Cat Behavior, Cat Toys

How to Occupy a Bored Cat

How to Occupy a Bored Cat

Cats are hunters, they are curious, and they are so easily bored that it’s almost shocking! That last part is especially true if your kitty is housebound. Though there are a number of upsides to keeping your cat inside – for instance, reducing their chances of disease and trauma – the downside is that they are simply not getting the variety of stimulation they would get in the outdoors. So… how to occupy a bored cat? Thankfully, there are a plethora of ways that this goal can be achieved, and they are likely to be of great fun to both your cat and you.

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An Enriching Environment

To start, if you want to keep your kitty busy, it’s important to keep his environment stimulating. That doesn’t mean you have to play with him every hour of every day. In fact, chances are your buddy will get bored of you if you attempt this method. Instead, make a few small changes in your home to create an enriching environment that will stimulate his senses and satisfy his instincts. One good idea is to have a window dedicated solely to him. In this window you can install a perch, bed or window box. If you have any trees near the window, you can also set up a squirrel or bird feeder. This will create hours of eye-widening, ear-twitching, chittering excitement.

Scratching posts and cat trees are also a tiny household modification that can make a huge difference. There are numerous small, basic types on the market. If you really want to know how to occupy a bored cat, though, look into some of the more intricate designs. For instance, there are some trees that can be taken apart and rearranged. Others are puzzle-like settings that amount to something akin to a feline “escape the room” game. Even if you do opt for a more sedate choice, there is plenty you can do to keep your tree interesting. For example, tie up a variety of toys, or set up a noise maker to make mouse or bird sounds.

Feed the Fun

If your cat is food driven, treats are also a good way to entertain your friend. All right… maybe that sounds bad. Perhaps you’re thinking of an animal version of sitting on the couch and eating cheese curls. Fair enough comparison, but in this style of “using food as entertainment,” you’re actually encouraging a fair bit of physical activity.

Treat balls and puzzles are an excellent way to sharpen their hunting instincts, enhance mental abilities, and burn off some of that physical energy. You can get in on the fun by starting a “foraging” game. In this instance, you simply cut some holes into a plastic bottle or other clear container. Next, fill it most of the way with dry food or with several treats. This works very similarly to the above mentioned treat balls; however, with a homemade method, you get to customize it to meet your cat’s particular needs and play style.

Cat Toys Quell Tedium

Toys are essential. But just having the right type of toy isn't enough, as your cat will likely get bored fairly quickly. The best, and most economical way, to combat this is to have a decent variety of playthings on hand and rotate regularly. If you find that your cat is still not interested in an old toy after a few rounds, you can reinvigorate their excitement by dousing it with a catnip spray.


I am a big proponent of keeping our feline friends indoors. That said, I am fully aware of how important it is to know how to occupy a bored cat. I hope that this short piece has given you some fun, useful ideas!

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