How to entertain a cat
Know how to entertain a cat to keep your kitty happy and alert
Cats can be a persnickety lot. It is easy to tell when they are dissatisfied with your efforts at entertaining them...you might notice that they nip at your ankles when you walk past, they might shred your leather ottoman, or they might leave a little "gift" for you next to their litter box...or in your shoes... or on your bed.
If you have more than one feline, they may start fighting more that usual in an effort to thwart their boredom. When these things happen, it is time to amp up your efforts to keep your cats occupied.
Frugal Cat Toys
Sure there are plenty of fancy pants cat toys out there: play yards,quad-level scratching posts, feather tassled fishing poles, even catnip infused mice with real fur, but cat toys don't have to require a second mortgage on your home. Cats are content with a lot of low-tech toys you might have around your home. Yarn is a feline favorite. Cut off a length of yarn and let it dangle from a chair or shelf and watch your cat bat at the tempting tassel.
Another inexpensive way to keep kitty entertained is by crumpling up a piece of paper and playing catch with kitty. While not all cats will demean themselves by playing a game typically associated with dogs, some cats do like to bat around the wad of paper. Just make sure not to look too amused by her antics. She hates it when you do that.
Empty Box/Paper Sack
A lot of cats also enjoy tucking away in an empty box for a quick nap. You can also save the paper bags from the store for this purpose...just make sure to never let kitty play with plastic sacks due to the suffocation risk. (Also some cats have been known to get tangled up in the "handles" of the plastic sacks. While this may be entertaining for her humans, kitty does not appreciate running blindly around the living room and crashing into furniture.
Another way to entertain your cat is with a laser pointer. Apparently, there is something infinitely satisfying to a feline about chasing a tiny red dot around the house. While I do not understand the appeal, it is one of those games that the cat's caretaker might actually enjoy as well...unlike the other classic cat games of "Shred the Human's Leg" or "Make the Sniffly Guy Sneeze."
Conquer the Cabinet
Another way to keep your cat busy and engaged is by catering to her inner Indiana Jones and allowing her to explore regions of the home that, before now, were considered off limits. Consider leaving a kitchen cabinet open just a crack. (Make sure it is merely a cabinet containing canned goods...no reason to let kitty loose on the cabinet with the marshmallow cereal and Little Debbie cupcakes!) Nothing makes a cat feel like Lord of the Jungle like exploring new territory!
Your cat may also benefit from some companionship. If you decide you do want to expand your feline family, you could consider adopting another cat from your local shelter. However, make sure that both you and your current cat have the temperament to tackle the period of transition that comes with the addition of another pet to a household.
Just remember, there are plenty of ways to entertain your cat but the best way to keep your cat happy is to spend time with her and to provide her with the love and nurturing she needs.