• July 17th, 2023
    Written by: Kimberly

    Staying inside all day, every day can get quickly become boring and monotonous. Most of us have become all too familiar with what it’s like to feel unstimulated while being stuck inside in recent years. So, it shouldn't come as a surprise to us that our cats also need some stimulation – a break from the same monotony. 

    Our feline friends benefit from utilizing their minds with something to keep their attention and inspire a sense of fulfillment in their day. A cat looking for an outlet often finds itself claw-deep in our furniture, clothing, or even our skin. It's not that your little buddy is aggressive either, it’s just that they're bored.

    Ideas for Stimulating a Bored Cat

    Prolonged boredom can be a serious problem. Thankfully, just like our cats, boredom can be fixed (pun intended). The following are a few simple ideas to help your cat address its pent-up energy.

    • Put a Birdhouse Outside Your Window. 

    Lovingly referred to as, “Cat TVs,” windows allow our cats a chance to enjoy the outdoors from the safety of their forever home. You will often find your cat watching what is going on outside. But that doesn't mean there is always some stimulating entertainment for your cat to “watch.”

    Taking the time to hang a bird feeder or two can create hours of nearly free entertainment. Watching birds flying around and getting a bite to eat outside stimulates your pet’s natural prey drive. Cats are also perfectly comfortable observing but not attacking, so this activity will not increase aggression or stress in your cat. In fact, it will not only utilize a large portion of their brain, it will also tire them out, potentially leading to an even less temperamental cat later in the evening.

    It can be worth it to do a little research on the type of birds that live in your area, but for the most part an average bag of bird seed will bring in more than enough birds. This can also be a treat for you and your household, as you now have a community of birds that you and your family can enjoy watching.

    • Create Vertical Places to Perch On.

    Cats prefer not to stick to the ground, especially if they have other options. Whether it's a shelf, a TV, your dresser, or a bookcase - most cats will go out of their way to find a comfortable perch to relax and observe from. 

    Creating opportunities for these indoor excursions can be a great way to allow your cat to release some pent-up energy. While there are several different sets of wall mounts that can be ordered online or at your local pet store or cat trees you can build and set throughout your property, it can also be quite easy to design your own feline jungle gym in your home. 

    All they are looking for is a perch to reach, and any path up will do. Once you’ve laid out furniture to an appropriate spot, give your cat some time to find it themselves. If possible, staging several cat perches throughout your home is a great way to keep your cat out of the way as well as out of trouble.

    • Give Them Correct Things to Scratch. 

    It can often feel like we spend the majority of our time trying to keep our cats from scratching anything and everything to pieces. Obviously, we want to keep them from becoming destructive, but we can't forget that the reason our cat wants to scratch still needs to be filled. 

    Filling your home with appropriate scratch pads is a great first step. Keep an eye out for the spots in your home your cat wants to scratch, and make sure to add appropriate scratching pads or a scratch tower. 

    When your cat is trying to rake their claws across your brand-new couch, there is energy there they are just trying to get out. All your cat needs is an outlet, not correction. Place items around the house that they are allowed to scratch, and give them positive feedback when they find those items. As long as your cats are able to scratch, they are far more likely to use the items you give to them instead of the items you want them to avoid.

    Finding Other Forms of Mental Stimulation for Your Cat

    It is important to remember that these tips are not going to work on every cat. Learning a bit about your feline and their preferences is important, in the same way that it is important to know the preferences of anybody that you live with. But start with these tips, and be open to looking for other creative ways for your cat to enrich themselves. You’ll find that cats are better behaved and more loving when their mental stimulation needs are met.