How to Entertain A Bored Cat

My cat brother Grayson is known as the bully of our house. When mom is working he chews on the cord of her earbuds and sits on the keyboard.

He also likes to smack and bite her hand as she uses the mouse. Heaven forbid she is using a pen to journal or write anything at all!

When mom tries to tell him no, he huffs or meows at her to voice his complaint. She tells me she understands his frustration he is just bored and is needing something to stimulate his kitty mind.

I know what you are probably thinking, “Ellis, how can a creature that sleeps an average of 15 hours a day get bored?”

Honestly, even the laziest cats still require stimulation even if it is only for a few minutes a day. Because cats get bored and lonely. Even if we try to act indifferent to your presence.

What I don’t understand is with all my brothers and sisters how can he possibly be bored! What am I chopped liver or something? He doesn’t ask me to play very often, of course, that might be because Prince Ellis can kick his furry keester!

My humans are both home all day just about every day, but If you work outside of the home then go to bed shortly after getting home this leaves a lot of time where your kitty may need entertainment. Especially if it is one kitty or a chopped liver household.

Although it manifests in being a bully here there are several things your cat might do to show they are bored or lonely.

Signs of a lonely bored feline:
  • Over-eating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Litter box issues
  • Sleeping more than normal
  • And over-grooming

It is important to make sure that any and all health issues are addressed by your cat’s veterinarian before assuming the issue is behavioral. If their health checks out feel free to try out some of these things to see if you can get them feeling more stimulated.

It is important to have activities to entertain your feline friend that is both interactive with you their human and things that allow them to play solo.

Solo activities are good for when you can’t be home to bond with your pet. Or maybe while you are trying to cook dinner to keep them distracted and off the counter.

Although I am not entirely sure why you all swear we don’t belong in the kitchen! I digress! Here are some things to work out your cats’ frustrations.

Things cats can do while they are alone:

Food Puzzles:

These types of puzzles are great for those that are food motivated. You can put some food and/or treats in the puzzle and your cat only gets them once they have figured out the correct method.

This can have health type benefits as well because it teaches your cat how to eat slower. It helps them work for dinner.

Cat TV:

Yes it is a thing. At our house, mom always considers cat TV to be the big picture window or the french doors where we watch the squirrels and birds eat and play. She is old school.

What I mean here by Cat TV is the Youtube cat channel or you can purchase DVDs (are those still a thing is the question) for your cat to watch while you are away.

You could even use them if you are around and just want some peace and quiet! The shows use mice, birds or squirrels to keep the attention of your pet. Although this may take some testing to see if your cat is into it.

My fur sister Ruby loves to watch TV and would get a good time out of this! Fur sure!

Paper bags and Cardboard boxes:

You know we cats prefer the free stuff to play in sometimes more than the expensive things. This is in no way approval to stop buying us the expensive stuff, just a fact.

I am not entirely sure what draws us to boxes and bags but man are they fun! Hiding in them, scooting them around, even eating them as Grayson does.

The possibilities are endless!

Cat trees:

Trees are great because they usually have toys built-in. They also include places for lounging and scratching surfaces. Cats love to climb and trees foster that love.

Putting one in a great location like a window area will allow your cats to have hours of entertainment and sunshine as well. If there is a bird feeder within sight that would be purrfect!

Activities with owner interaction:

Treasure hunts:

One way to get this going would be to hide cat treats in places your cat normally goes so they have an opportunity to discover their treats.

Obviously cats aren’t good at directions or playing games like Hot or Cold so you have to make it easy for them.

You can’t just hide them and hope your cat sniffs them out or you might just have some old crusty treats around the house next time you go to spring clean.

You can also create a hunting and foraging game for your cat. It allows them to use some of their predator skills.

You could use some of their toys hidden in places throughout the house that allows them to hunt. Interactive toys like jingle balls are good for this, or maybe mice that squeak.

Fetch:

This one may take a little training but can be a good bonding experience between you and your cat.

Grayson has some squishy glittery type balls that he loves to have thrown down the hall so that he can retrieve them! Cats can toss the ball around on their own but it seems more enjoyable when the human gets involved.

Toys:

Obviously each of the other suggestions involves toys of some sort but there are some toys that just don’t work without you the pet parent! We all have more fun when we play together!

Laser pointers and Fish or Feather teasers are a couple of good suggestions for playing with your cat.

Feather teasers are my friend Calhoun‘s favorite because he has CH and hydrocephalus, but he can still play with things that dangle in front of him!

Conclusion:

This list isn’t all-inclusive of course. There are loads of things out there for cats to play with. From the old school cat toys, such as boxes and bags, to high tech advancements like Cat TV.

It goes without saying that it is important you take the age of your feline friend into consideration as well as their health. Some old school toys that used to be fun for kitty are not safe are milk rings. They give us cats hours of fun, but if they get ingested or caught on our jaw they can be extremely dangerous.

With all that said, if you are like mom and you find yourself being bullied when working from home maybe you need to find what works for you two! See if something on this list can’t help you stimulate them and help you create a better relationship.

The Best Cat Tree for Senior Cats

This post isn’t about me, Ellis, obviously. I am the young spry prince of the house.

Unfortunately, I have noticed some of my siblings slowing down as they age. Unable to keep up with little ole me.

