How can I keep my cat busy?

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  1. I adopted the most wonderful kitty, Remy, in December. My one year old baby is loving, extroverted, extremely bright and full of energy. She loves people (she runs to the door to greet the UPS guy) and is truly a funny and sweet member of the family.

    Remy is a true "Velcro cat". DH laughs a to have "conversations" with me, follows me from room to room, yowls for me when I'm out of eyesight, loves to cuddle in my lap, and loves playtime. And while I'm her favorite person 😍, she still loves DH, DS & DD and will spend time playing and cuddling with each of them.

    The issue is that I worry that she doesn't get enough mental stimulation. I work from home so I'm around her most of the day but she doesn't get a lot of play time. Most of our time is companionable co existence in the same room as I work or do household chores then evening cuddling / brushing. I've tried establishing a daily play time using dangly toys, laser pointers, ball chase toys and chirping toys. These interest her for a minute or two (at best) and then she just lies down, walks away or whines to be picked up. And I've bought a ton of passive toys for her to play with on her own. Except for her various scratching posts, those get completely ignored.

    I tried adopting a second cat as a playmate (the shelter I adopted her from said she cane from a house with over 10 cats so I thought she may want a friend) I carefully followed the integration protocol and it didn't go well at all. She hissed at the new cat (even through the closed door to the room I had new kitty in) and her overall behavior really changed. She became sullen, aggressive (biting me) and wouldn't interact with us. So I gave the new kitty back to her foster mom. Within a day, my happy (non biting) Remy returned.

    My vet said some kitties are just happy being "only cats". But being a new kitty mom (I've never owned cats before) I want to make sure I'm doing everything I can to ensure her healthy happiness.

    So I'm asking for any suggestions on how I can keep her mentally stimulated so that she stay the perfect baby i know her to be now.

    Thanks!!!
     
  2. How sweet. To keep my boys occupied are used to use some of these tricks.

    Wrap up some treats or biscuits in a piece of paper and tie a string around it making like a balloon. then punch a hole in it so Remi can smell the biscuits and then hang them from furniture or if you go into the garden from the tree or a plant so she can pull it down to rip the bag open.

    Another one is you can buy puzzle ball. You fill it with treats and biscuits and they have to roll it around on the floor to get the treats out.

    When I was working from home I used to, this might be a bit weird, but I would lock them out in the back room and then I would build an obstacle course from furniture and cushions and blankets. then I would lay biscuits around the nooks and crannies so they would have to run this obstacle course and look for treats. :graucho:
     
  3. Kids play tunnels are also an excellent distraction. I have a couple and I make a little running course around the house or in the backyard.
     

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  4. Years ago I read a sort-of joke story about cat activity. The story said that cats are only awake for about 3 hours of each day in order to keep them from getting themselves into serious trouble.

    My cats, both the inside guys and the ferals, do seem to spend most of their days asleep and working on their tans, or at a guard station dozing and yelling at the squirrels to "get offa my lawn!" Bored cats start inventing games to get into trouble and cause things to crash to the floor.

    Remy sounds like she is doing pretty well and has enough activity for most of the day. Mine always get excited when the oops guy stops by with a new box to play in and sniff. I also work at home, and have several cats that will come in and supervise me during the day (it looks like napping) and maybe chat a bit. If there are some things that she really enjoys, like boxes, leave some around for her to play with. If she doesn't have a good window spot to sit on, she might enjoy a perch for cat TV. The happy dance when you come home means she likes you and is happy to see you, and that is perfectly normal and good as well.
     
  5. Ping pong balls in bathtub.
    Agreed--random boxes, shopping bags(tape, string handles, dangerous etc. removed)
    Agreed--windows, sun time, the fascination of bird & squirrel movements
    Laser pointer, chasing red spot across floor.

    My cat loves stealing things.
    Little ears appear below desk line, on chair.
    Then a paw will swipe.
    I leave balls of paper, pens, etc. available for game.
    Keeps cat entertained all of 5 seconds. But that's 5 seconds of yummy-scrummy peace, which I'll take thankfully.

    Also, he torments the patient dog quite a bit.
    Ear licking, biting floppy jowl skin, slapping nose with paw.
    I call time-out, when dog gives me pleading eyeball o' "help me."

    Best luck.
     
  6. My kitty (now at the Rainbow Bridge) also hated other cats. She tolerated polite dogs, though. :biggrin:

    Sounds like your kitty is very happy with the current play/exercise arrangement! I always used to worry that my cat didn't have enough to do either. We had automatic motion toys, and all kinds of gadgets, which she mostly ignored. Her favorite game was always the wand toy (but, about 10 minutes of that a day was enough for her).

    She did love to "patrol" the windows in the house, to look at various creatures outside. She'd race from window-to-window. I think that was her version of changing the channels on her cat TV. :biggrin:
     
  7. Thanks for all the input.

    I've also "heard" cats sleep all but 3 hours a day. But Remy is awake all day. She may take a quick nap in early afternoon but siege is always walking around, talking to me and batting at things in my home office. She also sleeps through the night. She's an odd cat. LOL!

    @vinbenphon1 - I LOVE your idea of a treat obstacle course. I'm going to try something similar.

    @ Candice - I like the idea of the bird feeder. She has a special chirp when she sees birds outside the window.

    I'll try to be more relaxed about her netball stimulation requirements. I'll try several of the suggestions you all have given me. But as long as she seems happy, I won't worry.

    Thanks so much!
     
  8. Cats love to sit and watch the room from high up, if you can move stuff around so that she can climb and sit on top of a shelf, I'm sure she would love it! Definitely don't worry about her being alone and without cat company, many cats prefer being the only child so they can get all your attention when you're there, ha. Sounds like she's doing great to me!
     
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