Catios – Now these, obviously, only work if you have suitable outside spaces, and the room to build one. But a Catio can be the perfect way for your indoor cat to experience the outdoors and still say safe.
Catio designs vary and will be restricted by space and cost. But choosing an outdoor space and providing a cat with hides, high shelves, cat friendly plants and scratching areas will massively improve their mental and physical stimulation.
If, however you are unable to build a cation, there are many things you can do in the house instead.
Cat TV – We were obviously going to mention Cat TV – we make amazing episodes of Cat TV that can keep your kitty entertained for hours!
There are SO many different episodes of TV for cats we have, there’s bound to be one that suits your kitties fancy. From fish, to chickens, wildlife and underwater – there’s an episode for every cat!
television can make great entertainment, especially for older cats who aren’t on the go all the time. Most of these videos show animals like birds and mice running around. Show one to your cat and if they get interested, you know you’re onto a winner.
Room with a View – Based on the popularity of Cat TV, it’s obvious that cats love to sit and watch other things going about their day. If you live in a house or apartment that has access to an interesting view of the outside, why not turn one of your doors or windowsills into the perfect bird watching spot?
Even well-fed pet cats still retain the wildcat’s natural attraction to small animals. You can indulge that attraction by setting up a bird viewing station inside. Simply install a cat window perch and put up a bird feeder or bath right outside the window.
Your pet cat will have hours of viewing pleasure and the wildlife will be safe. An added benefit is that placing feeders and baths close to windows helps reduce bird window strikes, another significant source of bird mortality.
Toys & Treat Puzzles – If your feline friend is food motivated, then treat based puzzles can be a fun, low maintenance way of keeping your cat entertained (and fed). The typical food puzzle is a sphere that can be laden with cat treats which only release when your kitty has figured out the correct method, stimulating both their body and mind.
For cats that are more into the hunt than the prize, toys like the SmartCat Peek-A-Prize allow you to stuff a box with plush toys that your cat can then ‘hunt’ by flipping them out of the box through the holes. It engages their natural instincts and can keep them playing for hours.
Super smart cats might figure a single puzzle out over time, but there’s always plenty of new and challenging products on the market. Just remember to factor these treats into your cat’s diet plan to avoid overeating.
Cardboard Boxes - Cats love to play in boxes. Whether it’s bounding in and out of them, playing hide and seek, using it as a fort, sled or just generally using it as a play toy, the simple cardboard box is a fun, cheap and easily obtainable item to keep your cat engaged and entertained while you are at work. Not only are they easy to come by, they pose little risk to your kitty (and the furniture), and can be easily replaced once your current box is a broken mess.
Laser Toys - Lots of people like to use laser point toys. Animal behaviourists say cats typically engage in 8-10 hunting expeditions a day. So, a laser toy is the ideal toy to use to engage your cats hunting skills. Here are some of the pros and cons of using laser toys to stimulate your cat:
• Physical exercise
• Mental stimulation
• Easy for human to use
• Good stalking exercise
• Destructive – cats will run through and over anything to catch the dot
• Not satisfying – cats can never catch the dot and get a reward for their hard work
With the cons in mind, be cautious where you shine the laser. As for rewarding them for the hunt, cats won’t catch every prey but you will need to let them catch something, so reward them with a treat or their favourite toy at the point you stop the laser. Take care not to shine the laser directly in your cat’s eye, and don’t over stimulate them with the laser, so restrict how long you play with them.