Many people assume that cats are independent creatures who have little need for stimulation. The reality is that cats are social and complex animals who can bore just as easily as dogs, and if left with nothing to zap their energy or exercise their minds, they may become anxious, aggressive, or destructive. Whether you are looking for ways to occupy your cat when you’re away from the house or activities that will reduce attention-seeking behaviors when you are home, check out these five cures for a bored cat.
1. Rotate Stimulating Toys
Has your cat’s fuzzy mouse been collecting dust in the corner for a week? Has their squeaky bird fallen silent under the sofa? The best way to keep your cat engaged with and stimulated by their toys is to switch them out regularly and introduce new toys when you can. In addition, you should save your cat’s favorite toys for times when you really want to keep them occupied; for example, if you have to be out of the house for several hours or need some uninterrupted time at home. Look for toys that will tap into your cat’s desire to hunt, and consider trying a puzzle toy that will require your cat to problem solve in order to catch their “prey.” You can even make your own puzzle toy at home out of a cardboard box — check out our DIY instructable!
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2. Cat Scratchers and Condos
Cat scratchers and condos are two of the most popular products purchased by cat parents, and for good reason; they satisfy two of a cat’s natural instincts: their desire to scratch, and their desire for privacy and security. Cat scratchers keep your cat from shredding the sofa or drapes by giving them a surface especially designed for nail dragging, and cat condos offer your cat a cozy place to curl up. Try making your own scratchers and condos at home, and if your cat gets bored of those after a while, make new ones! After all, variety is the spice of life.
3. Captivating Critters
Cats love to watch animals, whether it’s other cats, dogs, squirrels, birds, or fish. Give your cat a show that will last for hours by setting up a bird or squirrel feeder outside of their favorite window. An aquarium filled with fish can also fascinate your cat; just make sure to set it up in a safe place where your cat won’t be able to go fishin’ or accidentally tumble in.
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4. Meow-Worthy Media
Have you ever caught your kitty peeking over your shoulder at the TV? Or maybe your feline’s furry ears perk up when the radio turns on? Just like people and dogs, cats are often amused by television and tunes, and if left alone, having some visual or auditory stimulation can ease their anxiety, too. There are even DVDs on the market made especially for cats that include videos of animals such as rodents, birds, and fish.
5. Wear Them Out With A Walk
A tired cat is less likely to be bored, and one way to wear your cat out is by taking them on a walk. Yes, that’s right; plenty of felines have learned the satisfaction that comes from taking a stroll, and yours can too. All you’ll need is a leash, a cat harness, and an ID tag. It may take a little practice to get your cat used to walking on a leash — and used to the great outdoors if they’ve always been an indoor cat — but with consistency and tasty treats, your cat will eventually hit their stride.
How do you cure your cat’s boredom? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. .