Feline Fun: 10 Ways to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You’re Away

You wake up to find that your humans have left you home alone. Again. You’re lounging on the windowsill, lazily licking your paw, and staring off into space. And you’re feeling a little bored. Scratch that, you’re feeling a lot bored. You’ve already knocked over a few vases and chewed on the plants, but that’s not enough to keep you entertained for the whole day.

A Bored Cat

You yawn and stretch, but the excitement of being home alone wore off a long time ago. You wander around the house, just bored out of your mind. You try to find something to do, but nothing catches your eye. You’re just a cat, after all.

But then, you spot a piece of string lying on the floor. Suddenly, you’re filled with a sense of purpose. You pounce on the string, batting it around the room with all your might. You’re having the time of your life, until the string gets tangled up in a chair leg.

You try to untangle it, but it’s no use. You’re stuck. You meow for help, but there’s no one there to hear you. You start to panic. What if you’re stuck here forever? What if you never see your humans again?

Just when you think all hope is lost, you hear the sound of keys jingling outside the door. Your humans are home! You meow as loud as you can, and they rush in to rescue you.

They untangle the string and give you a pat on the head. You’re so relieved to see them, you start to purr. You follow them around the house, happy to have some company.

Gray Cat Playing with Human

Entertaining Your Cat While You Are Away

Being a cat can be tough sometimes. Your cat may not have much to do while home alone, but with a little bit of creativity, you can turn even the most mundane day into an adventure. From interactive toys to cat entertainment centers, we’ve got everything you need to keep your cat entertained and engaged. Here are some ideas:

1) Purrfect Playtime: Interactive Toys Will Keep Your Cat Engaged

If you’re not around to play with feather toys or laser pointers, interactive toys can be an excellent way to keep your cat engaged and mentally stimulated.

There are interactive toys that respond to a cat’s touch, such as ball tracks or motion-activated toys that make noise or move unpredictably. These toys encourage your cat to engage in play and exercise, helping to prevent boredom and maintain their physical and mental health.

Cat Playing with Interactive Toy

There are several automatic toys available for cats that can provide hours of entertainment. Toys that move or make noise can be especially engaging. Of course, you’ll want to choose toys that are safe and appropriate for your cat’s age and temperament.

2) Treat Time

Hide treats around the house for your cat to find. This can keep them mentally stimulated and provide a fun activity to keep them occupied. Opt for treats that emit a strong scent, as this will signal to your kitty to search for them.

Interactive treat dispensers are another excellent tool for keeping your cat mentally stimulated and entertained. These devices require your cat to work for their treats, providing them with a fun and engaging challenge. Some treat dispensers are designed to release treats in response to your cat’s movements, while others require your cat to solve puzzles or manipulate objects to access their treats.

Cat Treat Puzzle

By using these interactive treat toys, you can help prevent boredom and ensure that your cat remains active and engaged, even when you’re not home.

3) Window Watchers: Set Up A Perch

Setting up a window seat or a perch near a window can give your cat a good view of the outside world. Cats love to be up high, so if you have a high window, installing a window perch can provide a great spot for your cat to relax and watch the world go by.

Cat Watching Bird Through the Window

If you have a safe outdoor space, adding a bird feeder can provide entertainment for your cat as they watch birds from a distance. Create your cat-friendly window perch by adding a comfortable cushion on a table or shelf near the window. Your cat will love spending hours watching the birds and squirrels outside.

4) Hide and Seek: Create a Cat-Friendly Hideout

Creating a cozy hideout for your cat can be especially beneficial when they are home alone. The hideout provides a sense of security and comfort for your cat, which can help alleviate any anxiety or stress they may feel when left alone. By filling the hideout with a cozy bed and some toys, you can create a relaxing and engaging space for your cat to retreat to during your absence. This can help prevent boredom and anxiety, and give your cat a sense of familiarity and routine while you’re away.

Cat in Tent Hidout

You can easily create a cat-friendly hideout by repurposing a cardboard box or a small tent and filling it with a cozy bed and a few toys. Cats often appreciate having a space that they can call their own, and a hideout can help provide that sense of security and comfort.

Try placing the hideout in a quiet and secluded area of your home, to make sure that your cat has a designated “hidden” space where they can relax and unwind.

5) Cats Love Scratching Posts and Pads

Cats love to scratch, so providing a scratching post can give your cat an outlet for their natural behavior. Scratching posts and pads are really essential for any cat owner. They not only provide a place for your cat to scratch, but they also help keep your furniture safe from their claws. But you already knew that, right?

Cat and Scratching Post

Having an assortment of types of different scratching posts and pads may appeal to cats, as there are numerous options available. Placing various types of scratching pads and posts in different locations throughout your home can aid in maintaining your cat’s interest.

