keep your kitty entertained and busy the entire day. However, make sure the material you use is safe for your baby to prevent the risks of getting hurt.
#9 The time you spend with your baby is precious!
After a long tiring day, all you probably want to do is sit in front of your TV or your phone and rest. But you’re a parent now, so what you conceive as the end of the day your cat actually sees it as the beginning of a new one, since she’s been waiting for you all the day.
Try engaging with her in a ten minutes playtime session each day. Snuggle and spoil her. Show her your love and interest so she doesn’t feel lonely and rejected or worse: bored.
#10 A daily routine helps a lot!
The element of surprise is very helpful when it comes to entertaining bored cats. However, it can have dangerous side effects when it comes to your cat’s daily habits.
Kitties, in general, get easily anxious and stressed when they don’t have a consistent schedule. They’re more relieved and feel safer with daily habits. Thus, try having a consistent daily routine for your cat’s sake.
#11 Catnip …why not! How to stop boredom in cats?
One of the most effective ways to prevent boredom in cats is catnip. This magical herb makes wonders. Your little junky would really appreciate it from time to time.
You can marinate her toys in catnip and then reintroduce them to her for more excitement. Or you can just rub it against them. Also, you can let loose a couple of dried leaves so that fluffy can enjoy a catnip party!
However, it is highly recommended that you don’t use it for more than twice a week unless you want your kitty to be immune to its effects.
#12 A cat’s safe space:
Cats are very sensitive pets. Any noise can freak them out. It could be sirens, storms or even human sounds outside the door. They all can make them stressed. Thus, your cat needs a place where he can feel safe and away from danger’s sight. A place he can run to whenever he feels in danger. It could be in a high or low place according to your kitty’s preferences.
You can make your kitty different cozy yet simple hideaways he can run to, instead of ducking under the table. For instance; you can set a couple of covered beds, empty cardboard boxes, a cat tunnel…
#13 Human visits!
Should you leave a radio on for a cat? A radio is just going to add more noises to fear to your bored cat. He doesn’t need voices coming out of an unknown box. He needs a real human to take care of him. If you’re away from the house all day, you can consider asking one of your friends or a trusted neighbor or a kid from the neighborhood who can come and give your kitty a quick playtime session once or twice a day. Fluffy would love it if you have this possibility.
#14 Are we going outside? Or is the outside coming in?!
Your cat might want to go outside, or maybe it’s you who thinks that your kitty is missing so much of the outside world experiences, but you worry that he goes outside and get harmed as well. In this case, don’t worry! Here’s a couple of things you can do about it:
- During fall, bring in a few dried leaves from the outside. The texture of those leaves can entertain your kitty and be a stimulating toy for him.
- You can introduce your bored cat to bird feathers left on the ground
- You can bring in some of your grass if you’re not using any insecticides, or you can grow it inside.
These and a lot of other interesting things you can bring to your kitty, so that he doesn’t need to leave the house, and not get bored inside of it as well.
#15 How about a companion cat?
Can cats die of boredom? Maybe not of boredom, it’s more the solitude that can have unwanted outcomes. If you have the ability and most importantly the will to have another cat, it would be the best idea. Bored cats could very much use some company. However, you need to be ready to devote time and patient in order to properly introduce the new mate to your bored kitty for a beautiful future friendship.
The most important thing for bored cats is to have a stimulating environment, filled with interesting things, and entertaining things to do.