Cats sleep a lot but they also like to play, discover new things, and eat. Boy, do my cats like to eat. A bored cat may play aggressively or get into things they shouldn’t. Some cats that seem to be under-stimulated may overreact to seeing an outdoor cat pass through their yard and slam themselves against the window trying to get at it while others may just become chubby or destructive.
To keep your cat stimulated and happy, it’s recommended that cats experience at least 15 minutes of play time with us a day. This does not include times they may play with a ping pong ball or climb around their kitty condo. I’ll be honest, I do not play with my cats everyday but I do make sure they have a few toys out all the time and change their toys on a regular basis.
Here’s a few things you can do to keep your kitty from getting bored:
1: Give them a window sill perch so they can watch the world go by. It has been called “cat tv” by many cat owners. If your cat seems to overreact to seeing outdoor cats, maybe try a different window where your cat can be farther away from the action, like the second floor. Sometimes distance makes a difference in their reactions.
2: Have some toys around for them to play with and rotate them so that they always seem “new.” My cats like things that roll and things they can bat around. They also have a fishing toy which I can hold and swing around while I’m watching tv or walking around and they chase it.
3: If you get a delivery and the box isn’t too big, leave it on the floor for a few days. Cats will jump in and out and peek over the top.
4: Those paper bags from the grocery store make great hiding places. Leave one open on the floor or standing up and let your cat discover it.
5: Keep some catnip around for them that you can sprinkle on a scratching post or inside a toy.
Items like boxes and bags cost nothing and there may be other things in the house that your cat will play with that won’t cost much. Make a tin foil ball, or if you sew you can make a stuffed toy with catnip. Bottle caps and the plastic ring tops from milk and orange juice are fun toys to bat around, just don’t let them chew them up. A happy cat is stress free cat and that means less aggression, more purring, and a healthier life.