You love your cats and would hate for them to be bored while you’re gone. A cat who’s bored can lead to poor behaviors. These types of behaviors can range from depression, destruction, aggression, or laziness.
Imagine locking yourself in a room without internet, TV, your phone, any gaming consoles and more. You’d go crazy trying to figure out what how to stimulate yourself.
Your cat isn’t any different when it comes to this. In fact, it’s worse for them. They don’t watch TV, play games, or message other people. They are predators and have a prey drive. They crave hunting, killing things, and sunlight. This are very engaging for your cat and can help them release pent up stress and energy. If you don’t help them release excess energy, they might just take it out on you and your furniture.
So how do you keep cats entertained while at work? Here are the best 10 ways to keep your cat mentally stimulated.
Turn on the Radio
Having background noise can help keep your cats stimulated while you’re away. Picking music that won’t startle them or disrupt their slumber is a great start. Having constant noise can create an environment that is similar to when you are home. This helps reduce your cats stress levels and allows them to focus on other things.
However, if you don’t leave the radio on while you’re gone or play one at all, you could stress your cat out. The constant noise can have the opposite effect rather than stimulate them.
Add Scratching Posts to Their Favorite Spots
Cats like to shed their claws. Rather than shredding up your favorite dresser or couch, add scratching posts in their favorite areas. Scratching is a natural behavior for cats. It helps them mark their territory and leave their scent behind. It also helps them maintain their claws and get rid of annoying outer shells. Some scratching posts even come with attached resting shelves as well. These can double as a lounging and scratching spot.
If you do have scratching posts but have problems with your cat, check out this article. We go over some of the best ways to keep your cat from scratching up your things.
Setup Lounging Areas by Windows
Cats can sleep up to 14 hours a day. This means for half the day they are off in dream land. By creating lounging or sleeping areas by windows, you can help stimulate them. Windows are a great place to set these up because there is a lot of action outside. This gives your cat plenty of things to observe and watch. It also helps them catch sun rays to warm them up while they sleep.
A couple of window perches we recommend are K&H EZ mount window bed or if you’re looking for something nicer, K&H hammock perch with a removable bolster. The mounted window bed attached straight to your window. This helps give your cat a great observation point. The hammock perch attaches to your window sill and comes with a memory foam for support.
Add a Cat Tree to Your House or Apartment
A good cat tree comes with many added benefits. They have built in scratching posts, hiding holes, high perches, and toys. It’s like buying multiple products in one package. You can place cat trees near windows, corners of your room, and more. Since some cat trees are tall, this aids in stimulating your cat. It helps them exercise by climbing and gives them a high vantage point. This allows them to observe all of their environment and be a predator.
Here are a couple examples of some great cat trees for your house/apartment on Amazon.
FEANDREA 67 inches Multi-Level Cat Tree for Large Cats
Go Pet Club 62-Inch cat tree for multiple cats
Create A Cat Playground
Cat playgrounds are similar to children playgrounds. They created some of the best childhood memories during recess. This is no different for your cat. By creating wall shelves, beds, and more, you start to build a jungle gym for your cat. This can become rather pricey because it’s extremely flexible. It’s best to start out small and then expand on it. This also helps keep things interesting and fresh for your cat. A changing environment helps keep things from getting to dull.
Wall mounted cat shelves from Amazon that are easy to install.
If you’re looking for something nicer, you can always go with this option.
Add Cat Shelves on Open Walls
Similar to wall mounted hammocks or beds, adding shelves to your walls is engaging to your cat. It provides a high vantage space for them and gives them exercise. However, don’t put it so high up that your cat can’t reach them. You can even stagger the shelves to create a ladder effect for them. Polish off the shelves with a nice attached bed and you’ll have one happy cat.
Build Hiding Holes with Beds
Cats like getting into things that surround them. It gives them a sense of security and safety. Spaces to put these are anywhere that is small and doesn’t get much light. This could be under your desk, bed, tables, and more. They provide a place for your cat to escape to and get catch some sleep undisturbed.
Get a Water Fountain
As simple as it may sound, water fountains can be engaging for your cat. The constant water flow and stream from is stimulating. Your cat may want to bat at it or drink directly from it. They are also a great way to get your cat to drink water. Some cats prefer to see the water before drinking it. You may have seen your cat bat at their water bowls. This is because they can’t tell how far down they need to go to drink.
Hire a Cat Sitter
If you feel your cat still isn’t getting the attention they deserve, you can always hire a cat sitter. They can come over and check on your cat for an hour or two while you’re at work. Cat sitters can work with your cat, play with them, and take them out for walks. This can be extremely beneficial for your cat because their environment will be changing throughout the walk. This helps mentally stimulate and keep them on their toes.
Use Interactive Cat Toys
On top of everything else, you can also get your cat interactive toys. The purpose of these toys are to stimulate your cats prey drive. Some toys have motors in them with attached lasers. Your cat will try to murder the red dot every chance they can. You can also get a toy attached to ball that rotates and moves around. This can trigger your cats prey drive throughout the day.
Other cat toys range from balls trapped in a track. Your cat can push the pull around and chase it with their paws. All of these toys help mentally stimulate your cat and keep them preoccupied.
What Happens If You Don’t Stimulate Your Cat
If you don’t do any of the above, it can lead to cat behavioral problems. They will start to attack your furniture or even you. This is because they don’t know how to get rid of their pent up energy. Remember, cats are predators in the wild. They require hunting and killing to stimulate them. As long as you provide the right environment and toys for them, you’ll achieve this easily.
This also affects their mental and physical health. If your cat isn’t active, they can start to gain weight and miss out on learning opportunities. An under stimulated cat can suffer from intelligence loss as well. Their capacity to learn or remember things diminishes.
Build a Strong Bond with Your Cat
It can be very rewarding when your cat comes to you for cuddles. Even if they bring you a toy it can be an enjoyable moment. Having a strong bond with your cat helps build a better household.
You can also get hands on toys that allow you to interact with your cat. Cat wands or strings all trigger their prey drive. All of this engagement helps you build a strong bond with your cat. Otherwise, you’re just another thing in the house that lives with it.
You don’t have to get everything we mentioned above to keep your cat entertained. Try a few things here and there. By slowly changing their environment, you help keep them engaged. This is because new smells and objects are being introduced. Each change helps them learn and engages them. That new rotating ball could be the mouse they hoped to jump on. The new cat tree can help them better observe their land.
Spending a little can go a long way. We hope you enjoyed this article and enjoy spending some quality time with your cat!