When you think of a cat’s activity level, what typically comes to mind? For many it’s a lazy animal that sleeps all the time and sunbathes for a living. While that can be the case with some cats, many have a surprisingly high energy level. Think of keeping your cat’s entertained as something that’s fun and a bonding experience instead of a chore. In this blog entry, we’ll talk about some interesting ways to keep your high energy kitty out of trouble and, most importantly, happy and content.
Coming home after a long day to a cat that is bouncing off the walls can be difficult. Giving your cat activities to do when you’re gone can help them be active throughout the day. Make your house your cat’s personal jungle! Get cat trees and shelving that allows them to climb and explore things safely instead of getting into cabinets and closets. Cat tress come in all shapes, sizes, and budgets. From modest ones that fit nicely into smaller apartments to ones that are massive and stand six feet tall. When picking one out you want to make sure that it is made from sturdy materials and won’t wobble or fall over when your kitty climbs and jumps on it. Also think about what kind of things your cat enjoys – are they height seeking? You may want a tree that is more vertical space that branched out. Do they like to hide out from view? You may want a cat tree with a cube allowing them to hide and have privacy. Does your kitty have allergies? You may want to avoid a carpeted tree that can attract dust and fur.
Keeping your cat’s mind stimulated and active can also help. Puzzle feeders can be a great option, especially to leave down while you’re busy doing other things or at work during the day. By placing your cat’s regular food – wet or dry depending on the type of feeder – within the puzzle feeder, they have to work to get to their food – engaging their mind and their instinctual behavior. You can also simply put a few treats within the feeder before you leave for work for the day giving them a fun and rewarding activity while you’re gone. Cats typically enjoy the hunt so by giving them a challenge you are activating their minds as well as their bodies. Puzzle feeders come in a variety of sizes, styles and challenges. You can even try hiding a few puzzle feeders in different parts of the house to help engage hunting behavior. Hopefully, you’ll come home to a content kitty that has had a full day of hunting.
Making sure that there are plenty of toys to play with is also important. Try to have a variety of types of toys from catnip toys to balls to scratching posts. You also don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy toys from the pet store. There are so many great resources online showing how to make DIY cat toys. Whether it’s a DIY toy or store bought, inspect each toy carefully before giving it to your cat to ensure there are no small pieces or ribbon that are easy to remove and could potentially be ingested.
Bird feeders are a wonderful source of entertainment. It’s like having TV for cats! It’s a nice way for your cat to get some of the enjoyment of the outdoors without actually going outside. Set up bird and squirrel feeders near windows in different parts of your yard to allow your cat to follow birds from window to window. Make sure they have either a shelf or cat tree at the window to allow for safe viewing.
There are a lot of creative ways to make sure that your cat has a happy and full life, but there is no substitute for one on one play time. Spend time interacting with you furry companion. Run around the house with a string and let them chase you. Teach your kitty how to play fetch and spend 30 minutes just having a blast. At the end of the day, taking the time to bond with your cat and seeing the love that you get in return makes it all worthwhile!
Special thanks to Catie, our patient care specialist, for helping write this blog!