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How to keep your cat entertained while you’re away

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Keeping your cat entertained while you’re away? Do you worry about your cat – or cats – being lonely or bored when you’re away? When you go on business trips, vacations or just off for a weekend, are you troubled over whether your cat is as happy as possible? If so, you’re in luck. We’ve found the best ways of keeping your cat entertained in your absence.

by David Stone

for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

white and black long fur cat
Photo by umit ozbek on Pexels.com

Leave some food out

When you’re away, leave a small amount of food out for your cat to eat. Cats love to hunt, and this keeps them occupied and stimulated.

For regular feeding, timer feeders for wet or dry food are great for surprising them with the foods they love.

Toys and playtime

Interactive toys are a great way to keep your cat entertained. There are a lot of different types of interactive toys, so find one that your cat will love. You can also make your own toy by using a cardboard box or wrapping paper.

Window watching

Another great way to keep your cat entertained is by giving them a place to watch the world go by. A window seat or perch is perfect for this. If you don’t have a window seat, you can also use a scratching post or cat tree near a window.

Sometimes, people draw their shades or close their blinds when they’re away, but don’t do that. Cats love seeing the world changing before their eyes while they’re safely indoors.

Scratching posts for cats when you’re away

One thing you can do to keep your cat from scratching furniture when you’re away is with a good scratching post. Scratching posts help cats scratch and stretch their muscles, which is important for their health. Plus, it’s a great way to keep them entertained.

There are a lot of different types of scratching posts; so, find one that your cat will love. You can also make your own scratching post by using a cardboard box or wrapping paper.

Puzzles for cats to entertain them when you’re away

Another way to keep your cat entertained while you’re away is by giving them a puzzle toy. Puzzle toys are a lot of fun for cats and can keep them occupied for hours.

A word of caution, though. Cats are as individual as any known creature. You can never know for sure what – or when – your cat may enjoy any toy. It’s always an experiment.

Our cats love all kinds of paper. They seem to like the sound it makes, and they can tear it apart without being scolded. As with so many things about cats, you can spend big bucks on the highest rated toy, then find that your cats like the packing inside the latest Chewy box better.

Leaving a radio on

You can also leave a radio on to keep your cat entertained. Most cats love listening to the sound of people talking or other animals. It may keep them calm and relaxed while you’re away. Total silence all-around may frighten or bore your cat. A radio reminds them they are not alone.

The calm voices of NPR are perfect, but a classical station works well too. Or soft rock. But, like with people, it depends on the cat. Jazz, anyone? Grundge? Hip Hop can be great because cats love hearing voices.

Television for cats

If you’re really gone for a long time, consider leaving the television on for your cat. The Animal Plant channel allows them to hear many natural sounds. This can keep them entertained, but do a trial run first. Some cats may be more scared than amused.

Cat trees for keeping your cat entertained

Cat trees give your cat a lot of different places to explore and scratch. Plus, they can help keep your cat active and healthy.

One caution, some cats may find their cat trees more interesting than you at times.

Create a cat sanctuary

If you have the space, consider creating a cat sanctuary for your cat. This is a place where they can go when they want to be alone. It can be a room in your house or even an outdoor enclosure.

Your cat will love having a place they can call their own and you’ll love knowing your cat is safe and happy. Sometimes, it can be as simple as draping an old sheet over some furniture. Cats love exploring new spaces, especially when they can hide.

Also great for draining excess energy when you’re not there to play.

Get a pet sitter or go to a kennel

If you don’t have the time for keeping your cat entertained because you’re away, consider hiring a pet sitter or taking them to a kennel.

A pet sitter can come to your house, feed, play with and clean up after your cat. Some cats are fine with the reassurance they haven’t been abandoned. Others are needy and crave petting and interaction.

Twice a day is usually best, especially for solo cats, but some are fine with a single visit. We wouldn’t recommend any pet – pet, cat, bunny, etc. – going more than a day without contact.

Send your cat to camp!

If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, consider sending your cat to camp. Camp allows cats to stay in a safe and comfortable environment while you’re away.

Your cat will love the socialization and playtime they’ll get at camp. Plus, you’ll know they’re in good hands. Check references carefully and always first do a test run. Cats are not as instinctively social as dogs, for example, and may never adjust.

Bring your cat on vacation with you – when all else fails

If you can’t find a pet sitter or don’t want to leave your cat at a kennel, consider bringing them on vacation with you. Make sure your cat travels well first. We have an Italian friend who traveled by train with her cats, all over the country, without incident. But we also had our own cats huddling in terror in the back of our car on a multi-hour ride.

It’s unpredictable with cats. Some are better at it, and some get sick.

Not all hotels allow pets, but many do. If you’re going camping or staying in a cabin, most likely your four-legged friend is welcome there, too.

Just be sure to check ahead of time and pack everything your cat will need, including food, water, toys and a litter box. And always have a contingency plan in case of emergency. A tired kitty is a happy kitty!

Conclusion: Keeping your cat entertained while you’re away

If you’re gone for a long time and want to make sure your cat is entertained, consider leaving the television on for them or getting a pet sitter. Cat trees and creating a cat sanctuary are also great options, as is sending your cat to camp. If all else fails, bring your cat on vacation with you. Just be sure to pack everything they’ll need.

But most of all, don’t worry. There are many methods for keeping your cat entertained while you’re away. One or more will work for you.

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