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How to Keep an Indoor Cat from Getting Bored: 8 Ideas to try

bored indoor cat ideas to try

Many people prefer indoor cats to dogs because they may be left alone for more extended periods. However, regardless of the convenience with a litter box and sufficient food supply, indoor cats left alone with none or little stimulation or environmental enrichment are more prone to get bored or lonely. As a pet owner, it’s your mere responsibility to provide them with a lively and boredom-free environment. So if you own an indoor cat, how do you keep it from getting bored?

Ensuring your cat’s environment is exciting and that they have much to do indoors is a vital part of keeping them occupied. Providing a blend of: 

  • Interactive toys 
  • High places to climb
  • Scratching posts 
  • Perches in front of secure windows

Can all assist in entertaining and stimulating your cat.

Cats aren’t the most straightforward pets to keep engaged all of the time. When you leave your cat at home alone for several hours, they’ll likely become bored—and they don’t have nearly as much boredom-busting entertainment at their fingertips (paw-tips?) to keep them engaged. Is this to say that the solution is to let your cat go outside? Definitely not. Outdoor environments are full of stimuli, but they are also full of danger and unpredictability. So stay with us while we develop an outdoor situation indoors to keep your cats occupied.

How Do You Know If Your Cat is Bored?

Cats are adorable and cuddly, but they may be challenging to care for, mainly if they are kept all of the time indoors. Felines are natural hunters that often become bored; thus, it is essential to entertain them. While cats may not always let you know how bored they are, they do sometimes show their discontent in frank and unappreciated ways. By these behavioural changes, you can figure out that your cat is bored and requires stimulation.

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So keep an eye out for the indicators of boredom and make an effort to keep her mentally and physically stimulated. Below are a few apparent behavioural changes that would help you identify your cat’s boredom and aid you find your solution.     

  • Repetitive behaviours – Bored cats may pamper themselves in ways that aren’t always healthy. Licking, pulling out fur, or gnawing at their skin can irritate, exacerbating the issue. Excessive grooming isn’t the only sign of boredom; excessive meowing is another sign that indicates boredom.
  • Terrorising other pets – As a way of releasing pent-up energy, a bored cat can occasionally chase and disturb other animals in the house. One possible explanation for your cat attacking other cats, ambushing the dog, or pursuing the guinea pig is that she requires additional stimulation.
  • Lack of Activity – It’s usual for cats to spend lots of time sleeping. Nevertheless, they also require and enjoy physical activities like play-hunting, playing, exploring, and climbing. If your cats never seem to leave the couch or seem glum and mopey and aren’t doing much else except sleeping and snacking at the food bowl, it could be that they are bored.
  • Overeating – On this front, bored cats and humans who are bored are on the same page. They’ll eat excessively merely to have something to do. Obesity can result from this, further depressing a cat. Not just depression, it can lead to various health issues.
  • Destructive behaviour – Some cats are great at creating their own stimulus, but this can occasionally mean destroying your curtain or sofa. 

Another aggravating behaviour that might be attributable to boredom is going to the bathroom outside the litter box. It could be an indication that your cat isn’t getting enough mental stimulation if she seems low and uninterested in most things that generally keep her active, such as eating. However, if undesirable behaviours persist despite suitable adjustments in the surroundings, consult a veterinarian to rule out any potential health issues.

While any of these indications could be signs of boredom, they could also be signs of medical or behavioural issues. If you observe your cat doing any of these things, consult your veterinarian to rule out any health issues that may influence their behaviour.

How To Keep Your Indoor Cat From Getting Bored     

Cats, by nature, are very independent creatures and make great companions for several reasons. One of the main reasons they make a great inclusion to the family is because they’re comfortable being left independent. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that cats can still experience boredom. Boredom can equally hit your feline, just like it does a human being.

Read more about bored cats: Is Your Cat Bored? 9 Signs To Look For and The Best Ways to Entertain Them

When your furry feline is bored, this can lead to various problems such as inappropriate urination and destructive behaviours such as scratching. Creating a stimulating and enriching environment for your cat doesn’t have to put a severe dent in your wallet. There are many inexpensive cures for boredom in cats. Energise your cats with a low-cost setup.

Keep your indoor kitten entertained with these top tips any time of the day:

Perches in Front of a Window       

Cats will always seek a high location in the house to rest, lounge, or snuggle. It could be anything from your sofa, table, TV armoire to your cabinet, dresser, windowsill or ledge. With Maine Coons and Abyssinian cats being so well-known, some kittens may abandon their cushy floor beds or even paw your belongings to find a place that is raised to: 

  • Recline
  • Sit 
  • Sleep

Cats enjoy keeping an eye on their surroundings. Set up a perch next to a window where you’re ok for them to spend time. Bird or squirrel feeders can be hung outside the window for your cat’s amusement. If your cat looks out at the outside world, installing a feeding tray or ground bird feeder on the other side is a terrific way to lure birds closer for close viewing.

The reason that cats love watching birds and small animals is that they have a natural prey instinct. Even well-fed pet cats still retain the wildcat’s natural attraction to small animals. Setting a bird viewing station will allow your cat hours of safe viewing pleasure inside the house. 

Scratching Posts & Cat Trees

Scratching is necessary for cats to maintain the sharpness of their claws, to exercise and stretch their muscles, and to mark their territory. Once a cat discovers an appealing scratching post, they will never leave it!

