Three Toys to Keep Your Bored Cat Busy and Happy

Protect your belongings from the carnage bored cats sometimes cause when looking for their own version of stimulation.

Cat intensely staring at camera.
Your favorite feline can get lonely or bored when you’re away, but you can distract it with a few toys and places where it can work out its energy and frustration.Kelvin Valerio/Pexels

If you have a cat that is destructive while you are away, it’s likely just bored. However, it could be that he or she suffers from separation anxiety. According to veterinarians, cats with separation anxiety display a number of signs, including using excessive vocalization when you are leaving, urinating outside the box or defecating on clothing or bedding, scratching doors or window frames, vomiting without any physical cause and not eating when you are gone. Whether your cat is just bored or suffering separation anxiety, many products are available online that will keep your cat happy and healthy during those times you aren’t at home.

Cat Tree

Multi-Level Cat Tree Stand House
This multi-level cat tree gives cats plenty of options to stay busy instead of bored.Nova Microdermabrasion

Cat trees, especially large ones with multiple levels, give cats stimulation that they don’t get just lying around on the couch. However, if you’ve ever bought a cat tree only to have your cat completely ignore it and refuse to climb up and play on it, you understand the finicky nature of felines. Often this can be remedied by choosing a large cat tree that has multiple levels, scratching posts, and even hanging toys attached. Cat trees placed by windows are particularly attractive to many felines, since perching atop them allows cats to survey what they consider to be their outdoor domain, too. Watching all the things that go on in the yard during the day—birds flying, squirrels scampering, dogs barking and other cats passing by—can keep your cat interested instead of bored.

Scratching Post

SmartCat Pioneer Pet Ultimate Scratching Post
This scratching post is 32-inches tall, allowing cats to stretch their full length when scratching on it.SmartCat

Since scratching is a natural and common activity for cats, nearly all indoor cats can benefit from a scratching post. In fact, a scratching post can keep your cat out of mischief like no other tool. According to experts, cats scratch for a number of reasons, including depositing scent from glands on their paws to leave a territorial message to other animals, to leave visual clues of territoriality for other animals, to help remove the outer layer from their nails, to stretch their claws, feet and body, releasing “feel-good” hormones, and to release stress or excitement. Look for a scratching post that has sufficient texture that a cat can really dig its claws into, is tall enough that the cat can stretch its whole body while scratching and is stable enough that it will stay upright when the cat puts its full weight against it.

Elevated Resting Area

AmazonBasics Cat Scratching Post and Hammock
This cat hammock also offers scratching posts, giving your feline two ways to stay entertained while you are away.AmazonBasics

Many cat owners have found lounging products to be effective additions to their strategy for keeping their cat from becoming bored when nobody is home. One such product is an elevated sleeping spot. Cats like to sleep up off the floor where they feel safer and can better see what’s going on around them. They also like to climb and jump up onto things, so the object they jump onto might as well be something you want them to be on instead of the kitchen cabinets. Cats hammocks are very popular and come as standalone units or can be attached to a wall or window. For cats that like a higher vantage point, you can attach hammocks close to the ceiling.