Of course, your cat is a very special friend… But, did you know that indoor cats tend to be healthier and live longer than outdoor cats? Many cat owners say they have a hard time keeping their cat strictly indoors because they easily become bored and mischievous. But, given proper indoor cat entertainment and stimulation,cats are perfectly happy to stay inside.
Keep Your Cat Entertained Through Play
Houses and apartments often don’t give cats wide, open spaces to roam, so they are far less active than outdoor cats. To make up for their more sedentary lifestyle, it’s important to have recreation time with your cat for at least 30 minutes every day.
Here are some quick activities to try with your feline friend:
- Fetch: Yes, cats will play fetch, too! Pick a toy you can throw across the room easily and that your cat can carry in their mouth. Whenever your cat brings the toy back, pet them and give them treats to reward the behavior. Even if they don’t bring it back, you can pick it up and throw it again. Chasing the toy around is exercise for you both.
- Crumpled Paper: Cats love toys that crinkle. Bat crumpled pieces of paper around for your cat to chase, pounce on and catch. Just make sure to dispose of these makeshift toys to prevent your cat from eating them.
- Feather & String: Purchase or make a wand toy with a long string and a feather on the end. Your cat will happily chase this toy around with you.
- Paper Bag: An empty paper shopping bag can easily be one of your cat’s favorite toys. Lay the bag on its side, so your cat can play inside. Scratch and poke at the sides as your cat bats at the movements from the inside of the bag.
- Light: Cats love chasing light reflections. A watch, your phone screen or a mirror can all be used to reflect light for your cat to chase. At the end of playtime, be careful to switch to a toy that your cat can actually catch to keep your cat from being frustrated. *NOTE: Avoid using a laser pointer. They can damage your cat’s eyes, and they can also cause undue frustration. Avoid using them to play with your cat.
- Tablet Games: If you have a tablet, you can find games and apps created for cats (yes, really) that can indulge your cat’s curiosity.
Try to keep your cat’s exercise time routine new and exciting. Switch to different rooms, new variations of game sand even new toys. Keep a portion of their toys tucked away so you can swap them in and out, making them more exciting and interesting when they are available to play with.
Fun for Them and for You
All pets need to be entertained and given proper stimulation, particularly indoor cats. Your cat will live a longer and happier life if you keep them inside, and by putting in the time and extra effort to play with them, you’ll create a stronger bond.