As much as you may want to, you can’t spend every waking moment with your cat. After all, someone has to work to buy the cat treats.
Just because you’re not there, though, that doesn’t mean they have to be bored and lonely. There are a variety of ways to keep your cat entertained and happy while you’re gone, so they won’t become depressed or destructive.
By using the ideas on this list, you can have the happiest cat on the block, regardless of how much time you spend with them.
1. Install an Interactive Camera
You may already have a camera installed that lets you keep an eye on your cat while you’re away, but do you have one that lets you interact with them?
Interactive cameras let you do everything from dispense treats for your kitty to play with them using a laser pointer. These are great for owners who have to spend a great deal of time away, as it gives them a feeling of connection, even if it’s a remote one.
2. Buy Them a Puzzle Toy (or Five)
Keeping your pet’s mind stimulated is important, but it’s hard to do when you’re not around. A puzzle toy is a nice solution because it requires them to use their noggins in order to get a treat. These toys also mimic your cat’s natural hunting tendencies, which is sure to make them happy.
Your cat will get accustomed to the toys after a while, though, so it’s smart to buy several and swap them out every day. A fresh new toy (even if it’s an old one that they haven’t seen in a few days) will keep them much more engaged than the same old things.
3. Set Up Must-See TV
Your cat probably won’t appreciate you leaving the TV on for them, but they may appreciate a different kind of binge-watching. If you set up a bird feeder or bath near a window that your cat can access, they can spend hours spying on their feathered friends. Another option is a fish tank, but that will require more effort on your part.
Just setting up a perch for them in the window will help, even if there’s no guarantee of seeing any birds. If you really want to run with this idea, you can always create a cat enclosure on your patio.
4. Give Them Treasure to Hunt
You can take cheap little cat toys, like balls and bells, and hide them around your house before you leave. This will give your cat something to hunt while you’re gone. You may want to drop a ball in the bathtub too, as that will give them something to bat around for a little while. Or you can hide treats instead, but be careful about overdoing it, as you don’t want your cat to get pudgy.
To ensure that they can find everything you hid, rub a little catnip on the toys before you hide them. The ensuing high will keep them as entertained as the treasure hunt.
5. Provide Plenty of Vertical Space to Explore
Cats love to climb, and they love to sit up high and survey their kingdom even more. Give them plenty of opportunities to do both by bringing in tall cat trees or letting them climb on dressers or other pieces of furniture.
This will work especially well when the furniture is near a window — and it will work even better if the window has a bird feeder outside it (hint, hint).
6. Repurpose “Trash”
Before you throw away that cardboard box or paper grocery bag, ask yourself if your cat could use it first. Cats love messing with these things, and by leaving them out, you’ll give them a place that they can explore.
You can switch up the location of the boxes or bags every day, and you can use several of them to make tunnels, mazes, or other interesting possibilities. Best of all, it’s cheap entertainment.
7. Invest in a Timed Feeder
Cats naturally like to graze, so getting two big meals per day might not be what they’d prefer. Instead, consider buying a timed feeder and setting it to release small amounts of food throughout the day.
Hearing the feeder go off will wake them up and arouse their senses, and that may cause them to seek out other entertainment as well. Just don’t feed them more than you normally would, as you don’t want your kitty to become overweight.
8. Hire a Pet Sitter
If you can afford it, paying someone to come over during the day and spend a little time with your cat will do wonders for them. It will break up the monotony of the day and give them much-needed stimulation (both physical and mental).
If this isn’t financially feasible, you might have friends or neighbors who would be willing to perform the service every so often. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend time with your adorable little furball?
9. Spend Time With Them Before Leaving
Cats don’t need a ton of exercise — they can be happy playing for 30 minutes to an hour and then spending the rest of the day lazing about. If you get up early, you can play with them before you leave so they’re content lounging around while you’re gone.
This is the most fun suggestion on this list, even if getting up early can feel like a chore. Maybe your cat can help you get out of bed by hacking up a hairball into your shoes?
10. Get Them a Friend
Bringing home another cat is a great way to entertain the cat that you already have. Having a buddy will give them stimulation, and the two kitties can spend all day chasing each other around and wrestling.
However, bringing another cat home is a significant investment of both time and money, so don’t do it without thinking things through.
An Entertained Cat Is a Healthy Cat
Keeping your cat happy and occupied while you’re gone will go a long way toward keeping them healthy as well. Cats that get plenty of stimulation sleep better, have fewer behavioral issues, and are less prone to health problems later in life.
Also, a cat that has nothing to do all day will likely spend most of that time thinking of creative ways to murder you. Just something to consider.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- 1. Install an Interactive Camera
- 2. Buy Them a Puzzle Toy (or Five)
- 3. Set Up Must-See TV
- 4. Give Them Treasure to Hunt
- 5. Provide Plenty of Vertical Space to Explore
- 6. Repurpose “Trash”
- 7. Invest in a Timed Feeder
- 8. Hire a Pet Sitter
- 9. Spend Time With Them Before Leaving
- 10. Get Them a Friend
- An Entertained Cat Is a Healthy Cat