It’s winter! And while some of us are SO excited to snuggle up next to the fireplace with a hot cup, our kitties are probably grumpily slouched giving us death stares. If your cat is anything like mine, he’s probably yowling at you too!
During the colder months, the indoor/outdoor kitty is starting to stay home more often. But the longer naps and stays at home can also induce some destructive feline cabin fever! From night-wakings, restlessness, and yowling – it can all cause some added stress to the home. To keep your feline friends happy, content, and stimulated. Check out our tips below:
1. Exhaust Them with Play Time
According to Cat Fancy contributor, Dr. Letrisa Miller, the average house-cat needs 30 mins of exercise daily. You can increase this and even double it for indoor/outdoor cats, and the more active exotic breed like Bengals, Maine Coons, and Savannah cats.
For indoor/outdoor cats, it may be hard to rouse their interest in your average cat wand. These cats are attracted to wildlife – birds, bugs, and small animals. This means you’ll have to find a toy that stimulates nature in its movements and sound. I highly recommend the Go Cat Da Purr-Peller!
This toy simulates bird flight with propelling feathers make a fluttering sound when you move it – guaranteed to drive even the pickiest of cats insane. Check out the video of my apathetic cat exhausted by 30 mins of straight back flips – he hasn’t been this excited about a toy since his kitten days! So far, it’s lasted us over 1 week of daily play!
Best of all, it’s cheap! Head on over to your local MudBay to see more GoCat products, or purchase it here.
2. Don’t Reward Bad Behavior with Play!
Does your cat sit directly in front of you and yowl while making eye contact? Or does he/she deliberately act out when bored? Resist the urge to stop whatever you’re doing and give them attention. This only teaches them that their bad behavior will lead to playtime or rewards.
Instead, wait until your cat is quiet and calm before initiating play! Waiting for good behavior before play will enforce good feline house manners.
3. Establish a Play Routine
Establishing a play routine will instill a sense of predictability for your kitty. It may also combat undesirable behavior since the cat is guaranteed stimulation daily. Remember that a typical housecat needs at least 30 minutess of play daily. Indoor/outdoor and active breeds will need close 45-60 minutes of play daily.
To keep your cat exercised, tired, and content during your absence or bedtime, play with your feline friend for 15-30 minutes in the morning before you leave for work, and again before you go to bed. If your cat is particularly active, you may also consider leaving an automatic toy while you’re away or asleep.
4. Keep Food Motivated, Sedentary, and Senior Cats Stimulated Too!
For the lazy, old, and/or food-focused feline, leave food puzzles like the Cat Amazing Treat Maze.
Toys like these offer fun low-energy mental stimulation that will alleviate any frustration or boredom in the more sedentary cat.