As I sit here writing this, my cat Pacho watches me. He is calmly positioned on my working bench, seemingly amused by my poor attempts to speed type. A couple of times, he has offered a paw or two, to help me. It’s funny how cats like to be involved in our lives, even if what we are doing doesn’t seem that interesting to us.
I love how cats are easily contented. Pacho loves nothing more than coming along with my dogs and I when I’m gardening, occasionally stalking an invisible mouse, or just sitting on the couch with us all at night time. He is a very social cat, so I ensure that I engage him in as many activities as I can, when I am home. When he is awake, that is.
It is fortunate to those of us who have a very busy schedule, that cats sleep a lot! If you have an active lifestyle, cats can be much more appropriate pets compared to dogs. Sleeping more than 20 hours a day, your cat is content with a choice of comfortable hidey holes. But across the time that they are awake, they are often active, particularly kittens; so, I thought I’d give you a list of some easy entertaining tasks you can set for your cat, that are as equally entertaining to watch.
Activities for your cat
- Head outdoors and collect some environmental enrichment. If your cat spends a lot of time indoors, the smells and tastes of the wide world can be very interesting. I often bring home grasses, feathers, and even soil for Pacho. He has an enclosed area (almost like a play pen) that he can access and explore.
- Build a cat tree, that is sturdy, accessible and high. Cats love climbing and observing from a height. Plus, this is a great form of exercise. If you do not provide a cat tree, then your cat will likely make their own, using your curtains to climb or your cupboards to sit on.
- Find the best room in the house for your cat to sun themselves. Cats love to lie about in the sunshine, and will likely look for the sunniest space in your home. Provide your cat with a comfortable bed off the ground and watch them soak up the moment in absolute bliss.
- Download a free app on your device that has birds or fish moving about. Offer the footage for your cat to see, and watch them observe in wonder. Many cats love swift movement and have excellent vision, so this can be a mutually entertaining endeavour for you both.
- Make a toy. Find an old shoe box, and cut some small round holes through the lid. Depending on how predatory your cat is, you may choose to wear gloves during this activity. Show your cat the box and at various intervals, poke your finger through the holes.
- If you have some old wool lying around, make a pom-pom and attach some string to it. Move it around and allow your cat to stalk and chase it. Enable your cat to occasionally catch their toy. Once finished, take the toy away, to prevent your cat from becoming bored of it. This is a great activity that you can set your children to create for your cat.
- Grooming your cat can be very soothing for both your cat and you! Depending on the breed of cat, most require regular brushing, and the sensation of the comb on their skin can be very enjoyable for them. It also keeps your cat healthy and allows you to inspect the health of their coat at a close distance.
Cats who exhibit behaviours of concern such as messy toileting habits, roaming and fighting, can do so because they are frustrated or anxious. Always have a yearly check up with your vet, and ensure they are up to date with worming, microchipping and flea treatment. Your cat should always be desexed, to prevent roaming, spraying, fights and the risk of disease. Desexed cats are invariably healthier and happier. With so many cats living out their days on our streets and in shelters across the country, it is time for us all to step up and take responsibility for their welfare. For our cats, keeping them healthy in both body and mind is not just a responsibility we have, but a privilege.