Cats typically deal well with staying home alone, content to groom, daydream or lounge in the sun. But faced with a lengthy stretch of time alone, day after day, a cat could get bored. If your cat fends for himself a lot during the week, work some things into his day to offer some fun.
First, set up some of these cat-friendly areas in your house:
Make sure your cat has a comfortable perch near a safely locked window, ideally within sight of a birdfeeder. If you don’t have a couch or chair that backs up to his favorite window, install a cat window perch.
Cat trees, climbing devices or cat condos give cats an outlet for climbing, scratching and curling up.
Keep your cat’s scratching post interesting by moving it to different areas in the house, or by picking up different styles of cat posts and alternating between the two.
Plant cat-safe grass or catnip in a shallow pan and leave it in a sunny, cat-friendly corner. Occasionally, add a rock or stick from the outdoors to let your cat experience different smells.
A Place to Snuggle
Keep your cat’s favorite resting area clean and with seasonally-appropriate bedding. Don’t forget a plush toy or pillow to let your cat curl up with.
Before you leave for the day, help your cat burn off steam with some interactive play. This will help prevent cats getting bored. Dangle a wand toy, shine a laser or creep a stuffed toy along the floor for your cat to stalk. Conclude with a treat and some cuddling time to help your cat wind down. Then, leave some things to keep him amused:
Pop a DVD made for cats into the TV.
Put some treats or pieces of dry kibble in a puzzle toy. Keep a few different puzzle toys on hand for your cats, and alternate which one you leave out.
Hide a cat treat or two around the house.
Leave a large paper shopping bag on the floor for pouncing fun. Toss a ball or squeaky toy inside for your cat, or cut one end off to make a tunnel.
Give your cat new hiding spots: drape a blanket over a chair, or tip a sturdy cardboard box on its side.
Keep a TV or radio on set to a low volume. The sound may make a cat feel less alone, or drown out distracting sounds from outdoors.
Cat Toy Trade-Up
Swap around the cat toys you leave out, and make sure they’re self-amusing: balls, plush toys, or empty cardboard rolls. Put away human-assisted toys (wands or lasers).
Alternate your cat’s environment occasionally by closing and opening different doors of your house. Tidy up and cat-proof your closets for new places to explore.
Finally, see if you can arrange for a visitor to join your cat if your cat frequently faces long days alone — a cat sitter or responsible teenager can stop over for playtime and affection. The above tips can also help ease to boredom. Of course, if you worry that your cat spends too much time alone, explore the idea of getting a second cat!