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Keeping indoor cat stimulated

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I have a question on how to keep an indoor cat from getting bored and sluggish. Swanie is a very energetic 1-2 year old male we got from the shelter 2 months ago. He will only play with toys that move (as in, toys on a string or pole that I pull around for him). Unfortunately, I can't do that as often as he wants to play. Also, lately he's getting bored with that. I have 6 or 7 different ones we play with, and he'll play for a little while, then wander off. The other thing he likes is for me to toss his food (one at a time) for him to chase down and eat.

We do have another cat we got, so he has companionship, and they do play a bit each day, but she's an older cat (we don't know how much older, but probably she is 3-5), and she doesn't want to play as much or as long.

What can I get for him to play on his own that will keep him mentally stimulated and physically active? I feel like there has to be something, but I just can't figure out what.
post #2 of 26
get a goldfish tank with a tight lid for him to watch.
post #3 of 26
Sounds kinda funny, but one thing I like to do is take one of those 12 pack boxes that soda or beer comes in, and I'll put a toy in it.

Sam can't fit in through the hole in the end, and he'll spend a good 30-45 minutes wrestling with the box to get his toy out. Its better than TV in terms of entertainment as well.
post #4 of 26
Most cats lovd to chase laser lights. You don't have to do much just shine the light around as your sitting down. Eveinngs while we watch tv its a easy way to keep the cats entertained. Mine all enjoy laser lights.There cheap. Just make sure you don't shine the light in the cats eyes.Inexpensive cat gyms are good also. The Crinkle bags most pet stores sell they love go play in. Throw in a toy mouse and mine will play for a hour in one.
post #5 of 26
a few ideas
another cat
Da Bird( Zoey is a hyper 2 yr old and I got this for her birthday and she loves it as does my 17 yr old)

cat dancer
post #6 of 26
My kitties have one of those circular tube-type-things with a ball in side. They can play with it for hours. KC spends most of his time staring out the windows though. He loves to watch the squirells and birds and such.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to get him one of those climbing trees, but I don't have a ton of money to spend on it. Anyone have any recommendations that will give me the most bang for my buck? Thanks!
post #8 of 26
Have you tried things that make noise? Things with catnip? Our Hobbes is obsessed with balls we recently bought that are fabric on the outside, and catnip and a jingly type thing on the inside. He likes to carry them around and strut about like it's his kill, too.

Also, maybe a laser pointer, or a lamp that moves light pictures on the wall? Hobbes is also obsessed with light...just be sure that if you get a laser pointer, that you don't shine it in kitty's eyes.

Hmm..what else? They love simple things. Try a paper grocery bag. Kitties love to hide inside, and try to get the other kitty interested in trying to "get" him. It might get your other kitty interested in play. You could also acheive the same thing with a cardboard box. They love to go inside, while the other shuts the top slightly and try to "get" the other through the smallest of openings. They love the "just out of reach" type games. Add some catnip, and I guarantee you he'll (and maybe even she'll) get excited and play with them!

Hope that helps!
post #9 of 26
Hi,

I dont have any experience of keeping cats in doors but i thought this book may help it is called 'How to keep your indoor cat sane and sound' written by Christine Church.


The ISBN is 0-87-605142-5 it may help.
post #10 of 26
i got a really nice cat tree from ebay. They sell alot of them on there.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by eupnea
Sounds kinda funny, but one thing I like to do is take one of those 12 pack boxes that soda or beer comes in, and I'll put a toy in it.

Sam can't fit in through the hole in the end, and he'll spend a good 30-45 minutes wrestling with the box to get his toy out. Its better than TV in terms of entertainment as well.
EXCELLENT IDEA!! I totally forgot about a cat's love for those!! Ours get HOURS of fun out of those boxes!! They're just the right size...perfect fit for kittens and young cats, and just big enough for a large cat to fit his/her shoulders and feel like they're still hiding! WONDERFUL IDEA!
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
get a goldfish tank with a tight lid for him to watch.
LOL!! Poor fishies!! (Although I'm sure they've figured out by now that kitty can't get at them, so they probably taunt and play with him!)
post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions.

I should point out, Swanie and Cindy do play together, and have a grand time, but he is younger and male and wants to play more and longer than she does. She loves to watch him play though. If we are playing, no matter where she is or what she's doing, pretty soon she'll be sitting right there watching. I'm waiting for her to get the score cards out

Swanie loves to chase things, and hide and pounce, but he gets bored quickly with the same thing. He won't chase if he can't catch and chew on it, so the laser pointer doesn't work. I have about 10 different things on poles and strings. He'll go nuts the first few times, then he'll play for a few minutes and walk away. He won't play with it if it doesn't move on it own (or me activated). I've tried balls that he could roll and chase, that thing with the ball inside, various catnip mice (he occasionally will have a romp with his tail chaser, but that's it).

The one game he hasn't gotten tired of is food chase. I will throw pieces of food (dry, obviously) toward him, he'll chase it down and eat it. But I don't want to get him fat

He went nuts over a bug flying around the other day, I guess I could open the door periodically and let some insects in. They've already cleaned my house out of all the spiders and whatnot I had before they showed up

I will look up that book someone recommended, and I'm going to check ebay for the climbing trees.

