With more and more pet owners staying at home due to lockdowns and quarantines because of the coronavirus, many cat owners - and cats - are experiencing a sudden shift in routine. People all over the world are stuck at home, and it can get a little tough to stay entertained. But chances are, you're not the only one feeling a little stir crazy.
While it's true that cats spend an inordinate amount of time resting--up to 17 hours a day, in fact -- it's important to provide your kitties with mental stimulation to keep them happy and occupied while at home. It can be difficult to keep your cat busy, especially when you're working from home. But there are plenty of ways you can entertain your favorite feline, and help them relieve some of that pent-up energy. Here are a few ideas to get their bodies and minds stimulated.
1. Wildlife Windows
Give your cat a taste of the great outdoors! Bring nature into view for your cats to watch. Place a bird feeder, squirrel feeder or plants that attract wildlife near your cat’s favorite window. Then simply sit back and watch them watch the world go by safely inside your home!
2. New Toys
Has it been a while since your cat's gotten a new toy? Cats can get bored of the same old toys (and catnip can go stale), so freshening up your cat's toy box might be a great way to get them excited to play.
Whether it’s a handheld toy that lets its guardian interact with a cat, an electronic interactive toy, or just a toy mouse, this is one of the easiest ways to entertain and get your cat moving. Laser pointers, wands and flyer/bird toys are some of the easiest to use and many cats can’t resist playing with them. Many toys can also trigger the inner kitten or hunting instincts that are still present even in your senior cats.
3. Food Puzzles
If your cat is especially food-motivated, food puzzles are an excellent way to not only increase your cat's activity throughout the day, but also their mental health. Food puzzles provide your cat with a more natural way to get their food by "hunting" (or rather, foraging) for it. Food puzzles can be purchased, but you can also make them at home!
4. Cat Trees
Placed near a window, a cat tree can provide lots of interest for your cat even if they are just watching the outside world. There can be places to explore and sunlight to follow while they jump, climb, hide, scratch or just rest. Plus, it gives you a little project to keep your hands busy for a while while you're stuck at home, too!
5. Cat Television
If you don’t live in a place where your cat can watch wildlife through a window, you can provide a similar setup using your television or computer with DVDs and YouTube.
6. Another Cat
While introducing a new furry family member is no small undertaking, there is nothing like a new partner-in-crime to provide interest and a little creative chaos for your cat. Adopting a new cat will provide years of enjoyment for you and your cat. Or if you're not ready for a permanent resident, fostering an animal from your local shelter is another wonderful way to give your kitty some entertainment and excitement - and help out an animal in need at the same time.
7. Train Your Cat
Despite some popular misconceptions, cats are actually very trainable! Their intelligence makes them keen and quick learners. Whether you're training your cat to do a few fun tricks, like give you a high five, or getting them to run through a kitty obstacle course, now is the perfect time to work on training your cat. This will keep you AND your cat entertained, a wonderful outlet for pent-up energy.
There are tons of fun tricks your cat can learn, and some wonderful online resources to help get you started. Besides getting to teach your cat to give you a high five, you can also use the tenets of training to help correct behavioral issues you'd like to work on.
8. Go For a Walk
While harness training your cat can take a while and should be done in baby steps, a safe walk outside can open up new worlds for your cat --without all of the dangers the outside can provide.