Your new best friend will love scratching posts! Scratching posts provide something for your cat to: 

  • Climb   
  • Sleep on     
  • Scratch their paws on   

So they’re a terrific way to keep your cat amused. Your cat should be able to stretch out comfortably on the scratching post. Some scratching posts have multiple levels of platforms to sit on, which is favourable. You may get these at a pet store or even make your own out of a tree stump.

Interactive Toys

Cat interactive toys are intended to provide cats with the exercise and mental stimulation they crave and keep indoor cats occupied and out of mischief.

Toys for your cats are an excellent source of both physical and mental stimulation. It’s also a better idea to pick a few toys that your cat likes and swap them regularly to keep things interesting. Swapping the toys prevents your cat from getting bored of the same toys.

Interactive toys are a fun way to get along with your cat while also giving much-needed stimulus to her mind and body. Typically, these toys include: 

  • Dangling a feather or toy from a pole and string for your cat to play with, which keeps them excited to climb the post
  • Chasing laser pointers

 Playing with your cat for fifteen minutes or so a couple of times a day provides them with something to anticipate.

Build a Catio   

Catios are the ideal compromise, providing enrichment while keeping cats safe from wildlife and other threats.

You can buy or create a catio to keep your indoor cat safe when they go outside. For indoor cats, these can be a great source of entertainment. Catios may be able to assist our feline friends in leading a more natural lifestyle, reducing the risk of health problems and enriching their lives.      

A catio is an outdoor covered structure fastened to a window or door leading outside your home and allowing your favourite feline to experience the outdoors safely.

Playing and Cuddles

Play allows your cat’s predatory tendencies to be expressed while also relieving boredom, preventing behavioural issues, and providing exercise, which helps avoid weight gain and future health problems.

Cats require interaction with their humans, which is why plenty of playtimes are a must for a contented feline. However, playing with your cat isn’t the only method to keep him entertained. Cuddling and grooming are a few other ways to help you two bond. Find a solution that works for both you and your cat. The most important thing is to schedule it regularly so that your cat does not become lonely or bored.

Exposure to Sunlight

Like humans, cats also crave sunlight. Give your cat access to sunny windowsills and place their bed in a sunny area to encourage them to enjoy the sun. A tall piece of cat furniture placed near a window or patio doors can be used as a sunbathing area too. This can meet your cats instincts to climb as well as enjoy necessary sunlight.

Even if your cat does not go outdoors in the sun, they will be impacted by the heat radiating from the sun. In addition, they may moult a little more than usual, so brush them more frequently, if necessary, to remove loose hairs and avoid hairballs. They are also more inclined to drink more during warm seasons or when you keep the temperature warm inside with the heater, so make sure they have access to fresh, clean water at all times. You might also install window screens to give them access to fresh air.

Long-term Confinement Area  

Leave your cat in a long-term confinement area, also known as a cat playroom, with:

  • Comfy bed
  • Fresh water
  • Litter box
  • Scratching post with various cat toys and chew toys. 

Long confinement is preferred when you are not at home. Long-term confinement reduces the likelihood of your cat making blunders around the house and increases the possibility that they will learn to use their litter box and play with their toys and scratching post. 

Short-term Confinement Area 

It’s fun to watch your cat explore their new surroundings, but if you give your new kitty too much freedom in your house too quickly, you can end up with behaviour issues. That’s why it’s crucial to keep a new kitten contained! 

Starting with a little space will make them feel more at ease. Confine your cat in a small, short-term confinement space (cat carrying cage) with a couple of stuffed chew toys and dangle cat toys when you’re at home but can’t give them your entire attention. 

Confining your cat reduces the likelihood of them making a mess in the house, increases the likelihood of learning to play with their toys, and helps you anticipate when they will need to relieve themself. Knowing when your cat has to go makes litter box training simple; all you have to do is show them where to go and praise them when they do. You can use a treat to praise them.

Is It Cruel To Keep Your Cats Indoors?

When cats are kept indoors, they can have quite happy, healthy, and normal lives. Owning a cat and keeping them indoors for safety, without the means to develop their instincts, on the other hand, would be cruel. As an owner, you must make sure your cat gets enough stimulus. The means to develop your cat’s instincts are usually best outdoors.

So instead, enhance your cat’s daily routine by offering the stimulus and activity she craves. Peter Neville, a renowned feline behaviourist, adds that he has seen so many cat’s symptoms of: 

  • Irritation   
  • Boredom   
  • Aggressiveness     
  • Depression      

These symptoms typically vanished after these enrichments were installed.

Keeping your pets indoors is often necessary, and it provides you with ample opportunity to bond with your cat. But, remember, it’s possible that doing so will bore your cat. It’s no one’s fault; people living near busy roads are becoming increasingly hesitant to let their pets outside. Leaving them outdoors is just not an acceptable solution in most urban areas.

Conclusion

Cats make wonderful pets and are gorgeous creatures. Unlike some dogs, they don’t require a lot of space and are generally low-maintenance animals. They thrive in small spaces and are adoring and affectionate toward their owners, especially those with strenuous job schedules. 

Finally, keep in mind that cats are complex creatures. They, like any other pet, require attention and stimulation and should be handled with respect. Having a cat isn’t always the most cost-effective activity, but the benefits of a feline’s company and affection outweigh the costs.

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