8 ways to entertain a bored indoor cat

Are you an owner of an indoor cat and struggle to entertain him? Many indoor cats are bored, and that’s one of the most negative aspects of keeping your cat inside.

a bored indoor cat hugging a laptop
Photo by angela n., cc

At the same time, indoors means safety, and we would surely love if every cat were kept safe indoors and happy and active as well.

Here is a list of things that will reduce your cat’s boredom:

  1. Play. Cats love to play. The bad thing is, it requires the owner’s participation. However, if you can find just a few minutes of your time once or twice a day, your cat will be grateful! Tie a thread around a candy wrapper or cut off a wooden stick from a bush outside, and let the fun begin. We have never seen a cat that can resist playing with a stick. Even our friend’s Exotic Shorthair, which sits in one spot all day, starts to move its paw slowly when a stick appears. You can also buy toys such as fake mice or food puzzles. There are even some motor driven toys, like Undercover Mouse, which does not require your participation. However, we still recommend that you actively take part in your cat’s play and provide solo play to your cat only at times when you are not present.
  2. Get a cat tree. A huge one, if possible. Cats love to climb and jump and view their turf from above. Cat trees function as a scratching post, as well, to help prevent your cat from scratching. Cat trees make life more exciting in general!
  3. Create a place to hide. Hideout is a two-bird shot. Cats are passionate hunters, and hiding is an essential part of hunting. Even if your indoor cat does not hunt prey in your living room, his play will be more fun if he has the opportunity to hide before attacking a ball. A perfect place to hide is in a plant, especially one with broad leaves. You might create a small garden in your house for your cat’s enjoyment—the more plants, the better! However, cats love to nibble plants, so make sure they are not poisonous. Use your imagination to create small caves, cat houses, or tunnels for your cat’s pleasure; even a cardboard box would do. Our cat often hides on a beam under the table.
  4. Stroke and groom him. Most cats get excited and start to purr when you stroke them. Grooming is among the top pleasures for cats, along with sleeping and eating—just like it is for humans. Grooming is a perfect way to entertain an indoor cat. During the time spent on it, your cat won’t be bored.
  5. Feed something delicious and uncommon. Outside, cats spend most of their time gathering food. Indoor cats lack this activity and become bored. Vary from canned to dry food, and create a food hunt in your house by hiding a small amount of kibble in different places or throwing bits of dry food for your cat to catch. However, don’t overfeed your bored cat. Fat cats are rarely happy cats. Whatever extra you feed must be subtracted from your cat’s daily food intake.
  6. Create a beautiful outside view. Gazing through the window is one of the most popular cat activities when they’re home alone. It’s extra enjoyable when the sun is rising, and the birds are awakening. Make sure at least one window is free and accessible. Glass doors are great as well. However, be aware that an outside view can create anxiety in some cats. Make sure his stress levels are not climbing.

    Bored cat looking through a window.
    Photo by raindog, cc
  7. Let your indoor cat outside. Every movement of grass, flying birds, or butterflies is exciting and fun. Take care when bringing your cat outdoors, so he does not run away. Use a leash or put him in a small, enclosed area. See here for our tips to let your indoor cat outside safely. Some indoor cats might crave to get out, but others might be afraid of opened doors. Don’t push. If your cat feels frustrated or scared, maybe it’s not the activity for him.
  8. Get one more cat. Or maybe a dog, a guinea pig, or a mouse (yum, yum…) might make your cat less bored? Keep in mind, though, that not all cats love company. Besides, having two cats playing with each other still does not exempt you from spending time with your pets, and your cat food and veterinary care expenses will double.

We just scratched the surface in the above tips. Indoor confinement should not be a sentence for a boring life of your cat. We are sure there are many ways to entertain an indoor cat if you are creative and willing to involve.