Ever asked the question, ‘is my cat bored?’ Some cats prefer the home comforts of an indoor lifestyle, whilst others like the great outdoors. Maybe your four-legged friend likes a bit of both. Whatever your feline’s preference, there are likely to be times when your cat has to be indoors, and you wonder how you can keep your kitty entertained and prevent boredom setting in. Read on for all you need to know about how to keep your indoor cat contented.
Can cats live indoors?
Whether your cat is happy to live indoors will very much depend on their personality. An indoor lifestyle may suit less adventurous felines and can be advisable for those with certain medical conditions. Added to that, it has been shown that the average lifespan of indoor cats is longer than their free-roaming friends and you may feel happier keeping your fluffball away from hazards such as busy roads or scuffles with the local neighbourhood cats.
Some cats do not adapt well to life indoors, especially those that may have entered your life as an outdoor-living stray for example. Used to prowling their territory and hunting prey, these felines may find a more restricted lifestyle feels a bit too mundane.
So, cats can live indoors but some are better suited to this way of living than others.
Top 5 signs of boredom in cats
Without the adventurous lifestyle that an outdoor cat often leads, there is a risk that indoor felines may become bored which in turn can lead to stress, anxiety and behavioural problems including:
- Scratching the furniture
- Excessive grooming
- Toileting in the house
Although these symptoms can be caused by boredom, if your cat is showing any unusual behaviour it’s best to book a check-up with your vet to rule out a medical cause.
Indoor entertainment: the feline top 10
Whether your cat loves the indoor lifestyle, or is confined to barracks for a short time, having some indoor entertainment tucked up your sleeve will keep your kitty contented whatever the circumstances. Here’s our top 10 ideas for a happy cat:
1. Climbing post or tree
If you have the space, investing in some cat furniture can be a great idea. Cats love to be up high, and a cat tree can provide the perfect spot from which to view their kitty kingdom. Cat trees also encourage your indoor feline to exercise their natural instinct to climb and jump, helping them burn off some kitty calories in the process.
2. Scratching post
Cats love to scratch. However, you may not be quite so keen on this kitty territory-marking behaviour, especially if your feline thinks the arm of the brand new sofa is the ideal spot! A scratching post can provide an alternative to your best furniture and helps keeps claws in tip top condition.
3. Cat hideaway
Cats like to hide, and igloo cat beds can make the perfect retreat when your feline needs a bit of peace and quiet. Or your kitty’s hideaway could be as simple as a cardboard box. Even better if that box is placed up high, on a tabletop or cupboard for example.
4. Bird feeder
Our feline friends love a good view, with something to watch to pass the time. Hanging a birdfeeder in your garden within direct view of the window is the perfect solution. What could be better than curling up on a sunny windowsill with live bird action for entertainment?
5. Treat ball
Try offering your cat their daily rations in a treat ball. As your cat pushes the treat ball, it dispenses a small amount of their food. Working for their breakfast will help keep your cat’s waistline trim and provide some feline fun too!
6. Puzzle feeder
Food puzzles are among the best interactive cat toys and are a great way of keeping kitty minds active. Cats evolved as hunters, and puzzle feeders provide mental stimulation. Why not test your cat’s problem-solving skills with a puzzle feeder?
7. Cat wand
Sometimes simple is best. Use a cat wand to entice your pet to play and tap into their hunting instincts. Try to set aside time every day for some one-on-one playtime to help strengthen the bond that you share with your pet.
Does your kitty go crazy for catnip? Catnip mimics the effects of natural cat pheromones and some cats love it. If your kitty is a fan, a catnip mouse will provide them with hours of fun. Make sure you have some spares to avoid disappointment when their favourite toy goes missing.
9. Variety is the spice of life
Not every cat likes the same toys, and you may need to try a selection before your find your fluffball’s top choices. Keep to one or two toys at a time and rotate them to keep your cat interested.
Most cats love spending time with their humans, whether weaving round your legs as you make breakfast, ‘helping’ you type on your laptop or curled up on your lap in the evening. Try to make sure you have time for some kitty conversations in your busy schedule.
So, whether you keep it simple with traditional cat toys or choose the best interactive toy for cats, there is plenty out there to keep the most active of feline minds occupied.