Is My Cat Bored?
Wonder what cats do all day while home alone? With most cats napping up to 15 hours a day, how do you prevent them from getting fat or turning to mischief while awaiting your return? The challenge of an indoor cat on her own for hours is a humdrum life. Pet experts advise that cats need entertaining diversions to maintain physical, mental and emotional health. Otherwise, they grow bored, lazy and may start acting out.
Secret lives of pets
It starts with a cupboard pawed open and shelves emptied. The signs of boredom can turn into destructive behavior: curtains clawed, furniture shredded, aggressive skirmishes, inappropriate urination, overeating, over-vocalization and over-grooming. Sound familiar? The prescribed remedy is to create a cat-friendly environment to keep them happy, stimulated and busy.There are lots of easy ways to encourage playfulness and prevent restlessness.
First rule of fun: lots of cat toys in every room. Rotate a variety to keep their interest: feathery balls, a dangling fish or mouse on a pole, interesting boxes, climbers and spinners. Engage their sense of sound with bells and chirpers, mix in interactive puzzle toys with simple balls as well as items for rubbing and scratching.
Cats love searching, stalking and chasing for exercise. Try these tips:
- Hide treats to find
- Create a vertical obstacle course to climb. Keep surfaces clear to allow exploring
- Stash toys in cubbies to discover (a ping pong ball in the tub, a plushy in a closet)
- Turn a bag or box into a hiding spot
Cats are naturally curious and instinctive mousers and birders. Bring the outdoors inside:
- A bird feeder in a window
- Open windows for fresh air or an enclosed “catio” porch
- A container of cat grass
- Wildlife videos
Be sure to bond with 10 minutes of playtime together each day, like a game of hide-and-seek or chase-the-laser-pointer. This leaves quality time for cuddling, grooming and sharing a purr. And don’t forget the catnip!