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How Do You Keep a Cat From Getting Bored? 12 Vet-Approved Tips

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

persian mix cat playing with ball

How Do You Keep a Cat From Getting Bored? 12 Vet-Approved Tips

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Cats are remarkable pets that make excellent companions for children and adults. They are playful, friendly, and fairly easy to maintain. They are also well-behaved for the most part, but if they get bored, they can get into mischief, like scratching the carpets and furniture or making noise when you are trying to sleep.

If your cat has been causing trouble, keep reading while we list several things you can do to prevent them from getting bored.

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The 12 Tips for Keeping Your Cat From Getting Bored

1. Interactive Toys and Puzzles

clever siamese cat playing with puzzle toy to get treat
Photo Credit by: Agata Kowalczyk, Shutterstock

Cats thrive on mental stimulation, and interactive toys, like puzzle feeders, can engage their natural hunting instincts. These toys require cats to manipulate them in specific ways to receive treats or food, keeping their minds sharp and occupied.


2. Cat Trees and Climbing Shelves

Cats love to climb and observe their surroundings from a high vantage point. Cat trees, shelves, or even a simple arrangement of furniture can provide them with a playground to explore, helping them get exercise and use their instincts. Climbing, stretching, and scratching are all natural feline behaviors that your cat should be allowed to enjoy every day.


3.  Window Perches

Much like humans, many cats are fascinated by the outside world. A window perch provides them with a front-row seat to the outdoors, allowing them to watch birds, squirrels, and other movements in the neighborhood, which can be incredibly entertaining and mentally stimulating.


4. Regular Playtime

woman playing with her cat
Photo Credit by: Kmpzzz, Shutterstock

Consistent, interactive play sessions can significantly reduce boredom in cats. Using toys that mimic prey, like feather wands or laser pointers, you can trigger their hunting instincts and provide a great outlet for excess energy.

Remember, it’s not just about physical activity but also about the mental stimulation of strengthening the bond between you.

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Here are a some of our favorite toys, each catering to a variety of senses and play preferences. Which one will your feline fancy? 

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5. New Environments and Exploration

Sometimes, a change of scenery can be refreshing for your cat and help reduce stress. Allowing them to explore a new room or setting up a safe outdoor enclosure can offer them new sights, smells, and experiences, which might be enough to prevent boredom. Take the time to harness and leash train your cat so you can safely bring them outside for new adventures.


6. Companionship

For some cats, having a companion can be a great way to alleviate boredom. Their companion could be another cat or even a cat-friendly dog. However, this isn’t a universal solution, as some cats prefer being the sole pet, and in that case, introducing a new pet can complicate matters. Therefore, it is important to consider your cat’s personality before bringing a new animal into the home.


7. Training and Tricks

young woman training cat in the kitchen
Image Credit: DimaBerlin, Shutterstock

Cats are intelligent, and you can train them to perform simple tricks or obey basic commands, which challenges them mentally and provides a unique way for you to interact with your pet.


8. Regularly Rotating Toys

Like humans, cats can get bored with the same old toys. Rotating their toys every day keeps things fresh and exciting. It’s like reintroducing them to a brand-new plaything each time.


9. Cardboard Boxes

Never underestimate the allure of a simple cardboard box. They provide an excellent opportunity for hiding, playing, and even scratching. Plus, they’re an economical way to keep your pet entertained, and there is almost always one available.


10. DIY Toys

curious cat playing with the DIY food puzzle
Image Credit by: jessjeppe, Shutterstock

Homemade toys can be just as thrilling as store-bought ones. Something as simple as a crumpled piece of paper or a perforated plastic bottle with treats can provide hours of fun and cost next to nothing. Remember to avoid anything that your cat might swallow by accident.


11. Outdoor Enclosures

If it’s safe and feasible, outdoor cat enclosures or supervised time in a secure backyard can provide a new world of sensory experiences. There are several commercial enclosures available, and you can build one if you have the tools. Another option is to fence in your porch to prevent the cat from getting off.


12. Outdoor Elements Indoors

Bringing some of the outdoors inside can be a real treat for indoor cats. Consider safe indoor plants that cats can sniff and nibble on, like cat grass or catnip. You can also open screened windows to allow fresh air and the sounds of nature to come in.

Setting up a bird feeder near a window where your cat can watch birds and other wildlife can also be a great way to bring the outside in.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Bored?

Signs of boredom in cats include excessive sleeping, over-grooming, lack of appetite, or destructive behavior. If your usually playful cat becomes disinterested in toys or activities, it might be a sign of boredom.

What Are the Best Toys to Keep My Cat Entertained?

Variety is key. Choose a mix of interactive toys like laser pointers, puzzle toys, and classic favorites like feather wands. Remember, what excites one cat might not interest another, so it requires trial and error.

Two cats are lying on the floor. Gray cats are playing with a laser pointer.
Image Credit: Wanda_Lizm, Shutterstock

How Often Should I Play With My Cat to Prevent Boredom?

Aim for at least two 5–10-minute play sessions per day. Cats thrive on routine, so try to schedule playtime around the same time each day so they will be ready to go when you are.

Is It Okay to Leave My Cat Alone All Day?

While cats are more independent than some pets, they still need interaction and stimulation. If you’re away for long periods, consider leaving engaging toys, setting up a window perch, or even adopting a second cat for company.

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Summary

As you can see, keeping your cat from being bored is not difficult. Introducing regular playtime sessions will provide mental and physical stimulation, which will keep them healthy and happy. If you need to leave, ensure there are plenty of things to keep your pet entertained, especially if you need to be gone for a while.

Place plenty of cat trees, scratchers, and window perches around your home if possible, along with interactive toys and puzzles, like puzzle feeders and cardboard boxes, to ensure they have plenty to do while you are gone.


Featured Image Credit: Boyloso, Shutterstock

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