A bored cat is a destructive cat. Many pet parents know that if left unattended, cats can wreak havoc on a house or apartment. A cat that lacks appropriate mental stimulation and exercise will attack your houseplants which can sometimes be toxic to them, can shred your curtains and turn a fancy chair into a pile of shredded stuffing and upholstery tassels.
When kittens play, it's obvious stalking, pouncing and simulating thrill of the hunt. Cats are predators, and their natural instincts are to stalk, chase, and catch their prey. Cats are also crepuscular, a special type of nocturnal which means that they are mostly active from dusk to dawn. They make the best use of their agility, speed, and incredible acrobatics while you are asleep. A younger cat will often do these on top of you at night. It's one of their annoying but adorable qualities.
One solution to this and possibly prevent those 3am toe attacks is to build a feline jungle gym or playroom. You can go the high-tech route or upcycle/recycled items to create a cat playground that gives a cat the stimulation and excitement they need to be happiest.
Here are some tips for healthy recreation for your cat while keeping your home stylish and a great environment for you and your feline companion!
If you have an indoor cat, they typically have less places to climb up high and be King or Queen or all they can survey and jump down from safely. In general, cats like to have a high vantage point from where they can view their immediate environment.
You can modify your home with simple construction. One of the best (and best-looking) ways for your cat to exercise and climb is just by building a set of cat shelves or cat stairs. The concept is similar to installing bookshelves, only in an ascending pattern up the walls that your cat will enjoy.
Saucy Dwellings features an article on how to build your own cat shelves using modified Ikea furniture. Even unmodified furniture can become a cat's favorite amusement park ride. If you're the weekend DIY'er and enjoy construction projects, you can find plans like these at Ikea Hackers. This type of cat environment gives kitty all sorts of places to climb and jump from as well as some providing you with additional storage. Cat stairs and shelves serve double purpose for us and our pets.
Using a similar concept, Etsy seller "Like Kittysville" designed a collapsible medium density fiberboard holiday tree and made the plans available online for free Another great source of inspiration can be drawn from The Cat's House, an online folio of a home that was redesigned to accommodate its four-legged residents.
If you are not handy with tools, Allen wrenches and hate following pictograms and doing DIY, there are also ready-made cat shelves at many pet retailers. You can even just hang individual stable shelves vertically and diagonally staggered up a part the wall so your cat can walk up them and let your cat discover them. It need not be fancy; it just needs to fascinate your cat and engage it.
When thinking about ideas to draw on to create a playroom for your feline, remember the most important aspect – your cat's happiness and needs. That is why it is best to design a room where your felines will feel at home either at rest or at play.
You can simply choose a specific room or an area to stock with your kitties' favorite toys and essentials. Sometimes by simply installing a feline scratching post or tree your cat will spare your favorite couch or table from the claws of a cat suffering from ennui and looking to show its contempt for its doldrums.
While younger cats typically like a tall structure, they can climb and stretch their claws out on, older pets will be less prone to acrobatics so a lower piece of cat furniture with shearling, a hammock or such and a lower height may be preferable. If you have multiple cats of varying ages, provide both and let the cats decide their favorite play spot and vantage place.
Try observing their behavior to choose the type of scratching post they will enjoy the most. Do they prefer to stretch up and out while cleaning claws on a surface, or do they prefer to knead at ground level? The simple vertical or horizontal orientation of a scratching post will encourage a cat to use it more.
The more active a cat is, the more he'll appreciate scratching posts. You can either purchase or make your own scratching post. If your cat is older or has a more laid-back personality, you might consider getting a horizontal or ground level scratcher.
Remote controlled cat time benefits these cats seeking adoption and can have anxiety-reducing benefits for the humans logging in to play with the cats from the comfort of home and seeing them pounce and play.
Cats are actually very social creatures and can become depressed if they are left alone for long periods of time. Cats get lonely. There are a variety of interactive cat toys available. You can also stock your cat's playroom with laser pointers or engage their nighttime hunting instincts with toys whose eyes light up realistically in the dark, or a light-up mat that will keep them entertained in the wee hours of the morning. Many toys are motion activated and will respond to the cat via sensor so even if you need to sleep, the cat still have a feather teaser wiggling to be chased around.
You don't have to break the bank to create a feline playroom. Many cat toys and grooming options are made from recycled items, and so many great cat diversions can be easily made with just a couple craft supplies or free by up-cycling items from your home.
The Learning Channel provides a list of household items, many that you probably already have in your home, which can be up-cycled and reused as cat toys. Do you have old cardboard boxes or holey socks? By constructing a cardboard cat fort and stuffing those single or holey socks with catnip, you now you have a toy your cat will love.
You can also purchase a copy of the book "Make Your Own Cat Toys" and discover great ways to create simple, earth-friendly toys, as you reduce your pet's overall carbon paw print and create fun for your cat out of things you have on hand, can find easily and with a little creativity can make trash into kitty treasure! Your cat doesn't care where its toy came from or how much it cost, only that it's fun and frolic-worthy!
One of the best things that you share with you cat is the bond of love and affection, and cats love to play with you! Playtime with your cat increases that bond for both of you and relieves stress as well. Cat therapy is real. Indoor cats will adapt their sleep cycle to spend time with you even if they take over the whole bed.
Regardless of what tips and tricks you use to create a special stimulating and play-friendly space for your cat, don't forget to involve yourself in their playroom! Get involved in the feline fun with feather toys, string toys and even grooming mitts. Add to the excitement by blowing catnip-flavored bubbles for them to leap up and catch. Interacting with your cat during its playtime will make you laugh and make kitty love you more.
Ultimately one of your responsibilities as a great cat owner is making sure your cat is happy and has fun being a cat. This means ensuring that your beloved cat is mentally stimulated and content. Now get making pompoms out of old t-shirts and use them for both dusting and when freshly washed and hung on doorknobs, an octopus of fun for your cat to flail around and wrestle with!