Keeping the Cat Busy: Tips for Fun and Games

Is your cat bored? Then this article shows you how to keep your cat busy – even when you are not at home. You will also receive tips for more variety in the apartment.

Why Should I Keep My Cat Busy?

To be happy, a cat needs enough activity. This is not a problem for most of the outdoors: In order to control their territory, they cover a kilometer or more every day. They usually have enough to do with that – and with catching mice, of course.

Indoor cats, on the other hand, are often underutilized. Because compared to the outdoor cat, their territory is tiny and humans ensure regular food replenishment. This can quickly lead to boredom.

How Often Should I Play With My Cat?

An indoor cat can live out its innate hunting instinct in play. In addition, regular play units keep you fit and help reduce stress. In addition, the risk of your four-legged friend becoming too fat or even depressed is reduced.

It is all the more important that you play with your house tiger every day. Just allow a few minutes every day to do this. Your cat may also ask you to interact with her directly. When your cat lugs toys, tugs at your sleeve, or insists on meowing, the message is clear: She wants to play with you.

How Can I Keep My Cat Busy?

Most cats still like to play in adulthood. The best time to do this is early in the morning or late in the evening. Because at dusk, the small predators usually go on the hunt.

The most exciting are toys that look similar to prey: plush mice or fishing rods with feathers or feather fronds. Everything that rustles and crackles is also interesting. Many cats also love to chase a small balls.

Toys with Catnip and Valerian

Toys with valerian or catnip are particularly popular in the cat world. Because the scent of these plants has a similarly intoxicating effect on kitties as alcohol has on us humans. There are “valerian cats” and “catnip cats”. You have to try out which group your velvet paw belongs to.

Throw Dry Food

You don’t necessarily have to serve dry food in a bowl. It’s convenient, but also boring in the long run. However, it is much more exciting to toss the chunks and let your cat catch them. Dry cat snacks are also suitable for throwing.

This works particularly well if you have a smooth floor at home. Because when the little bits slide across the ground, catching them is particularly great fun.

Move Like a Prey

While playing with your cat, you should imitate the prey’s pattern of movement. A prey always runs away from the hunter, never towards the hunter. So always move the fishing rod or feather duster away from the cat and not towards the cat.

Insert the Laser Pointer Correctly

Laser pointers are also great, but they have one disadvantage: the small point is great for animating to hunt, but it can never be caught. Inevitably, there is no sense of achievement. To avoid frustration, reward your cat with a treat at the end.

Alternative: Activity Toys

If you don’t have time to play with your cat, activity toys are a great alternative. These types of toys come in all shapes and forms. Here are some examples:

  • Play rails and carousels with darting balls
  • Intelligence toys that are filled with food
  • Hanging toys
  • Battery operated insects for hunting

Intelligence Toys Train the Mind and Paws

Intelligence toys are filled with dry food or snacks. Fummel boards, for example, have differently shaped hollows from which the coveted food has to be “fumbled out” with the paws.

There are also balls with holes that can be filled with treats. If the ball rolls, the pieces of food tumble out of the holes. In order to get the treats, you need a lot of perseverance and patience.

The velvet paw has to work out its meal with this type of toy. This not only trains the mind and dexterity of the paws. The small success stories in getting food also ensure greater satisfaction.

Another benefit: cats that normally gulp down their meal in no time at all are automatically made to eat more slowly.

Cat Engage in Clicker Training

Clicker training is a method used to train cats. But it is also a wonderful way to keep your four-legged friend busy. Many kitties enjoy learning different tricks with the help of clicker training.

The so-called “clicker” is based on the idea of ​​combining an acoustic signal with a reward. A clicker is a small device that sounds like a cracking frog from a toy store.

If the cat shows the desired behavior, the clicker is cracked and the kitty is rewarded with a treat. If the new behavior is well-practiced, the reward can be reduced. The acoustic signal is then sufficient.

With this method you can teach your cat a lot of tricks: make a manikin, jump on a pedestal, or “high five” with the paw.

Important: don’t overdo it! Do not overwhelm your cat, otherwise, it will lose the joy of clickers. If you notice that she is tired, stop exercising and continue on another day.

Cat Deal with Cat Agility

In cat agility, the velvet paw has to complete a course with various obstacles. Cat Agility can be done both outside and inside. The obstacle course is practiced with clicker training.

There are no limits to your imagination for the obstacles themselves: small hurdles to jump over, narrow bridges or bars to balance, or tunnels that your cat has to cross.

Cat agility is fun for many house cats. Because it promotes dexterity and ensures that your cat gets enough exercise. You can either make the obstacles yourself or buy them from specialist retailers.

Create Variety in the Apartment

In addition to regular play units, there are other ways to make your kitty’s everyday life more varied. Here are some ideas that are quick and easy to implement:

  • Cats are naturally curious. Hide food in different places in the apartment and send your kitty on a discovery tour.
  • Cardboard boxes have a magical attraction on cats.
  • Every now and then, put a chair on the table as a lookout.
  • Hang a large blanket over a chair as a hiding place.
  • Give your house tiger a cat tunnel or cuddly bag to hide.

As you can see, there are a few ways in which you can keep your cat busy and add variety to your everyday life. A busy house tiger stays physically and mentally fit and is happier than a kitty who suffers from boredom.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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