Did you know cats may be considered senior as young as age 7! I didn’t realize senior is different than geriatric. Everyone is older than me! They are considered seniors as they may still be active but just starting to slow down a bit. 

Even as they age I don’t want any of them missing out on climbing and playing.

I don’t want your cats to miss out either! It is possible they are still climbing the tree you bought when they were younger if it is still standing of course. Some of them though aren’t really made for taking things slowly as they expect cats to jump and climb the whole thing. 

Height and steps for ease aren’t really considered.

However, if you are looking for a new tree, you might want to get one that will consider their aging bodies. 

Some of the things you may look for in a cat tree for the senior cat in your life is:

    • Stairs- to make it easier for them to climb
    • Lower to the ground- especially if there aren’t steps.
    • Plushy comfort
    • Sturdiness

Plushy comfort and sturdiness are probably already on your list of top priorities. Everyone wants their cat to have the best no matter what stage of life they are in! 

Let’s go over some of the best trees or condos for the senior in your house. 

Trixie Emil Senior Cat Tree 

Trixie pet products have a cat tree for each stage of life. The emil senior cat tree in brown has just the stuff your older feline prince or princess is looking for. 

The entire tree is wrapped in brown plush and has a post with a sisal surface. Not only is there the post but the bottom piece has a flat spot of sisal in case your cat isn’t able to get their paws up for scratching. 

Both the condo and the top platform have removable cushions that can be machine washed!

The condo, or hidey-hole, is lined with fleece and has two entryways! Purrfect for getting away from the youngsters. 

The “steps” called mini loungers by the manufacture are padded and have adorable embroidered paw prints! Some reviews feel the two bottom ones are hard for arthritic cat bones to maneuver. 

However, the top step and lower platform are within jumping range that I wouldn’t count your old furriend out. 

This cat tree not only services your senior cat’s needs but is also a piece of furniture that won’t be an eyesore. 

Baza Senior Cat Tree 

The Baza Senior by Trixie is wrapped with long hair plush in cream. It has post for scratching and a sturdy hammock for resting.

At 27.5 inches tall it isn’t far off the ground if you still have a jumper, but has 2 platforms that allow them to climb to the hammock instead. Depending on the location of your windows many feel it is the perfect height for window peering. 

All but one of the post are wrapped in jute to allow your cat to sharpen their nails. 

The hammock has a 14-inch metal frame so that your floofkins can lay in it without concern. Not that floofkins, of course, concerns himself with anything other than the level of food in the bowl. 

If there has to be a downside to this product it may seem like the plush attracts all the fur. But honestly what doesn’t? Since you can’t take it apart to wash you will need to find your favorite fur cleaning method.

Go Pet Club Cat Tree Perch

This Go Pet Club perch is not specifically marked for senior cats. It made the list because it covers all the things to consider. 

At only 23 inches high it is close enough to the ground it allows for jumping. It is also designed in such a way that the lower bed can be used as a step to get to the top bed. 

Unlike the Baza senior cat tree, it only has one post with sisal on it for scratching. 

Both of the beds are made of wood making them sturdier than the hammocks some trees have. Reviews have loved it as being sturdy enough for even their bigger boned felines. Its platform design also allows for adding a pillow or maybe a blanket to spruce up the comfort level more. 

It is all covered in faux fur finish that may require a good cleaning on occasion. Some don’t consider it to be thick or plushy enough. However, the cats aren’t really laying on the covered parts so much as they are laying in the beds.

Orla Senior Cat Scratching 

This cat tree by Trixie is really the minimum you may get away with your cat. It has large platform steps making mobility easier and is covered in a soft plus. With the platform steps being so large they will allow for more than one cat to sprawl out on this cat tree.

At 26 inches it is a good height for window viewing. It has a comfy bed at the top. The one pole has jute covering for scratching.

A downside to this one may be that it is considered a small cat scratcher with a diameter of just 11.25 inches. If you have a bigger feline they may not fit in it very well and you may not be able to add any additional bedding. 

Of course, we all know the golden cat rule “if I fits I sits” so they will probably make it work. 

Good Life Pet Stairs

As the name suggests these are more about helping your aging pet have a Good Life. It isn’t really a cat tree or condo per se. It is stairs for allowing them to get up on things so they can bask in the sun. 

The stairs come in 4 or 5 steps and are covered in a faux fleece allowing comfort if they decide they want to lay on them. The platforms are also wide enough they can relax with no problem. 

There isn’t any sisal surrounding the post but that doesn’t mean your cats can’t scratch it. Obviously they didn’t care your couch didn’t have sisal. 

These steps could also be just what the vet ordered if you want to keep your current cat tree but allow your seniors to continue to enjoy it! 

If you have an aging dog don’t expect these to work double duty! We all know that cats aren’t sharing with no drooling dog. But these Good Life pet stairs will work for the mutt of the house who needs a little extra help too! 

To sum it up, as purreviously stated, I am not a cat of a certain age, but I still wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to lounge on any of these. That is why I will still give each of them my pawsitively meowvalous seal of approval! 

So if you notice your dear feline friends not going to the top of the tree. Or maybe they aren’t jumping on things at all like they used to, they are sticking lower to the ground. You may need to consider a new cat tree is in order and give one of these a try.