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11 Things to Do When You’re Housebound With Your Cats

Does a winter storm have you snowed in, preventing you from leaving the house? Let your cat help!

Catherine Holm  |  Dec 31st 2014


The storm has hit. And the roads are crappy! Suddenly you realize that it’s going to be pretty difficult to get anywhere … at least until the snowstorm ends, the rain stops, or the crummy roads get better. But, never fear. Help is right under your nose. Yes, your cats can help you get through a storm, even when you’re housebound.

How, you say? Here are some creative ideas! I bet you’ll think of more, too. All of this proves that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun. Just let your cats help out.

1. Sing and insert cats’ names into songs

I do this all the time, and yes, it is fun! You wouldn’t believe how fast time goes when you’re laughing and singing, AND including cats’ names in songs. Of course, you have to like to sing. Doesn’t matter if you’re on pitch or not — who cares? Your cats will love being part of the action and being recognized in your favorite songs.

Even better — make up your own songs for your cats. These can be as nonsensical as you wish. I know that I’m not the only one who does this!

2. Dance with cats

If you like to get physical, grab a cat, put on your favorite music, hold her gently, and dance away. Some cats love this. Some cats are stressed by this. You will know pretty quickly how your cat feels about dancing. If your cat can’t handle being held while you jump around the house, then dance on your own or with another human, and sing to your cats as you move. Great fun. I do this a lot, even when not snowbound.

3. Play Scrabble and include the cats

Doesn’t Scrabble seem like a game made for cats? Those irresistible little wooden squares — what cat could hold back from taking a gentle (or powerful) swipe at those little game pieces? Scrabble is a great game that will keep you occupied for hours, and improve your vocabulary, too. Your cat may love it. Try Monopoly as well — but obviously don’t let your cat make off with anything he could swallow. Common sense applies.

4. Play cards, and get your cat in on the game

Does your cat love the snick-snick of shuffling a deck of cards? Mine do. They come running. Perhaps, if a card needs to be chosen, they can help out by placing a paw on the appropriate card. If you’re into divination, even better.

5. Brainstorm cute cat stories and cat fairy tales

I love storytelling; it has a rich history in many cultures. Sure, you can read a book and get drawn into a story, but telling a story is even more fun. It can be as silly as you want. For example, I once made up an out-loud story about my black cat Target. In the story (set in Nova Scotia) he turns into a walrus, then back into a cat, and steals cooling pies from people’s windowsills. Does the story have a point? No! But it was fun to tell, and it makes me remember a special cat. For extra romance, tell these tales around a wood stove, fireplace or other place that you make cozy.

6. Snuggle with your cats for heat

Your heat doesn’t have to be out to enjoy this — snuggle with a cat in the dead of winter and everything gets better.

7. Put silly hats on cats

Great fun! We did this recently with a visiting dog and had the greatest time laughing. Don’t embarrass the cat — some will enjoy this and some won’t. You will know who’s who.

8. Tell the cats all the reasons you love them

This is always a good use of time! Better yet, write it down — then you have a love letter to your cat, forever.

9. Take cute cat pics

Don’t we all love to do this! This is a thing that crept up on me gradually. I have never thought I was a very visual person, and I usually never think to take pictures. But that has changed. I am now always looking for cute cat pic opportunities. You will have more of these opportunities if you’re snowbound for a time.

10. Delete or move those cute cat pics

Here’s a problem I didn’t have years ago. Eventually all those cute cat pics have to be deleted or moved. If you’re stuck in the apartment or house, this is time to do those things you usually don’t think of.

11. Get out the gardening catalog and plan a cat-devoted area of your garden for next year

The gardening catalogs are starting to show up in the mail — thank the gods. If you love to garden, planning and dreaming about how to proceed in the spring is a lot of fun. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money. You can get ideas. Better yet, bring your cat into the planning. Plan for an area of the garden devoted to your cat. Even if your cat is indoor-only, you could plant catnip. Once your cats taste fresh catnip, they’ll never be the same.

How do you spend time with your cats when you’re housebound?

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.