//10 Ways to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You’re Out of the House

10 Ways to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You’re Out of the House

10 Ways to Keep Your Cat Entertained While You’re Out of the House

In a perfect world, we’d take our pets everywhere we go. Unfortunately, be it work, taking the kids to school or doing the groceries, there’s times when you need to leave your kitty home alone. But just because they don’t have you to play with, doesn’t mean they have to be bored.

Here are 10 of the best ways to keep your cat entertained while you’re out of the house.

1. Food puzzles and toys

If your feline friend is food motivated, then treat based puzzles can be a fun, low maintenance way of keeping your cat entertained (and fed). The typical food puzzle is a sphere that can be laden with cat treats which only release when your kitty has figured out the correct method, stimulating both their body and mind.

For cats that are more into the hunt than the prize, toys like the SmartCat Peek-A-Prize allow you to stuff a box with plush toys that your cat can then ‘hunt’ by flipping them out of the box through the holes. It engages their natural instincts and can keep them playing for hours.

Super smart cats might figure a single puzzle out over time, but there’s always plenty of new and challenging products on the market. Just remember to factor these treats into your cat’s diet plan to avoid overeating.

2. Cardboard boxes

Cats love to play in boxes. Whether it’s bounding in and out of them, playing hide and seek, using it as a fort, sled or just generally using it as a play toy, the simple cardboard box is a fun, cheap and easily obtainable item to keep your cat engaged and entertained while you are at work. Not only are they easy to come by, they pose little risk to your kitty (and the furniture), and can be easily replaced once your current box is a broken mess.

3. Paper and paper bags

The crinkling sound of paper and it’s ability to change shape makes for an engaging, low cost material that your cat will just love. Leave a few pieces artfully scattered around the house so your kitty can stumble across them throughout the day.

Paper bags are also fun. Like cardboard boxes, your kitty can pounce in and out and tear holes to use as tunnels. Just remember to remove any handles attached to the paper bag, as they can be a choking hazard.

4. Cat specific furniture

Your cat is a member of the family, so they deserve their own furniture. At its most basic, cat furniture includes:

  • Scratching posts
  • Scratching bench
  • Cat trees

Cat trees include a combination of scratching posts, jungle gym, hidey holes and a host of other features. They come in a variety of configurations and will keep your cat happy and engaged for hours.  Check out your local pet store for these.

Cat trees and other cat specific furniture can also help protect your human sized furniture. With a bit of training your cat will take out their natural kitty instincts on their tree, rather than on your couches and chairs.

5. A room with a view

Cats are drawn to the outside world and watching it go by, particularly from an elevated position. If you’ve got a second story with a balcony or floor to ceiling glass, leave the blinds open so your kitty has endless entertainment outside. Alternatively, install a shelf or move a piece of furniture like a bookshelf close to the window so they have a good view while you’re at work.

6. Fish tank fun

While fish and cats aren’t always the best mix (especially if you’re the fish), a properly secured and out of reach fish tank can keep your cat entertained and visually stimulated while you’re at work. Fish tanks also add to the interior design of your home. Just be 100% sure there’s no way your cat can get into the tank or knock it over.

7. Another feline friend

Ever entertained the idea of adopting another cat? A friend for your feline could be the perfect solution to home alone doldrums. Obviously, adopting another cat is a big responsibility, so be sure you’re ready to take it on. Visit your local animal shelter and ask to meet the cats. You’ll know best what sort of disposition will match the kitty you already have.

8. Set up a special space

However you decide to keep your cat entertained, a designated ‘play zone’ is important in setting boundaries for where the action happens. This will contain play activities to a specific area, be it a small nook, corner of the house or even just a windowsill.

If you want your cat to be able to go outside (while remaining inside) there are small enclosures available for purchase (or do it yourself) that jut out from the window, letting your cat get some fresh air without being in danger. Pet MD recommends making these areas entertaining by placing hanging toys and bells from the top so your cat can bat them around and be engaged in their special play area.

9. Cat TV

From YouTube for Cats to DVDs you can buy especially for your feline friend, television can make great entertainment, especially for older cats who aren’t on the go all the time. Most of these videos show animals like birds and mice running around. Show one to your cat and if they get interested, you know you’re onto a winner.

