It’s the middle of winter and you may be wracking your brain for more ways to keep your indoor cat a happy camper.   While some pet owners start to pity their pets’ weather-induced confinement, we still encourage people to keep their cats inside for a plethora of reasons. Indoor cats are more likely to be protected from injury, diseases or parasites passed from one feline to another. Instead of solving the boredom or inactivity by leaving your kitty out for a few hours, or simply leaving him home without any diversions, use some of these ideas to great creative and keep that cat occupied.

Provide an outside view and a perch. If you live in a busy neighborhood where plenty of people walk their dogs on the sidewalks, or the squirrels race and chase each other in the trees, this could provide ample entertainment for your cat. If there is not a lot of action in your front yard, hang a bird or squirrel feeder to liven up the view. Set a window seat in the front room, or build your kitty a special “roost” where he alone and sit and survey the street where you reside. (Be warned, witnessing potential objects of prey dance around freely in front of your window-blocked cat, could cause him some frustration! Be sure to have toys and obstacle courses nearby where he can vent out some of that energy after the “show.”)

Give them an indoor entertainment! Find other sources of “live” entertainment for your cat. Set up a large aquarium where your feline can press up her nose against the glass and watch the beautiful fish glide around for hours at a time. Be sure that the lid of the tank is heavy and impossible for your cat to budge, so that you can rest assured that the only thing your cat will be able to do to the fish, is watch them.
While we are hesitant to advocate using the TV as a “babysitter” or source of entertainment for pets, some people have found this to be a great help in keeping their cats and dogs occupied at home. Turning on the TV to the Discovery Channel or linking videos on the Animal Planet may fascinate your kitty, as he can sit and live vicariously through the animals that hunt and explore.

Add some new kitty-centric play objects. Toys are a great way to help keep a cat busy, as many of them conceal treats and catnip inside. These durable and indestructible cat toys are a must-have for indoor pets. But if you are trying to think outside the box, consider ways you can take feline distraction to the next level. Is your cat a fan of scratching the back of your couch, rug or curtains? Get him a cat tree to stretch, scratch and climb on!

Schedule a regular visitor and playdate. Is there a responsible kid or teenager who lives in your apartment complex or neighborhood? Maybe you have a friend who only works night shifts, and would be happy to visit your cat mid-day for a little play session. Consider arranging for after-school play date where you pay the individual (or just offer them snacks in your fridge!) to come over for 30 minutes a day or so and play with your cat while you are indisposed. (Obviously this only suitable in situations where the person is very trustworthy, but this tactic has worked well for many a busy pet-owner who want their cats to be well-socialized.)

Keep the cat in motion. Remember, while you might be agonizing over the hours your kitty spends indoors, bear in mind that cats are perfectly content to sleep between 16-18 hours a day! Likely as not, you pet will spend most of his quiet time just snoozing peacefully. That said, if you know your pet to be an active sort, or a rather restless breed (like the curious Siamese or the Abyssinian) get him a rolling mouse toy he can push around, a bouncy ball, or a life-like toy that shakes and vibrates anytime the cat will paw or pounce on it. There are also wall-attachable feather toys and fishing lines the kitty could swing at, and wall lights that will reflects disco-light colors that can race across an open wall, and keep your kitty entranced (or jumping) for hours!

What have you found to be helpful for your cat? Does he have a favorite activity that keeps him entertained? Contact us with your stories!