How To Prevent Boredom While Your Cat Is Home Alone
If your cat is regularly left home alone and he doesn’t have another kitty that he can play with, he can get extremely bored and lonely. And these feelings, combined with all of the pent-up energy he will have when you get home, might lead to aggressive or destructive behaviors.
To fix this problem, one of the steps you can take involves finding the right toys that your cat will love. These will not only help keep his attention while you are gone but will also allow him to exercise and release some energy in a positive manner. However, you should also make sure there are other ways to keep your cat occupied while you’re away.
Continue reading to learn a few tips to get started, but remember that every cat is an individual, so figuring out what your pet prefers is imperative if you want to reduce stress and come home to a happy feline.
Kitty TV can be one of two things: a great window seat to view the birds, squirrels, and people walking around outside, or your own television showing some cat-friendly videos of wildlife and other pets.
If your cat enjoys sitting and watching television with you, especially when there are animals being displayed, leave it on while you aren’t home so he can catch a few minutes of an interesting show to stay occupied. You can even purchase DVDs created specifically for cats.
Also, make sure there is a window or two that your kitty can sit at for hours on end. Not only will he be stimulated by the activity going on outside, but he will also be getting some warm sunshine, making it the perfect spot to nap as well.
Note: If your cat doesn’t have any large windowsills to sit on, the good news is there are many window perches designed for cats that like to lounge while gazing out the window at the world outside.
Speaking of perches, did you know that there are a lot of wall perches that are made for kitties? These can be set up anywhere in your home, and they can provide your cat with yet another way to get some much-needed exercise. Remember, being able to exercise and play while you aren’t home is important. It can help your kitty stay active, which is key, and it can also keep his mind occupied by giving something to do.
There are various styles of wall perches for cats, so you can choose the ones that you like best and that you think your kitty will enjoy most. For example, some have hideaways and hammocks, while others have little ladders for your cat to climb. Being able to climb up high and along multiple levels of perches is sure to make your companion feel amazing.
Safe Toys for Solo Play
Many cat toys should only be used when you’re there to supervise play, as there may be dangerous parts that can be swallowed, such as strings. But some cat toys on the market are specifically designed to keep your cat occupied when you aren’t home.
Catnip-filled balls and stuffed animals are great toys to leave lying around the house for your kitty to find and pounce on. But puzzle toys are also a smart choice because they will keep your pet occupied for longer periods of time as he figures out how to get the treats that are locked within them. And toys that make sounds when touched or pushed are also good options for keeping your cat from getting bored when home alone.
Tip: Consider swapping out different toys that are left out every day to keep things interesting.
Related: Feline Yogi’s Yoga Mat Toy
Clever Hiding Spots
Hiding places can be created by draping a blanket over a chair or leaving out a paper (not plastic!) bag from the supermarket. Place a toy inside the paper bag or under the chair so your cat can dive in and hunt down his “prey.” You might even try leaving a cardboard box out for your cat to find and hide in. Maybe put some toys or a soft blanket inside so he can go into his own little quiet space to play or relax while you aren’t home.
In addition to using everyday items to create areas where your kitty can feel safe and secure when home alone, there are also several helpful products that you can purchase in stores. For example, a cat tree that has hideaways built in is a good way to go because it gives your cat the chance to exercise and enjoy time sitting on a high perch. Or, you might opt to get your kitty a few cat condos that you can set up around the house for him to use as he pleases.
Cat Treat Hunt
Leaving a few cat treats strategically hidden around the house is yet another way to keep your cat happy while he is at home on his own. As he walks around, he may catch the scent of one of his favorite treats, and finding it in a spot that he didn’t expect it to be in will be exciting and rewarding.
A Play Session Before You Head Out
Before leaving your cat home alone for extended periods of time, whether you’re off to a relative’s home for a day trip or you’re just heading to work, spend a few minutes playing with him to tire him out a bit. This may help prevent boredom later on, especially if he is ready to settle down and take a long nap after the exciting play session.
Adopt Another Fur Baby
A cat that has a fellow feline to play with and nap with may be able to avoid boredom much more easily than a kitty who is left completely alone. So, if you can open your home to another fur baby, consider doing so.
With so many shelter kittens, adult cats, and seniors looking for their forever home, it’s easy to find one that will be the perfect match. And with two or more cats keeping each other company, you might not need to worry as much about boredom and the negative behaviors that can come from it.
Yes, Cats Can Get Bored When Home Alone!
The bottom line is this: your kitty enjoys spending time with his family, and he can get bored, or even anxious, when he’s left home alone. Whether you plan on being out of the house for many hours while you’re working or attending social events, taking a few simple steps to ensure your furry friend will remain content and calm while you’re gone is wise. And when you return home, you can spend plenty of time snuggling and enjoying each other’s company again.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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