A couple of the more unusual ones I’ve seen, that cats really seem to like, are the corrugated cardboard type – either attached to a wall, or laying flat on the ground; and a standard post or pad attached high up on a wall, with a perch or shelf for the cat to use to reach it.

6) Create a Cat Entertainment Center

When your cat is home alone, having a designated area like a cat entertainment center can be especially beneficial. It gives your cat a familiar and engaging space to explore and play in, which can help prevent boredom and anxiety. With various elements like shelves, tunnels, and scratching posts, your cat can engage in a range of activities that mimic their natural behaviors.

Cat Entertainment Playground

The shelves can provide vertical space for your cat to climb and explore, while tunnels offer a cozy and enclosed space for them to hide and play. Scratching posts give your cat an outlet for their natural urge to scratch and can help protect your furniture. You can also include toys and interactive elements to the entertainment center, such as a ball track or a dangling feather toy. Some tunnels include dangling toys inside, which can add an extra element of entertainment for cats.

Climbing, hiding, and scratching are all activities that cats enjoy and a cat entertainment center provides a safe and appropriate outlet for these behaviors. Overall, creating a designated space for your cat to play and relax can help provide them with a sense of security and comfort, which can help reduce any stress or boredom they may experience when left alone.

Including toys and interactive elements in the entertainment center can also help keep your cat mentally stimulated while you are away.

By creating this dedicated space, you are not only providing your cat with a fun and stimulating environment, but also helping to prevent boredom and promote their overall health and well-being.

7) Catnip Craze: Make Your Own Catnip Toys

Catnip toys are a great way to give your cat a little extra excitement. You can purchase ready-made catnip toys or make your own at home, using fresh catnip.

Cat Sniffing at Some Catnip

Making your own catnip toys can be a fun and affordable way to provide your cat with some entertainment. To make a catnip toy, you can use materials like fabric scraps or old socks, fill them with catnip. Alternatively, you can create a sachet or pouch to hold the catnip, such as a small muslin bag or even a piece of old pantyhose. Once you’ve filled your toy with catnip, you can sew it up or tie it off to prevent the catnip from spilling out.

Catnip can provide a fun and stimulating experience for your cat. Just make sure to limit the amount you leave out, as too much can have the opposite effect.

8) Sound and Sight: Create a Relaxing Environment for Your Cat

Cats love to sleep, so leaving out a cozy bed or blanket can give your cat a comfortable place to rest while you’re away. You can add to the relaxing environment by adding calming music or nature sounds to their space. You can also add a few plants (non-poisonous to cats, of course) or a small fountain to create a peaceful atmosphere.

Some cats respond well to calming music or nature sounds. You can leave a radio or music player on for your cat to listen to while you’re away. Keep in mind that cats have an acute sense of hearing, so it’s important to keep the volume low.

Cat Watching Birds on Television

Some cats enjoy watching TV or videos. You can leave on a nature show or a video of birds or fish to keep your cat entertained.

9) Cats Love Cardboard Boxes

Cats love to play and hide in boxes, so leaving out a cardboard box can provide a fun and cozy spot for your cat to play. By cutting a couple of holes in the box, you can create a fun activity for your cat to reach through. Additionally, you can place two or more boxes next to each other and make holes in between them, allowing your kitty to move between the boxes.

Cat Reaching Through Hole in Cardboard Box

To provide your cat with some variety, consider moving the boxes to a new location every few days, stacking them on top of each other, or adding a new box to the mix. Cats tend to enjoy changes like these.

10) A Simple Paper Sack Can Keep Your Cat Entertained

It’s not uncommon for cats to find joy in the simplest of things, like a paper sack. When left alone at home, a paper sack can become an endless source of entertainment for a curious feline. The rustling sound of the sack and the tactile sensation of the crinkly paper can trigger a cat’s natural hunting instincts, leading to bouts of playful pouncing and swatting.

Cat Playing in a Paper Bag

Remember to always prioritize your cat’s safety and well-being when leaving them home alone. Always provide plenty of fresh water and leave out enough food for your cat if you’ll be away for an extended period of time. Also, be sure to check on your cat regularly and provide plenty of attention and affection when you’re home.

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    • Janey
    • April 29, 2023

    I think changing toys is important as well as keeping favorite toys.. my one cat’s favorite toy was a wadded up receipt (the same receipt) – it was very lightweight, for batting around and chasing, it was similar to one of those crinkle toys.. you know the foil-like kind? My brother David calls the window perch ‘cat TV’…😊
    And as for giving them little secret places, great idea..

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