If you live in an area where letting your cat outdoors isn’t an option, or your cat runs and hides every time you open the door, then you may be wondering how to keep your cat active. Even though cats aren’t like dogs who need lots of room to roam, they still need to be roused from their eighteen-hour cat naps and preening to do something that will stimulate their mind and keep them happy as well as active. These are some great ideas on how to keep your cat active indoors.
Give them space
Cats love to explore, and even if they live indoors, these are innate instincts, so they will look for things to climb on, hopefully not the blinds. So, setting up an area just for them is recommended. In this space, put a climbing tree, scratching posts, and few toys that will encourage them to play. If your cat has begun to scratch things they’re not supposed to, it’s probably a signal they need more activity, so it may be an excellent option to put climbing posts all over the house so they have a variety of locations to let loose. Another thing to try is putting shelves on the walls at intervals. Although, you will want to go to a pet store for ones specifically designed for your cats. You can encourage your cat to use them by sprinkling catnip or putting a favorite toy or treat on them, enabling them to use the steps
On the hunt
Cats are natural hunters. Why do you think they watch birds all day? So, if you are worried your cat isn’t getting enough exercise, hide some of their favorite treats around the house. This will allow them to not only stay active but also bring out their inner tiger. Another thing you can do to encourage their inner lioness is to use cat feeders built like puzzles. Instead of just eating their food, your cat will be hunting. It’s not live prey, but at least they’ll be able to recapture a piece of their ancestors’ wild hunting days kibble style. If you have been looking for an excuse to get a second cat, it may be time if your current feline needs more exercise. If there is another ball of energy in the house, especially one younger than your cat, they will encourage each other to play; think of it as exercise buddies. One word of caution, when you are looking for a new cat, don’t fall victim to the if one more is better, two or three more will really keep the cat active unless you’re okay with total chaos.
It’s not enough for your cat to have a few toys she intermittently plays with; time each day with them is essential. You can get many toys for your cat; although they may decide they prefer the box they came in, don’t be offended. However, you can interact with them is crucial not only for them to get exercise but to also learn to play nice with others if you have someone over. According to PetMD, Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM, talked about the importance of play and your cat, saying, “one hour of play increases a cat’s healthy lifespan by four hours. It often improves mental health, too, lessening anxiety and destructive behavior. Even if your cat is chasing shadows around the house or found something else that captivated their attention, it adds much more stimulation when you engage with your cat. It helps them out more than playing alone since they actively engage with someone and are not left to their own devices. Over time, you’ll find toys that your cat enjoys; it might even be something simple you have around the house, like a paper bag. As you see things they like, it’s best to rotate the toys to not get bored. Additionally, don’t overwhelm them with new toys. Sometimes it’s best to just leave them out for your cat to get used to, and over time they’ll show interest, and you can start using them for playtime.
Buy them a TV
Cats need to be active both physically and mentally; what better way to do it than create their own private theater. No, it’s not about flat-screen and plush chairs. Instead, get a window perch and a bird feeder for outside. That way, you’ll have happy birds in the neighborhood, and your cat will be able to watch their own nature channel. Even if your cat has spent their entire life indoors, innately, they are still wild by nature, and some part of them is longing to prowl and hunt for something other than dust bunnies. One good way to bring the indoors to them is to buy cat grass. This allows them to graze and will help if they have an upset tummy. You can also combine one of the previous ideas and hide treats in the cat grass, encouraging them to look and explore.
If your cat is used to being sedimentary, it takes coaxing, catnip, and, most importantly, time to get them interested in toys, especially their older cats. However, as time goes on, you’ll find not only a schedule that works for you and your cat but also things they enjoy the most. If your cat is like many others, they’ll probably act disinterested in what you purchase for a little while. It’s not you or your idea; they’re just a cat. Another thing to remember is sometimes the best way to get them active is to take time and pet them. They’ll probably dive right into some version of the play. Even though they can’t tell you their favorite things, over time, you’ll hear some well-placed meows or purrs that will let you know you’re on the right track.