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5 Ways to Occupy Bored Cats When Kids Go Back to School

When kids clear out, cats lose daytime attention; these simple things can make a big difference.

 |  Aug 28th 2014  |   4 Contributions


Summertime is fun for kids and cats alike. Kids enjoy the freedom from long days at school and cats get extra attention from the additional people in the house. With all the activity that can come with the summer months, back-to-school time can leave kitties feeling a little lost.

Here are five ways to occupy bored cats after kids return to school.

1. Create lookout spots

Bird TV is Phoebe's favorite channel.

Cats are endlessly entertained by local bird and rodent visitors. I know my kitties spend hours sitting at the patio door, gazing at the birds hopping around the deck. If you don't already have feeders, think about installing one or two outside a window where your cat has a prime view. It's easy to add a homemade comfy window perch (or buy one -- they're inexpensive) where your cat can loaf up and nap between the groups of snacking sparrows. 

2. Get some interactive toys

My cats are huge fans of wand toys, but those require a person on the other end of the wand. When there aren't humans around, cats can still stay busy with solo, interactive cat toys. Thankfully, there are no shortage of these kinds of toys at pet stores and online. In addition to the "rolling ball on a track"-type toys like the one pictured in the video above, there are tons of cool puzzle games curious kitties love. You can even make your own, like the one I featured as part of my post about DIY toys made from empty toilet paper rolls.

3. More boxes!

Boxes = endless entertainment.

Want to please your cat any time of year? It's easy: Toss a few or a lot of boxes in various locations around your house. You've just scored mega points with the whiskered ones, and cured a little bit of feline boredom. They don't need anything special to do while inside the box. They just want to sit there, and maybe take a nap. Sometimes they'll even sleep standing up. Isn't that the best?

4. Play music

Saffy enjoys chill tunes.

Soothing music can be comforting to kitties, and ease anxiety for cats who don't like to be alone. Even when all the humans are out of the house, the energy of a presence can be captured by filling the air with specially chosen tunes. You probably don't want to blast any Black Sabbath or Nine Inch Nails, but my Saffy responds well to New Age and light classical selections. 

5. Secure a playmate

Friendly fire.

If you have only one cat, the best way to provide entertainment may be to add a playmate. At one time, we shared our home with one cat, but definitely saw a difference in his activity level and happiness when we brought another kitty into our family. Of course, it's always best to follow some guidelines when introducing a new cat. And you should probably do this a few weeks before you know they'll be spending several hours alone together. Now that we've seen the fun our cats have together, we couldn't imagine going back to having just one.

What are your best tips for occupying cats who are home alone? Share in the comments!

Read More by Angie Bailey:

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.   

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