If you want to keep your indoor cat happy and entertained and out of trouble and stop them from becoming bored it is a good idea give them things to do while you are out of the house or at work.
Some of these are the classics while others are a more modern way of keeping your cat entertained. Of course, you don’t have to be out to use them but they help if you are out for any length of time say at work or just out visiting for the day.
Being used to having cats that go out or that were just too old to really want to do much I have done a lot of research on ways to keep my indoor cat’s mind and body stimulated and entertained while he is inside. Below are some ideas that you can use or adapt for your cat.
Some of these ideas you will have or can set up very easily while others may need a special area or item.
Of course, all cats are different and what one will find exciting another will ignore. For that matter, one cat may find it exciting and then ignore it as well!
24 Ways to Keep Your Indoor Cat Entertained When You Are Out
1. Place Cat Food in Different Places
An easy way to keep your cat entertained is to put its dried food in different areas each time for it to hunt out and find. This keeps your cat busy and keeps its mind active as well as its body.
2. Use a Cat food Dispenser Game, Ball or Mouse
Some dispenser games need you to be there really white there are a couple that is ideal to leave for your cat. (Don’t overdo these as you don’t want your cat to get fat. Perhaps add your cat’s normal food for them to find.)
Whether this works will depend on your cat’s nature and if they like to play with these types of games.
My sister’s cat Scarab will do anything for Dreamies treats and would happily play to get his treats. Boo, not so much. He just looks that them. He will tolerate the small plastic mice dispensers but the not ball ones.
3. Put on the Radio or Cat Music
Having some music on for your cat while you are absent is a great idea as it keeps them company and drowns out any unwelcome outdoor sounds.
4. Use Cat TV
Some cats will watch TV and take notice of what is on. If your cat does perhaps you can put the TV on for them on a cat channel or maybe a YouTube aquarium.
5. Make Sure They Have a Window With a View
Cats love to sit and stare out at things. Sometimes it is difficult to see what is so interesting to them. Yet, if you can give them a window area where they can look out it will keep them occupied for ages.
6. Add Some Birds
If you can, and providing it’s not too close and distresses them you could add some bird feeders for your cat to watch. If you are going to do this it is a commitment because the birds do get used to you feeding them.
7. Use Real Fish
If you keep real fish your cat will find them very entertaining, just make sure your lid is secure on the tank or your cat may have an extra lunch.
8. Or Try Virtual Fish
As I said with Cat TV you can get virtual fish for your cat. These can not only go on the TV but also your tablet provided it is safe. Some fish are interactive.
9. Add Some Scratch Posts
Cats love to use scratch posts to stretch and scratch. They will also play around them and if they are big enough to sit on them.
10. Get a Cat Tree/Cat Condo
These are great as they give your cat lots of different stimuli with everything from scratching to climbing to sleeping to a play area if you have more than one cat. They come in many different shapes and sizes and can really add variety to your cats day. Where you place them in the room will make a huge difference to how much use they get. Also, I have read that it is a good idea to move them around
Boo: A good example was when I got one for Boo, I have a very tiny bedroom and it went in an alcove. He hardly used it other than for scratching or dive bombing me to wake me up in the morning. I managed to move the bed out and put the cat tree in front of the window. Now it gets lots more use.
11. Put Out Cardboard Boxes
Of course, a well-known favourite of cats is the cardboard box. Cats love boxes, so pop a few on the floor for them to explore. Or if you have more than one cat they can chase in and out of it.
Use different sizes and leave the flaps on or cut a hole for them to go through.
12. Use Scrunched Up Paper
Cats love to play with scrunched up paper. If you scrunch some up for them they will bap it around the house.
13. Indoor Cat Grass Area If You Have The Room
While most people would have a small cat grass in a pot if you have the room you can make a whole area of cat grass for them to lie in and chew if they want to. This can either go in the house, conservatory or if they have one, their catio area.
This is great as it allows them to display their natural nature as well, they may also choose to sleep there.
14. Put Their Food On a Timer
If you put their food into a cat feeder and on a timer, they will get to know when it is going to go off and wait for it. It also stops them from eating all their food at once and gives them something to look forward to and todo later on.
15. Add Tunnels & Tents
This is one of Boos favourites. He will pay with these time and time again and often just sits it them looking out. I guess it is a variation on the box. I usually play with him with these but your cat can also just entertain itself. If nothing else it gives a new dimension to the play area for your cat.
16. Arrange Your Furniture for Your Cat To Climb
Not everyone will want their cats climbing on their furniture. However, they probably will anyway.
I like to give my cat as much climbing as possible. Not only does it keep them, fitter, but it also helps their mind as they have to calculate the distances and height. I arrange different heights of furniture for my cat Boo.
17. Build Special Cat Climbing Walls
This is one I would love to do myself and would if had had my own house and suitable walls. Although with Boo being part Ragdoll he might not be one for much climbing. These are amazing. You can build your own personal cat wall gym with lots of different elements for them to explore.
18. Give Them Outside Access Cat Run or Catio
If they have outside access that is easy to get back inside like a catio attached to the wall that gives them lots of entertainment. They are less likely to be stressed if they have access to the outside on their terms. Make sure it is secure from escape or theft.
19. Have Someone Visit Them
If you can get someone to come in and visit them during the day to break up the day for them. It is best if they know who they are in advance though.
20. Give Your Cat a Water Fountain
Some cats love to sit and watch water or use a water fountain. If your cat is one of these a water fountain can be a great entertainment source.
21. Get 2 Cats or a 2nd Cat
Having two cats as long as they get on is a great way to keep them entertained. They will bug and play with each other for ages and then curl up together to sleep (Note: though that it is best for them to be family or they may not sleep together).
Although, not necessary for many cat breeds for some it also stops them being lonely. Either get two cats at the same time or add one later.
22. Put Items on a Flat Surface For Your Cat to Knock Off
It is said that if the world were flat cats would have knocked everything off by now! I can see why.
Although you might not want them to knock off your ornaments you can use this trait to entertain them.
If you have a flat surface if you put things on it that you don’t mind getting knocked off, won’t break or harm your kitty they are very likely to go along and knock it all off. Admittedly this is only a few minutes entertainment for them as it doesn’t take long but it all adds up.
Boo: I have a flat-topped grid radiator and I put some pine cones on one end for a project I was doing. Boo, who never really goes that end of the radiator walked along it sat down and tapped them all off. When he wasn’t looking I put them all back again. Next time I looked they were back on the floor.
He does the same with his mice on his cat tree.
23. Give Them Something to Cuddle and Snuggle
When you cat is tired they may prefer to have something to snuggle up against.
24. Give Them Something to Kick
Some cats like to lie on their back or sides when they are playing and grab something and kick it with their back legs. If your cat likes to do this you can buy them, kickers, to play with.
Note: Some toys are not suitable to be left out for your cat to play with, it should say on them if this is the case if in doubt it’s best not to use them.
Swap It About A Bit
Don’t do the same thing every day, although cats thrive on a routine they do get bored with the same old toys. Put out different ones or pop them in different places.