Ideas to stop cats getting bored

Cats are generally known to be independent pets. Compared to dog owners, for example, activities like daily walks or dog training aren’t required. But as a cat owner, you still have to determine whether you have a house cat or an outdoor cat. Because while outdoor cats have the opportunity to experience big (or small) adventures outside, go (mouse) hunting and really let off steam, indoor cats usually only have limited opportunities to keep themselves occupied inside their own four walls. Having several cats can help (especially if they’re siblings or of a similar age), but this isn’t enough of a substitute on its own. We’ve put together some tips to keep your house cat busy to help you and your cat in everyday life. 
Indoor cats usually only have limited opportunities to keep themselves occupied inside their own four walls. Cats are born hunters, and they also love to playfully indulge their hunting instinct at home.

Make them work for their food

It’s not always possible to incorporate play with your cat several times a day – especially if you’re busy. A good way to keep them busy on a daily basis is to change the way they are fed. Generally, indoor cats don’t have to do much to get their daily food. A well-filled bowl of popular cat food might be available for them two to three times a day. If you compare this with cats’ natural eating habits, it’s clear why cats might get bored at home. Because cats are snackers. They eat up to 20 larger or smaller meals a day, which they have to hunt for themselves. The next snack could be just around the corner at any moment, and the hungry cat must be alert and its senses sharp in order to be able to hunt down their prey. 

Activity Feeding as a useful activity for cats Make them work for their food
To keep your cat occupied at home, we advise having them work for their food in the future, no longer being given every meal just like that. The advantage of this is twofold – your cat will be kept busy, and you won’t have food left untouched in their bowl. You’ll also avoid problems like an overweight cat or begging. 
The process of having your cat work for its food is called ‘activity feeding’. An activity is combined with feeding here. The type of activity, level of difficulty, and type of food can vary. Because you can also use wet food or pieces of raw meat (not raw pork) as something different, of course, but dry food is often the best choice. This is because it doesn’t spoil (especially if it’s hot out or the food is left for a long period of time) and can easily be fed to your cat without having lots of cleaning up to do afterwards. 

The benefits of activity feeding for cats

  • No boredom 
  • Promotes intelligence and perseverance 
  • Ability to express the instinct to hunt and play 
  • Reduces or prevents obesity
There are lots of different ways to keep your cat busy during feeding. You can include your cat’s preferences or senses. Because cats love: 
  • hunting; 
  • carrying their prey in their mouths; 
  • sniffing things; 
  • gnawing on things; 
  • lying in wait; and 
  • jumping on prey. 
When you do this, you can also use aids, either from pet shops or using items from around the home. Because even simple ideas like putting dry food in an empty toilet roll and folding it up will keep your cat busy. But it’s important to remember here that cats often learn through trial and error. So, it’s recommended that you alternate between activities and also vary the level of difficulty. If you want to learn more about this and also find more details on how to bring these ideas to life, then read the ‘Activity Feeding’ article in our online guide. You can find all further information on how to keep your cat busy with food there.  

Playing with your cat

Cats are very independent housemates who prefer to follow their own nose or sleep through large parts of the day. But they’re also social animals who want to be close to you and be sociable. Young cats in particular need your attention, but their older contemporaries enjoy it too. You’re welcome to use the time together to keep your cat busy here and motivate it to move and frolic around. We recommend not always having the toy available and only taking it out during activity times to avoid the cat getting bored of the toy. 

Hunting game

Cats are born hunters, and they also love to playfully indulge their hunting instinct at home. A real classic, which continues to enjoy great popularity among house cats, is the toy fishing rod. A string is attached to a stick, at the end of which you can attach a range of very different play items. This could be anything from a rubber ball to a cuddly toy (like a mouse) to feathers. Rattles or crinkle pads can also be used to create additional noise. Quickly moving it across the floor catches your cat’s attention and instinctively awakens their instinct to play or hunt. They can practice sneaking up on it, pausing, and slamming down on their target with a sudden, lightning-fast leap. Important: never leave your cat unsupervised after playing with the toy fishing rod – store it away safely. Kitties can all too easily wrap the cords around various parts of their body in the heat of the moment, and this can quickly become dangerous.
A classic that continues to enjoy great popularity among small cats is the play fishing rod. Cats are born hunters


It’s not just children who love to play hide-and-seek, but our house cats too. And not just with other animals, but with you too. Try it out – you might be surprised how fast your cat gets to grips with the prompts, and you’ll certainly have a lot of fun. After hiding, draw attention to yourself by making a noise. If your cat finds you, you can also reward them with a little treat. 

Throwing game

As already mentioned, in nature, cats also love to carry their prey around in their mouths. So, it’s not surprising that cats are happy when this is incorporated into activities using toys. There are also special cat throw toys that you can use to train your cat to return to you after throwing. These kinds of toys also come with and without sound elements. 
There are special throwing toys for cats Cats love to carry their prey around in their mouths

Intelligence toys for cats

Cats are very intelligent animals that should be provided with mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation. That’s because cats who aren’t mentally stimulated are more likely to get ill. At the same time, brainwork keeps house cats busy, thereby avoiding problems that could also be prevented or at least reduced by physical activity. 
Brainwork is important for cats: 
  • Avoids boredom 
  • Leads to balanced cats 
  • Keeps cats busy during the day 
  • Promotes learning through new challenges
  • Prevents/reduces problems like marking or destroying furniture, etc. 
You can find intelligence toys in stores or online at specialty cat shops. But there are also lots of ideas out there for cat toys that you can easily make at home. You can also combine this type of play with the cat’s food. 
As an example, you can fill a shoebox with empty toilet paper rolls that you’ve positioned standing upright. You don’t have to fill them all the way, just using individual pieces of kibble. The goal of the game is for the cat to not only find the food but to get to it too. This should be a mental challenge for them. You can also increase the level of difficulty, for example, by squeezing the rolls at the top, thereby making the cat find a solution to get to the food. 

Intelligence toys lead to balanced cats Headwork prevents boredom

Independent play: cats keep themselves busy

Your house cat should also be able to keep themselves occupied in addition to the play options on offer to them with joint games or activity feeding. Because firstly, you might not always be home, and secondly, you might not always have time. You can also give your cat toys before they start laying their paws on your furniture. The same goes for toys – to avoid boredom, mix things up and vary the level of difficulty. 
If you don’t already have a cat tree at home, we recommended getting one. You can also redesign it to create variety. For instance, you can change the climbing options or install hammocks. 
Generally, cats are independent types who keep themselves busy. However, it’s important to consider offering your cat activities or provide them with new toys – whether you buy these, make them yourself, or it’s just a household item – that will challenge their senses and keep them busy throughout the day. This won’t just make your cat happier and more balanced, it’ll also make them easier to live with – whether that’s with you or other animal housemates. You don’t have to buy up all the cat accessories at your nearest pet store; cats don’t have to be occupied from morning to night. They rest or sleep for a big part of the day. It’s important to ensure that a cat has variety in its life to avoid boredom when it’s confined to four walls.