Entertaining a Hyperactive Indoor Kitten

Like most people, I like my sleep. A lot. So when I’m woken up to the very specific sound of my kitty actively dragging a crunchy piece of mail or a toy mouse across the wood floor of my bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, I’m nota happy camper.

In most ways, it feels good knowing that my sweet, excitable cat loves to play and entertain himself, and I’m fascinated by the fact that cats can see in a mere 1/6th of the amount of light needed by a human being to see, due to the fact that they’re naturally nocturnal. It’s no wonder they’re so active at night!

Still, sometimes I feel like I just can’t keep up. If you have a kitten who has a seemingly unending source of energy, test some of these tried-and-true tips to keep him happy, active and mentally stimulated throughout the day, even when you’re away:

1. Provide your cat with toys—and lots of them! Sometimes there is nothing better than ensuring your kitty has a ton of fun toys on hand to play with. Try little mice, bells, feather playthings—anything that is interesting and fun to chase!

2. Run a few interactive videos at the house. There are a wide variety of videos both physical and online that can entertain your cat (think a virtual fish tank as an example), especially while you’re away from home. Pop the video into the DVD player or hook it up to your TV to give your kitty something to watch (and stalk) while you aren’t there.

3. Set up a paper bag and add a few holes to make it extra appealing. It’s amazing the amount of attention cats will give a paper bag. Just lay it out, open, on the living room floor and let them explore. Bonus: cut a few holes here and there in the paper to give them a place to look out from.

4. Break out the ever-elusive red dot, a.k.a. laser pointer. The laser pointer is a trope for a reason. There is nothing more exciting to an active kitten than chasing after this small dot of red light! You’ll have just as much fun as they do!

5. Give your cat a nice rub down. Spend quality time with your pet. Make sure they receive lots of snuggles and physical attention to ensure they feel well-loved and calm down when you need them to.

6. Always have a scratching post in place. Cats have a natural need and inclination to scratch. If they don’t have a designated spot for scratching, such as a scratching post or mat, they’ll find another place to do it—most likely on your couch or favorite piece of furniture. Set up a distinct, interesting location for your cat to scratch to make sure they stay engaged.

7. Keep the shades open to add some visual stimulation. If your cat lives indoors, don’t close off their opportunities to look out the windows at the outside world. Keep some shades and curtains open so they can watch the birds or see people walking by. They’ll love it!

Good luck! Let us know in the comments how you like to entertain your kitty at home.

Originally published for Care2 at: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/entertaining-a-hyperactive-indoor-kitten.html#ixzz4CpQgkhet