Is it possible to ease boredom in indoor cats?

@scribe1 (1207)
United States
October 4, 2007 6:16pm CST
My cats are all indoor cats. Basically, they eat, nap, look out of the window, sleep, use litterbox, eat, sleep. Columbus, my 11-year-old sweetie, howls in the wee hours of the morning and evening for attention. At least, that's why I think he's howling (the vet said that the cat was ok). Anyway, is it possible to provide some variety for indoor cats in the way of activities and amusements? I tried using a string toy with Columbus and Waffles, but neither cat is truly interested. A few swats at the toy and that's it. It's back to sleep.
5 people like this
12 responses
@sedel1027 (17854)
• United States
4 Oct 07
It is a matter of finding the right toy ofr the cat. Vanessa likes to play catch and Sigil would rather dangling toys - like the kind you can hang on door knobs. If you cat howls in the night, you may want to make sure something is not wrong. My MIL cat was doing this and she added wet food to his diet one day (in lieu of a dry serving) and he stopped.
2 people like this
@lilaclady (28238)
• Australia
4 Oct 07
Cat Playing - cat playing with toilet roll
hmmm cats are lazy little creatures in nature but I guess when they are outside they do a natural thing of chasing mice and birds and such, so maybe you could do the little things that our local zoo does to give the animals a little fun, they hide food and treats in things for them to try and get at, you could hide little treats in thigs where they have to try and get out, I guess there would be many things you could do...
@nevaul (84)
• United States
31 Oct 07
Cats tend to have their own personality, and as such, it's pretty difficult or next to impossible to change such. You could just keep trying different toys to see if there something they'd be more apt to enjoy(I know my cat Maurice loved to play with fake mice but rarely showed interest any any other type of toy). If they're both males, you could try cat nip as the scent of catnip often reminds the male cats of a female in heat(this works on some female cats as well, though zoologists aren't sure why, despite popular opinion, catnip does not really get your cat high). The catnip may make your cats a little hyper and more playful when they get they catch the scent, but it's merely a temporary effect. In the long run, the way your cats act is due to their personality.
@kelly60 (4548)
• United States
5 Oct 07
My cat is an indoor/outdoor cat. She is fine sleeping as long as someone is up but as soon as she knows that the last person has gone to bed she starts meowing. She just wants attention though. When I get back out of bed, she makes sure that I am following her as she walks to her dish (which is full) and starts eating. I wait, in case she wants out. When she finishes eating she crawls into bed with my son. If I go back to bed she will come back to my bedroom door and start all over again. It has gotten to the point where I either have to sneak to bed when she isn't looking, put her outside before I go to bed, or just put up with her meowing. It would be funny if it weren't so annoying, because she really doesn't want attention unless someone wants to go to bed. I guess she just doesn't want me to get any rest. Anyway, I wish I could help you with your situation, but I think I have tried just about everything with her and haven't found much to occupy her. I just wish I could get her sidetracked long enough to sneak off to bed, and then we could both go back to sleep.
@rmuxagirl (7561)
• United States
5 Oct 07
What I do with mine is i toss her a toy and she tosses it in the air or make her chase a light beam. Columbus may just be an old fart to simply put it.
@rosie_123 (6118)
5 Oct 07
Well I certainly wish you luck. All mine are outdoor cats as you know, - and basically they would go stir crazy in an hour if they weren't allowed out. When my Lily was recovering from all her major surgery, she was not allowed out for 6 weeks in her convalescence period, and despite all our best efforts to play with string, balls of wool, cat nip toys, squeaky balls, ping pong balls etc, she eventually started to lose weight and get depressed. The Vets said she had "cabin fever" and was just miserable because she couldn't go outside. As soon as we let her out, she was her usual happy, smiley, bouncy cat again - eating us out of house and home, and skipping happily everywhere! I guess just give yours a lot of attention, play with them wth cat toys, and hope for the best.
@icequeen (2842)
• Canada
5 Oct 07
My cat is an indoor cat too...and I try to play with her quite a bit. You can even just use a piece of string..they like that...and just play with them with your hands...also patting them and brushing them is a good bonding time...try getting them some little toys and see if they like that. If your cat is howling...maybe he wants out...lol....that is strange?
5 Oct 07
I too have an indoor cat, and it is such a lazy little thing! It sleeps most of the day and keeps me awake for most of the night, but I still love him! Max, being a Siamese cross is very talkative, and is erfectly content to stay indoors and play with me. We bought a small "bean-bag" ball which he loves chasing after. We also got him a scratching post with added "dangly" things - furry balls on elastic etc. You can also buy small plastic balls that you can put food in so that the cat has to roll around with it to get the treats out. Fortunately for me, we have a small balcony as we live in a second floor flat, and he poodles out there ever now and again but to be honest, he really isn't that interested in going outside! Buy some catnip spray and spray it on little balls etc. and they will spend ages running after it. Me and my partner sit at opposite ends of the living room and throw the small bean-bag to one another, Max chases it and jumps up at it and suchlike. So yes, you can ease boredom in indoor cats, you just have to be creative(And buy catnip spray)
@HighReed1 (1126)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Our cats like variety. Sometimes they like to play with the catnip toys. Other times I can drag a string around the house and they chase it. We also have the fuzzy mice.
@peanutjar (5211)
• Canada
5 Oct 07
Lol,i usually give my 2 cats a paper bag or plastic bag that they can hide in and poke at each toher and ply peek-a-boo with or tie a feather on the end of a rope and run in the house while they are chasing the feather trying to get it,ive bought a mouse filled with catnip in it and they become hyper and even built a walking ramp in the basement that climbs to a windowsill that they like to sit on and watch the birds.:)
• Canada
5 Oct 07
My understanding of cats is that they are naturally daytime sleepers. The last cat I had I decided was going to be a inside cat. So I basicly trained her to be awake more in the day then in the night. Before to long they follow into the routine. Keeping in mind that cats will sleep alot in the day anyway because they do sleep most of there life away. So get some cute toys and put them around in the day for your cat to play with and put them away in the evening. This way your cat will want to stay awake to play with them. Get a ball that is always fun. Also a favorite one is a board with a tall spring attached to it with a ball attached to the spring. The cat will love it.
@anniepa (27245)
• United States
5 Oct 07
Cats are lazy by nature I guess! They sat they sleep an average of 16 hours a day and I believe it! My cats love to crawl into paper bags, they really love when we get something in a box so they can get into it. My one cat gets in a box and crouches way down in, thinking I can't see her there, then we play "Where's Sissy?" She'll pop up and attack my foot and then hide back down in again. She'll do that over and over. Also, I used to buy cat toys all the time until I realized they love bottle caps and those plastic things from milk jugs better than any toy I could buy. Still, they do their fair share of sleeping, looking out the window, eating, sleeping again, using the litter box, sleeping, eating, etc. But if WE'RE sleeping when they think it's time to eat it's meow, meow, then louder meows, then right in my ears, pull my hair, anything they can think of until there's food in their dishes. Aren't cats wonderful? Annie