Keeping Indoors Cats Active and Happy

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 03 December 2014

 Cute blue eyed kitten

Many people keep their cats indoors for safety and security - but that doesn't mean your cat needs to be cooped up and bored all the time! It’s important that your cat has some activities to amuse itself with, especially if you’re not home every hour of the day. That way, they can indulge their active nature, and get a good nights rest after a hard day’s playing!

The good news is, keeping your cat occupied and at a healthy weight is pretty easy - sometimes, things as simple as a cardboard box is enough to keep them amused (if only it was that easy with everyone!).

Here are some easy ways that you can keep your cat active and happy (without cat toys overtaking all the spare space in the house!).

1. Small toys that dispense food

These are a godsend for anyone who wants to easily keep their cat amused with a toy that doesn’t take up space.  There’s no incentive to play like your cats favourite tasty treat! These toys generally come in ball shape - all you have to do is push a treat in to the ball, then drop on the ground for your cat to sniff out. They will have to bat the ball to dislodge the treat. Generally you can change the difficulty so your cat doesn’t get too frustrated. Hours of fun, and a tasty reward at the end.

2. A furry friend!

Sometimes, the best way to keep cats happy and social is to get them another cat friend to play with! Cats are social creatures, and do find comfort in bonding with another animal of their own species. If you think a feline friend would be perfect for your cat, make sure you choose one of a similar age and temperament (especially if you’re out most of the day). You can find out more about adding a new cat to the household in this article.

Various activities for cats to be entertained

3. An outdoor cat enclosure - their very own backyard beach house.

You can give indoor cats a taste of the great outdoors without putting them at risk - in fact, they will absolutely love running around their enclosure and frolicking in the grass, especially if you throw all their favourite toys into the run area! Giving your cat a safe, secure, outdoor enclosure means they can sun bake and explore to their hearts content - and they can always retreat into the covered hutch part if they’re in the mood for a snooze. Sound good? Why not take a look at our Paws Parlour, Kitty Kastle and Purrfect Palace. Perfect for leaving the cat in during the day! You will have one content kitty when you come home.

4. A scratching post

This should be a staple accessory in any feline owner’s household. It provides an outlet for your cats to unleash some excess energy and keep their nails in tip top shape (not to mention it could save your new couch!) A scratching post is essentially a post or board that has been covered with a coarse, thick material such as rough carpet or some rope. The cat will rake its claws up and down the posts, which takes care of their nails, feels incredibly satisfying for them and also relieves it of stress! It’s almost like aerobics for cats.

You can also hang some dangling toys from the top of the scratching posts to make it extra enticing, and to give them some additional things to play with. Your cats won’t be bored every again!

A ‘cat tree’ is also another option. These are usually a bit higher, so your cat can climb up to the top using it’s claws - another activity that they love to do, but don’t often have an outlet to do it on. Giving your cat special toys that let them put their natural instincts to good use will keep them cool, calm and content, and in the perfect mood for cuddles when you arrive home from work.

5. A special perch on the windowsill for your cat to sit.

Ever noticed that your cat seems purrrfectly satisfied when it’s by the windowsill? Cats love to sit and watch the goings on of the outside world, and can sit for quite a while observing your backyard! So, why not make a comfy nook especially for your cat to sit - a cat perch if you will. It will keep them contented and happy as they observe the days activities! A comfy cushion or wicker basket will be the perfect fit for your feline friend.

Indoor cat sleeping in cardboard box

6. Boxes and paper bags for them to hide in

Ever noticed your cat curled up in the most peculiar tight spaces? That’s because cats find comfort in hiding - they feel safe, cosy and content. This is due to their natural instinct to hide from danger. Most cats also spend most of the day having a leisurely snooze (what a life!), so they will curl up in a hidden spot so they can do so safely.

Something as simple as a cardboard box or a paper bag will keep your cats feeling comfortable and content as they bat it around and crawl inside - and it’s a much better spot than other dangerous household options such as cars or electrical appliances.

If you keep your cat inside, it’s important to give them enough activities to keep them amused and to use up all their excess energy on. Toys that let them release their natural instincts such as climbing and clawing will make them even happier! The best thing about cats is, sometimes the simplest options give them the most joy - cardboard boxes, balls, and of course the classic ball of twine that cats seem to go nuts over.

Just because your cat spends most of its time inside, doesn’t mean it can’t enjoy the benefits of the outdoors - a secure, safe cat enclosure will keep them out of harms way, whilst letting them enjoy all the benefits of fresh air and warming sunlight. Check out our range of cat enclosures here.

Sources and further reading