Thanks again, from me & the dude!
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
LOL!! Poor fishies!! (Although I'm sure they've figured out by now that kitty can't get at them, so they probably taunt and play with him!)
The fish isnt that bothered to be honest.

And he was a 'rescue fish', one that would have otherwise been flushed down the toilet by a bored owner so i figure he owes m for bed and board!
post #15 of 26
It sounds like you already play loads with your cat!
I have my cat dancer stuck through the key hole in the lounge door so that they can jump at it without me holding it. It was attached using the sticky thing but it got so much abuse that it came off.
post #16 of 26
post #17 of 26
Rather than a goldfish, you could do something that's more active and easier to take care of. Shrimp are pretty good. Ghost shrimp are 5 for a dollar at the pet store, or you can get larger ones. They swish around a lot.
post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
The fish isnt that bothered to be honest.

And he was a 'rescue fish', one that would have otherwise been flushed down the toilet by a bored owner so i figure he owes m for bed and board!
LOL!! I agree...pay up, Goldie!!
post #19 of 26
If he's big on the "food chase" how about one of those toys that you can put treats in. I can't remember the brand name but I've seen them at WalMart. They are a plastic ball with holes. You put the treats (or food) in the centre and then as the kitty bashes the toy around the food falls out and they get a snack. I have a friend who gives her cat one of his meals this way (his breakfast goes in and it takes him most of the day to get it out) so that way he's not really getting "extra" food, just his regular rations.
post #20 of 26
Oooooooh, Da Bird! That's a great idea!

Also, though it's controversial, the Cat Sitter DVD is a hit around here

Some tall cat trees or cat gyms would be good. I have one tree, one gym and one window perch.

Rotate their toys regularly and leave them in different places. I swtich toys almost every day from the big basket and buy them new ones once a month. I either toss or donate a few of the ones they're not interested in.
post #21 of 26
Oh, and fridge magnets. Those are inadvertently a big hit here
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie'sMommie
If he's big on the "food chase" how about one of those toys that you can put treats in. I can't remember the brand name but I've seen them at WalMart. They are a plastic ball with holes. You put the treats (or food) in the centre and then as the kitty bashes the toy around the food falls out and they get a snack. I have a friend who gives her cat one of his meals this way (his breakfast goes in and it takes him most of the day to get it out) so that way he's not really getting "extra" food, just his regular rations.
Hmm. I'll look for one of those balls. I tried putting some treats in that round thing with the ball in it. He poked at it for awhile, then gave up. I guess it might work better if he could actually get them out . I think what he likes though is batting it down and / or pouncing on it. I've said if cats ever organize a hockey team, I'm signing him up for goalie! He's so cute when he plays. BTW, he doesn't really get extra food, I take it out his bowl to toss it. And Cindy loves to watch him, but she doesn't see any need to chase it when it's right there in front of her for the taking.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Also, though it's controversial, the Cat Sitter DVD is a hit around here
Why is it controversial? I was halfway thinking about getting one for Cindy. That commercial with the little prarie dogs squeaking came on and she jumped up and stared at the tv. She likes to watch tv, in general. I'm afraid I would have lots of scratches on my tv though from Swanie, he's rarely content to just watch.
post #24 of 26
Some people feel the video is frustrating to the cats to watch. I think it depends on the cat. None of my cats seemed frustrated by it - one really seems interested in watching it, one is mildly interested, and the other two don't even seem to notice it.

If you know someone who has the video, perhaps you could borrow it and see how your cats react to it - if they seem to like it, and don't seem frustrated or annoyed by it (chasing around behind the TV and/or acting stressed) it might be worth getting it for your cats.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties
Some people feel the video is frustrating to the cats to watch. I think it depends on the cat. None of my cats seemed frustrated by it - one really seems interested in watching it, one is mildly interested, and the other two don't even seem to notice it.

If you know someone who has the video, perhaps you could borrow it and see how your cats react to it - if they seem to like it, and don't seem frustrated or annoyed by it (chasing around behind the TV and/or acting stressed) it might be worth getting it for your cats.
Well, that makes sense. I know Swanie gets frustrated as heck watching the birds and squirrels out the window. I always feel bad, like it's teasing him that he can see and not get out there. I'm not sure about the tv. When we first got him, he must not have seen tv before, because he ran around it and such, but now he either watches it calmly or ignores it.

Have to think about the video. I expect Cindy would be the one interested, but once she knew they weren't "real" she would lose interest.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty8723
Well, that makes sense. I know Swanie gets frustrated as heck watching the birds and squirrels out the window. I always feel bad, like it's teasing him that he can see and not get out there. I'm not sure about the tv. When we first got him, he must not have seen tv before, because he ran around it and such, but now he either watches it calmly or ignores it.

Have to think about the video. I expect Cindy would be the one interested, but once she knew they weren't "real" she would lose interest.
hi misty
i have one cat aged 5yrs male.william .i live in a flat second floor so he has been indoors since i had him as a kitten, he has a good vantage point for looking at birds etc ,but i do feel a bit guilty like yourself ,that he cant get to the real thing also ,flat downstairs has four cats and one dog and he sometimes looks at them ,but the way my entrance is situated and a very busy main road ,there no way it would be safe for him to go out.
But other than that he seems quite happy .
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