10. Skype your cat

In our digital world, you never have to truly be away from your pet. PetCube have a number of cool products that help you keep an eye on your kitty, play with them remotely and even dispense treats to them while you’re at work. And, if the boss doesn’t like you playing with your cat on company time, just show them how cute your kitty is and they’ll change their tune in no time.

Entertainment is good for you and your cat

Nobody knows your cat like you do. While it might take some experimenting to find the right balance, the tips above should put you on the path to success in keeping your kitty entertained while you’re away from home.

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals
2019-06-14T17:47:02+10:00By |14 Comments


  1. […] playful creatures and stimulating them will keep their hunting skills sharp. Get plenty of cat toys at your local pet shop that encourage short frequent bursts of […]

  2. […] to provide us with an overview of what naturally stimulates kitties. This is a very fundamental purpose of toys. They have to be able to stimulate development, curiosity, and fascination from those that use them […]

  3. Ama January 3, 2019 at 15:52 - Reply

    Don’t adopt another cat unless both had grown up together or else the most common at most they will fight, this results in lots of injuries especially among feral cats

    • Liz Walden January 4, 2019 at 13:26 - Reply

      Hi Amanda, that is a very good point, and one that people should always bear in mind. Thank you for your contribution. Liz

  4. Andy Flower February 20, 2019 at 20:35 - Reply

    Cat furniture is a commodity that is known by many names. The most common include Cat Trees, Cat Condos, Kitty Condos, Cat Towers, Cat Climbers, Cat Scratchers and Cat Gyms. There are dozens more, but whatever term you use to describe cat furniture, the purpose is the same – to enable your cats to follow their instinctual desire to scratch without damaging your furniture, carpet, or other belongings, and also to give them a place of their own where they can exercise, play, and lounge.

  5. Gertrude Bryant March 18, 2019 at 22:40 - Reply

    Nice post… My cat always trying to bite and eat the toys instead of playing with. Do you have any ideas for the best cat toys that cant be chewable? If you have any best toys in your mind that can be gifted for both cat and dog, it would be great as I have both. Can we have an article about treating dog and cat happily without making the other one sad?

    • Liz Walden March 19, 2019 at 16:01 - Reply

      Hi Gertrude, love your ideas. We will definitely start researching to see what toys we can find that dont get chewed! I think also an article about dogs and cats living harmoniously together is a great idea. Especially as World Harmony Day is coming up! Thank you. Liz

  6. Jonni Cannon March 21, 2019 at 14:21 - Reply

    Hey guys, I’m adopting a kitten because my older cat is left home alone for a good bit, shes about 9. I’m told if I slowly introduce them it’ll be okay

    • Liz Walden March 26, 2019 at 15:43 - Reply

      Hi Jonni, it’s lovely that you are giving a home to a kitten. I hope that your older cat enjoys the company, but if there are issues, consult your vet without delay.

  7. May March 28, 2019 at 23:37 - Reply

    I have tried everything. Got a fish tank, my cat doesn’t care about it at all. Tried several different interactive feeding puzzles/toys, he will leave it sit with food in it, doesn’t care to get it out even if I put his beloved treats inside. Bought many different toys, he wont play with any of them, he has three different window seats with scratchers and comfy places to sit/sleep, doesn’t use them. He just follows me around constantly, meowing, swiping at my leg, wanting to play. The only thing he will play with is the feathers on a stick. He refuses to entertain himself so he is constantly needing me and its stressing me out because I am a caretaker of a mother with dementia and when I come home I just feel like there’s another endless need to take care of. He’s also over ten years old and hasn’t been this bad when he was younger. Any suggestions how to make my cat happy without playing with him ten hours a day?

    • Liz Walden March 29, 2019 at 14:52 - Reply

      Hi May – well that is definitely a tricky problem! There may be something else going on, and I would suggest that it may be a good idea to have a chat with your vet, or an animal behaviorist who may be able to help. Thank you for your comment. Liz

  8. randar April 28, 2019 at 14:01 - Reply

    getting my cat toy will definitely keep it busy. So it can just play by itself

  9. Caitlin May 6, 2019 at 20:03 - Reply

    These ideas are great thank you! I have two cats which are very different. One being a youngish tabby who is always out and the other being a 17 year old tortoise shell. These games might be great for my tabby 🙂

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