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7 Ways To Make Your Indoor Cat Super Happy And Entertained!

Today we are going to talk about CATS! I am a two cat Mom and have some some great tips and ideas for how to keep your furry friends entertained all day long.

7 Ways To Make Your Indoor Cat Super Happy And Entertained!

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Bored cats get themselves into trouble, whether you are home or not.  Yes, cats sleep a lot, but like people they need regular exercise and mental stimulation.  With so many people now working from home, keeping Fluffy off the keyboard while you are working is a definite need!

Cats enjoy doing natural stuff, such as chewing, scratching, climbing, and hunting.  While most of the time you want to discourage that behavior, redirecting it may just be the key to a happy cat!

My Cat Credentials

We have two cats now (our old cat sadly passed away a wee bit ago). I KNOW that people like to hear from experts, so here are my main cat accomplishments:

I haven't peed alone in close to 20 years. Our old cat Pepper liked to lie on my lap and get rubs when I peed. When she passed I thought I might have some privacy, but nope, Betty the derp likes to get rubs now that the sitting time is open!

I have worked from home since 2001. Before the Pandemic some of you may have had jobs or places to go without your cats. I have been trapped at home with my feline friends for decades!

I had another cat for close to 20 years. As a young woman I had Nick the Cat…sadly a little girl stole him away and made him have tea parties with her for his final years, but I successfully kept him alive during my hard living times!

I could totally be the crazy cat lady. This morning I told my daughter Desy that I was writing a post about cats and said I could be a crazy cat lady… she agreed super fast and emphatically, at which point we laughed and laughed together!

Our Current Cats

We have two cats right now, Betty (the derp) and Elsa (murder mittens) who is my mother-in-law's cat.

Betty (The Derp)

We got Betty shortly after we adopted our kids from foster care when our oldest was struggling with the changes.

We let Britty pick her out and she chose Betty, who was functionally feral and super scared of everything and everyone!

picture of betty the derpy cat

I call her Betty the derp because she is so darn clumsy and just not graceful. She gets scared and flails around, she falls off things continually and is generally just a complete mess!

Elsa (Murder Mittens)

My mother-in-law lives with us since she developed dementia and she came with Elsa. Elsa only likes Mom and thinks that I am some kind of servant that brings the food and cares for her human!

Elsa the Cat (Murder Mittens)

She is called murder mittens because she scratches us if we pet her more than two times and is very scary when she joins us at the dinner table!

Additional Resource :: 5 Tips To Keep Your Cats Happy In A Multiple Cat House

1. Your Cat Needs Exercise

Because cats are so lazy (sleep much?) we don't always think about keeping them at a healthy exercise level!

Make sure your indoor cat gets enough exercise.  Play with them for 13 or 20 minutes at a time a few times a day. 

A study of domestic indoor/outdoor cats showed that when outdoors they roam about 5 or so acres from home, which is a lot of walking or running for a cat.  It may not be possible, or safe, to allow your cat outside.  So make sure they get play time.

Cat Fishing

We have a super fun cat fishing pole that we use to play with both of the girls. They love to chase the “fish” around and they get all worked up about the whole process. Playing with your cat be relatively good exercise for you too!

Natural Wood Cat Teaser WandNatural Wood Cat Teaser WandNatural Wood Cat Teaser Wand

 

Laser Pointer

These cats don't understand a laser pointer, but Nick the Cat used to LOVE to chase around the light and the best part was I could sit still and exercise the cat at the same time!

Cat Laser ToyCat Laser ToyCat Laser Toy

 

2. Cat Enrichment

Like dogs, using toys and food together can keep them busy.  There are toys called “intelligence toys” or “food puzzles” that stimulate the five senses and mimic a cat’s natural hunting tendencies.  

It keeps them busy while giving a reward (the food) when they solve the puzzle by making the cat lift lids, open drawers, push the treat through a tunnel, or even use its tongue to retrieve it from a narrow hole.  

Cat Food Leaking Puzzle FeederCat Food Leaking Puzzle FeederCat Food Leaking Puzzle FeederInteractive Treat MazeInteractive Treat MazeInteractive Treat Maze

 

Use them a few times a week to keep them occupied. 

You can even do this without “official” toys. I will put cat treats on my clothing when I take a shower and Betty will come over, sit on the clothes and eat the treats!

3. Help Your Cat “Climb”

Cats love to climb and survey their environment from above.  You can encourage this a few ways.  

Get a cat condo – an upright set of scratching posts/ladders with multi-level resting platforms. We have a cat condo for Betty in our bedroom (where she lives most of the time).

We need a pretty sturdy one because the first wimpy one we got her rattled and scared her (she is just big boned!)  

Multi-Level Cat Tree Large Cat CondoMulti-Level Cat Tree Large Cat CondoMulti-Level Cat Tree Large Cat Condo

 

Try a window box or ledge so they can look out the window.  Both our girls love looking out of the window!

Elsa sitting on her bench looking at the birds

You can even put a variety of shelves on the wall at various heights with enough room for the cat to jump from one to the other. (I want to do this but my husband Johnny said it was a hard no because Betty would fall off… fair enough!)

4. Cat Toys

Have a variety of cat toys and swap them out every few days.  These can be cat toys from a store, or you can find stuff around the house like ping pong balls, cardboard tubes, put catnip in a sock and tie it off, or even a small ball of yarn.

Honestly, the best “toy” you can get them is a cardboard box! Kitties love boxes and having a couple sitting around house gives them something to do AND makes cats feel safe.

If you don't have a million Amazon boxes around like we do, you can use paper bags from the grocery store!

Betty in USPS Box

5. Catio

You can even make a “catio” outside for your indoor cat.  A catio is an enclosed space that allows the cat to be outside, but safe from predators.  

Some even make them always accessible with a cat flap so their cat can come and go as they please. You could also leave your cat in a catio for several hours unsupervised, as long as there is shade, food, and water.

I am thinking about getting Betty this catio for our lanai which is WICKED expensive but I think she would love it!

Outdoor Cat HouseOutdoor Cat HouseOutdoor Cat House

 

6. Lots of “You” Time

The one thing that is free is “you” time! Cats love spending time with you!

I KNOW that Betty loves to talk to me in the morning and boss me around. She “ma mas” at me to turn on the faucet so she can drink from the tub and stands up outside the glass shower to stretch by me.

Betty the Cat on the tub

Maybe it is because we just lost Pepper, but I cherish these times when it just her and me and there are no stupid doggies around to scare her!

Taking just one extra second to pay attention to you cat means so much to them!

7. Have A Schedule

When we were picked to have our kids, I think it was because they came from a really chaotic background and we were the most boring people they could find to be their parents!

We have a schedule for everything in our house… kitties and doggies get fed at 7:15 when I get up and at 5 when my son feeds them in the evening.

They mill around for about 20 minutes before feeding time and really like the consistency of knowing that something “super exciting” will be happening at a certain time.

As much as you can, try to feed them at a certain time. If you work from home, try to take a break every day at 3 and start to notice how your cat gets excited as that time approaches!

If you work outside of the home and your cat stays alone, have a routine for greeting them when you get home and make a huge fuss about what good kitties they have been!

Entertaining Your Cat Wrapup

Okay, I am now officially that crazy cat lady! I just spent like 3 hours talking about how to keep you cat happy and content AND chased the girls around the house to get videos of them… they even think I am weird today!

That said, I do think that there are things we can do easily to entertain and make our cats happy… super easy things that can be expensive or free, but all that will make your favorite feline do her fancy biscuit dance!

You will feel good and get those sweet, sweet cat purrs we all love!

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