You love your cat and probably hate to think of her bored. What would your cat do if forced to entertain herself? A bored cat is much more prone to destruction, and your house will thank you for finding alternative outlets for your cat’s energy. If you’re drawing a blank on how to entertain her, then take a look at our list below. We’ve compiled a few important steps to keeping your cat entertained.
1. Give Her Exploration Opportunities
Very likely your house already has several potential exploration zones for your cat that you may not have considered. You could arrange your furniture so that she can jump on top of your bookcases or tunnel through the coffee tables. You can arrange side tables and shoe racks so that she can unleash her climbing skills and embrace her curious nature. Of course, this is all a lot easier if your cat can be trusted not to mess with your decor.
If she’s a little less trustworthy, or you simply don’t want to grant her unlimited access to your home, then you can make a few purchases that will allow her to explore on her own, too. You can look for a good tower with nooks and crannies. And with a little creativity on your part, you can keep surprising her by hiding treats or toys inside her favorite spots.
2. Designate a Kitty Window
Along with her curiosity comes a genuine interest in watching people, birds, bugs, and nature of all kinds. Because of this, access to windows is ideal for cats. A window she can perch in front of, either with a bench or the back of a couch, or even a windowed door that she can sit in front of to watch as the mailman delivers your mail will serve to entertain her very well. If that’s not a possibility, either because of the layout of your home or because you live in an apartment, you could try a nature DVD – perhaps some bird-watching will pique her interest.
3. Engage in Playtime With Your Cat
As long as you’re home, playing directly with your cat is the best entertainment there is, hands-down. There are more conventional games you can play, like with a feather wand. You could also try some less conventional play, like tossing ping pong balls around in an empty bathtub or a laser pointer. You can even make shadow puppets on the ground to keep your kitty occupied for much longer than you may expect.
Teaching her tricks may prove a solid form of entertainment for your cat. Cats are (with some exceptions) more difficult to teach tricks to than, say, a dog. But if you can do it, you’ll find the benefits well worth the effort. You can teach her funny tricks for your own amusement as well as hers, like high fives or jumping hurdles.
4. Let Her Outside (Supervised, If Need Be)
You have to be extra careful with letting her outside because it runs the risk of her getting lost. But outdoors will provide plenty of entertainment opportunities. She’ll be able to explore a new environment, play with new things, and start a new kind of routine to give her excitement. If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to start with very careful supervision. If you have a fenced in yard, you may be able to be less hands on. Still, remember that cats are spectacular climbers. So start slow, teaching her boundaries and some rules. Don’t let her climb up on the fence, and don’t let her go past her safe zones before you redirect her.
If you want to feel comfortable with her going outside on her own, it’s a good idea to get your cat accustomed to coming when she’s called. With this, you’ll want to limit her time so that even if she’s getting into things on her own, she can’t get into too much trouble before you call her back home.
5. Encourage Independent Play
There are loads of toys that can entertain your cat, including crinkle toys, balls with bells, a collapsible two-way tunnel, and a variety of toy mice that will keep your cat intrigued for hours. You can also get her some catnip, which is a guaranteed hit with most cats.
There are also a couple dual-purpose fun-makers that are worth considering for your feline: scratching posts and water fountains. Scratching posts will entertain them as well as file their nails, making their claws less lethal to you and your furniture. Water fountains will entertain your cat while also helping to ensure that she gets the proper hydration.
To take a look at some of the coolest cat scratching posts around, check out our list of the Best Cat Scratching Posts.
6. Get Her Some Company
We know it’s not feasible for all families, but we’d be remiss to leave out the potential joy of kitty friendship. If it is at all possible, you can definitely up her entertainment level by adding another cat to your home. But, as always, don’t enter into the adoption of a pet lightly. Each cat is a serious responsibility, and you can’t think of your new cat as your old cat’s toy.
If another cat isn’t right for your family, then maybe adding a fish tank could be. A colorful and active fish tank could entertain your cat in several ways. She may get the fish to interact with her some, but a fish tank can also be a kind of TV for her. She will want to watch them swim, so try to set the tank up somewhere she can sit to enjoy. Beware, though: you’re going to want to make sure that tank is well guarded and braced so she can’t get into the tank to go fishing or simply knock it over. If you’re looking for a great fish tank, check out our list of the Best Betta Fish Tanks.
Entertaining a cat can be as hands off or hands on as your schedule (and your cat) allows. You may find a few ideas on our list won’t apply to your situation, but more than likely, you’ll find the most success with a combination of several ideas.