Welcoming a new cat into your home is exciting.
But if you’re busy working or trying to start a business, preventing boredom in cats is a challenge.
Many cat owners keep their cats inside these days for safety and logistical reasons. There’s not much to do if you’re cat is stuck inside staring a wall all day.
According to research, boredom leads to stress and behavioral issues such as self-mutilation. Not great.
In this article I’ll help you with 5 ways to prevent boredom in cats whilst you’re busy.
So how do we make life fun for cats? Let’s find out…
I am a cat enthusiast and independent researcher. I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. The advice in this article is not intended as medical advice.
5 Tips to Prevent Boredom In Cats for Busy Owners
1. Offer a Physical Resource
Physical resources are anything that give cats a sense of consistency.
- Hidey holes
This stuff allows cats to observe their natural behavior in the wild. Frankly, it’s fun for cats.
Whilst regular play sessions help, since you’re busy it’s best to stock up on whatever you can to keep your space cat friendly.
Heck, even a cardboard box or two will do.
2. Use an Automatic Toy or Video
Putting stuff around the house helps.
But let’s ramp up the boredom beating strats some more.
Using toys, allows for a simulation of a hunt. This includes:
- Self-propelling toys that mimic prey
- Catnip filled toys
- Battery operated toys
Another option is a laser pointer. Ideally, have a small reward to motivate your cat to play.
Oh, and have you tried putting on some videos. Yes, cats like TV.
Check out these cats watching people play the video game Stray for example.
3. Switch up the Food
If you’re busy, it’s tempting to pour a bowl of kibble and call it day.
It’s fast and easy.
The problem is, that sucks.
Over time, cats suffer from the monotony effect. This means cats get bored of the same stuff.
Would you like to eat chicken and rice all day for the rest of your life? I didn’t think so.
Worse, free-feeding dry cat food increases the risk of obesity due to excess calorie intake.
You want to mix up the menu with a variety of flavors and stick to mostly wet food.
Although it takes a more time, it prevents your cat from taking their frustrations out on the couch (60% of households in the US report furniture destruction).
Some cats even turn to eating house plants (42% of US households) and chewing fabric (7%).
Speaking of destroying furniture…
4. Provide a Scratching Post
The typical logic that humans ascribe to cats scratching furniture is cats are just assholes.
But the reality is scratching is an important evolutionary trait in cats. It does the following:
- Maintains claw health
- Leaves a visual mark
- Leaves pheromones
The key is to find the right material. It’s beneficial for it to break apart to leave a visual mark. Loosely woven fabric works best.
Try horizontal and vertical pads. Also consider locking them in place to prevent moving around.
And finally, get big ones (e.g. a mat). This allows cats to really stretch out and get a nice enjoyable scratch.
5. Add a Cat
If you’re rocking a one cat house, have you considered a buddy?
Mass media portrays cats as pissed off loners, but the reality is they enjoy socializing.
Ideally, you want to adopt kittens with a litter mate as they are part of the family.
Failing that, introduce adult cats.
Whilst this can result in initially frosty meetings in the long run more dual cat houses end up forming affiliative (i.e. friendly) relationships. Be cautious and take your time, but don’t give up on your old guy making a new friend.
Be aware that some cats are bold and others are shy. Yep, cats have personality types as well.
Try find a good match that’s on your cats wavelength.
Here’s a great video from Jackson Galaxy on the topic to help introduce two cats:
If you’re busy, then it’s easy for your cat to get bored. Fortunately, there’s many things you can do to help stimulate your cat.
- Adding a physical resource (e.g. cave)
- Changing up diet
- Adding toys
- Television shows
- Scratching posts
- Adding a cat
Those things help cut boredom and prevent behavioral problems. It’s a better quality of life for your cat at the end of the day.
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