EDIT: Since writing the article below on tips for keeping your inside cat entertained, we’ve added several additional cats (a brother and sisters) for Alexa. Turns out, IF the cat is open to the idea, having other cats around is one of the funnest things for a cat. Endless, built-in entertainment!
Keeping indoor cats active (mentally and physically) is one of the healthiest (and most loving) things we can do for them. Outdoor cats have an ever-changing environment. While the outdoors is a more dangerous place for an animal to live, it can be infinitely more interesting and stimulating. After all, one never knows what you’re going to see outside, whereas the indoors (while safe and climate controlled) can be monotonous for the single most curious animal in the world!
Luckily, this can be easily taken care of by providing your curious little one(s) with plenty of originality and change – which always fascinates a cat.
- With my inside cats, over the years, I have always had a system in place where I frequently “trade out” toys. I’ll put a few toys away for a few weeks, while old favorites are brought back out.
- I often buy my inside cat (Alexa) a new toy. She knows that when I come home with several bags in tow, one of them holds something for her. She scrutinizes each bag like a two-year old!
- I place her toys in different spots throughout the house. I leave her VERY favorite cat toys where she leaves them, after all I don’t want to stress her out or get myself in trouble – but I’ll frequently place a ball, toy mouse, or other toy in spots to catch her off guard.
- Many cat parents believe their cats have “outgrown” playing when, truth be told, they’re simply bored with the status quo. Mix things up! Boredom for a cat is as dangerous and uncomfortable as stress is for a human.
- A little experimenting will help you discover what your cat’s favorite types of toys are. Some prefer toy mice while others barely glance at a toy mouse but will go gaga over a ball. Catnip toys are almost always a hit – however, the catnip does kind of wear off, which means you have to replace the toy after a while.
- ALWAYS be certain that the toys are safe. Frequently inspect them for anything and everything that could pose a danger to your cat… loose parts, for example that could potentially choke them.
- Get down on the floor with them and play with them. I’ll let you in on a secret… it’s as good for you as it is for them!
- This may fall under the category of “crazy cat lady,” but I’ve never let that stop me before: When you’re reading, sorting coupons, writing, etc.. either lift your cat so she/he can supervise you or get down on their level. What’s mundane to us can be utterly fascinating to a cat. Alexa is mesmerized by writing. She’ll concede to watch for a while, then inevitably will reach the point where she can’t take the temptation any longer… then…. whoosh!… she starts swatting wildly at the pen.
- Cat Tunnels are fascinating for cats! They love running in and out and can sometimes even be found napping inside the tunnel.
- A great (sturdy) cat tree is something I consider a MUST for inside cats. They have so much fun climbing, scratching, and sleeping on their own cat tree. When we got one, we literally wondered what had taken so long. It’s a wonderful, wonderful gift for your cat.