Problem Solving: The Bored Cats Syndrome
Cats need mental and physical stimulation. If you’ve ever worked at an office that cordoned their employees off in cubicles, then you know that going home is a welcome relief from humdrum walls and repetitious work. Just as you yearn for your freedom while answering yet another call, your cat longs to do more than sleep the entire day away—for sure, he definitely enjoys a solid five-hour nap, but he wouldn’t mind a little game of chase either!
So, if your curtains, recliner, or your grandmother’s antique pine bed frame have ever been the victim of a bored kitty’s claws—this article is for you. While the stereotype would lead us to believe that a bored cat will simply find a sunbeam to park in for the day, many cats, especially young ones, will alleviate their boredom in other ways—sometimes very destructive ways. They have no idea that the couch edge they shredded to bits cost you a lot of money. To them, it’s just a big toy.
Or, if you’ve got a little extra in the budget, you can get one of these awesome cat toys by Bergan:
- Bergan Turbo Track Cat Toy: A simple, yet effective toy. It’s got a track and a ball—that’s it. What sets this apart from similar toys is that the track can be set up any way your cat seems to enjoy most. You can even buy multiple sets and create an intricate playground to keep your kitty busy. (See this video for some super innovative setups!)
- Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy: This can be used alongside the Turbo Track or separately, and it is a great option if you live in an apartment. It comes with a ball, catnip, and a replaceable scratch pad that will not only entertain your cat, but give them something to dig their claws into besides your furniture.
- Turbo Treat Ball: If you have a cat who’s more treat-motivated, this little attachment for the Turbo Track would be a perfect addition. As the cat spins the ball, treats come out! Bergan has a feather attachment for the Turbo Scratcher available as well, if that’s more up your cat’s alley.
- Bergan Catnip Hurricane Cat Toy: Similar in size and shape to the Turbo Scratcher, this toy adds the tantalizing aroma of catnip to the mix.
Here’s Cassie playing with the TurboTrack Toy – I think you’ll get the idea of how much she loves it.
If a new toy simply isn’t in the budget, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to improve your cat’s environment. Try one of these free and/or cheap methods of entertainment:
- Wad up a small piece of paper and bat it towards your cat. Continue until your cat decides play time is over.
- Put a box of any size on the floor, but either close the flaps or turn it upside down to make it a challenge for them to get into it, which equals more interesting.
- If you’re the crafty type, you could crochet or knit a toy out of yarn scraps. For added excitement, tie it to the end of a length of yarn and drag it around.
- Really, anything (as long as it’s safe for them to play with) tied to the end of a length of yarn or twine and dragging it across the floor should work.
- Talk to your pet. It may sound silly, but it is a form of attention. One of my cats likes to hang out in the kitchen while I’m making dinner. I’m sure he’s just trying to talk me into sharing whatever I’m cooking, but that’s okay!
The biggest investment you’ll make, even if you purchase toys for your cats, is taking the time out of your busy schedule to give them the attention they need. Just like any member of a family, if you ignore them, they may start acting out to get attention. In the end, it will be time well spent when you come home to a cat who’s happy, and you only go shopping for new window treatments when you’re ready for something different.