8 Pawfect Ways To Make Your Apartment Way More Fun For Your Kitty
If you’ve seen The Lion In Your Living Room, then you know beneath the purrs of your cuddling companion beats the heart of a wild beast. Our feline friends are hunters by nature, meaning a happy cat is an active one with lots of mental stimulation. But if you and kitty live the city life, your den descendent is likely confined to the great indoors. Of course, modern cats can totally thrive inside – so long as they have the right environment.
In other words: Indoor cats bore easily.
And boredom can leave to some behavioral issues. Great news for anyone whose cat has ever pounced on them at 3 AM: more stimulation during the day will cause less bad behavior by night.
Here are eight hacks, products, and ideas guaranteed to keep your indoor cats cool. All are totally feasible, even if you live in a small apartment. Your cat may be king, but you don’t need a palace to keep him happy.
- Embrace cat-specific IKEA hacks
Did you think IKEA hacks were just for humans? Scratch that.
From a picture-frame scratching post to a compost-bin-turned-exercise-wheel, these four IKEA hacks are specifically for cats. They’re the purrfect DIY ideas for keeping kitty mentally and physically occupied.
The best part?
Each hack is so easy, all you’ll need to pull one off is opposable thumbs.
- Allow your cat to access multiple height levels
Like their tree-climbing, prey-stalking ancestors before them, today’s cats have a natural drive to scale heights.
And though the threats inside your home (hopefully) aren’t as perilous as those in the jungle, some cats feel safest when they’re at a vertical advantage.
Give your kitty peace of mind – not to mention, mental stimulation – with access to multiple height levels.
A climbing tree is the perfect solution for an apartment that lacks width, but not height. But if you don’t have space or the DIY skills required for crafting one yourself, here’s another way to help your cat “get high”: clear off the top of the fridge, and coax your kitty onto it with catnip or a cozy cushion. It’ll quickly become their favorite spot to watch and listen to kitchen activity.
- Clear your window so kitty can see outside of it
Fact: cats love windows.
Not only do the glass walls offer sunshine, but they provide plenty of entertainment for your feline, too. For them, just on the other side of that glass is a world teeming with bugs, riveting noises, and passersbys. No wonder they often stay perched on the sill for hours.
To really keep your cat’s curiosity sated, make the window as cozy and accessible as possible. Clear off the window (put those old books and knick-knacks into storage). Petfinder suggests installing a bird feeder on the other side for particularly exciting viewings.
- Get creative with where you place your cat’s food…
Feeding kitty is pretty much a no-brainer, right?
Actually, according to Animal Planet, there’s room for improvement in how you feed them.
If you simply pour the kibble twice a day without encouraging any physical activity, chances are your little lion will pack on the ounces.
Embrace the innate skills of your mini hunters instead – by making them work for their food.
Poke holes in the lids of an old, reclosable yogurt container and fill it with pellets. Mealtime, meet a riveting round of maracas.
- … And their water
Have you ever noticed your cat takes licks of water from cups you left lying around the house? It’s not just because he loves you (although science promises he does!). It’s likely because cats don’t typically drink near their food, and vice versa.
Rather than placing the water bowl near the food bowl, satisfy two needs in one by scattering the H2O throughout your home. Hunting, hydration, check.
- Turn up the meow-sic
Do your kitty’s ears perk up when listening to Meowtzart? According to PetMD, they might feel soothed when exposed to certain types of music. If you’re out for long periods at a time (say, if you commute to work), consider turning on some jams in your absence.
The jury’s out on which melodies are best, though you can order music made specifically with feline frequencies in mind. Just remember, those perky little ears are highly sensitive. So make sure whatever you play isn’t too loud.
- Schedule playtime every day
Playtime is more than just a fun way to exert a ton of energy for kittens (of all ages). According to The Spruce, it’s also a great way to strengthen the feline-human bond.
How much playtime is enough, you ask? At a minimum, schedule 10 to 15 minutes per day.
Some pointers: if your cat is reluctant to come out of hiding at first, try dimming the light. And don’t let him play with your hands (trust, you will regret it).
End every session on a high note by providing a small treat or two.
- Provide lots of stimulating toys
Last, but certainly not least: the surest way to keep your cat entertained is with plenty of stimulating toys. The more they crinkle, dazzle, and can be batted around, the better.
Not sure which toys are the best for mental stimulation? That’s where KitNipbox comes in. Sign up to ensure a monthly delivery of curated, top-quality goodies guaranteed to tickle your feline’s fancy.
Remember to continuously swap out toys, so your cat doesn’t tire of any particular one. And only leave out the safe toys – ones without any attachable sticks or sharp edges – when you’re not home.
This article was written by MakeSpace, a convenient alternative to renting a self-storage unit in New York City, that also serves Chicago, Washington DC, and Los Angeles.