Does your cat or dog claw and chew everything in sight? If so, one of the reasons why this may be happening is boredom.
Cats and dogs are naturally active creatures. They have to be kept occupied throughout the day to burn some of their energy, which is also good exercise to keep them at a healthy weight. You can even keep them occupied while you're not at home.
Let’s discuss different ways to combat their boredom.
Give them visual access to the outside world.
Could you imagine spending all of your time indoors without a cellphone, a good book, a tv, or window to look out of? You'd probably become bored quickly!
As for your cat and dog, you can give your pet a safe and secure window to look out of during the day. Or even a window on a secure door! They can watch people, cars, wildlife, heck, even leaves blowing by!
If a window or door window isn’t accessible, let’s try…
You heard me right, pet tv! YouTube has a ton of videos specifically created for cats and dogs. Personally, my cats LOVE watching birds and squirrels on BirderKing on Youtube. But there are dog versions of the videos too, as well as so many other options out there. You can either set down a tablet somewhere or turn your tv on with low to medium volume and let them have a blast!
Be warned some pets really love it and may paw at a tv or try to knock it over. *Ahem, I've had this happen several times! I suggest supervising their first time to see how they react so that you don’t come home to a broken electronic!
Toys to keep them occupied
There are so many toys out there that you can use to keep your pet occupied. Toys can help distract them from scratching the couch or chewing your favorite sneakers. This is personally my favorite and most used way to occupy my own 4 cats!
From chew toys, stuffed toys or snuffle mats for dogs. To catnip toys, door hanging toys, scratching posts, and interactive toys, there’s a lot of options for your pets. Feel free to try out different kinds to see what your pet likes best. Most importantly make sure that they’re safe!
I personally LOVE toys for cats, I've tried probably every different kind. Wand toys, crinkle balls, bouncy balls, silver vine sticks, catnip toys, door hanging toys, you name it! Each one of my cats have different favorite toys so it's worth trying out new ones.
I also recommend rotating toys often. If it seems like they're bored of the toy, put it away for a bit and try a new one. Then when they get bored of the new one, bring the other one back out and maybe sprinkle some catnip on it- it'll be "new to them" again! I can't tell you how many times I've put away my cats' tunnel toy when they started to ignore it, only to bring it out a week later and they acted like they never saw it before and played for days!
We sell personalized handmade cat and dog toys here at Debra Annmarie Studio
I wouldn’t recommend leaving a cat alone with a door hanging toy that they could chew the string of or get tangled in. Nor would I recommend leaving a dog with a stuffed animal if they’re a power chewer. These could be choking hazards.
You know your pet best so you’ll figure out what’s best for them!
Play with or walk them
Nothing is quite like tiring out your pet with a play session or a walk. I may be biased but walking our cats is my favorite thing to do when the weather allows!
For cats, you can play with a wand toy or drag a toy across the floor. My cats prefer catnip toys and mouse toys that squeak! You can even train a cat to walk on a leash or in a secure pet stroller if they seem interested. It may take some time to adjust but make sure to never force them into it if they hate it. Do it slowly and take cues from them whether or not it seems like it's stressing them out too much. Also make sure that they are in a safe area, avoiding heavy car and foot traffic areas. Cars or crowds may stress them out.
For dogs, a walk outside or a game of fetch can tire out your pup or at least give them some much needed activity! Even if it’s a short walk, it’ll help them release some energy. Take them to a park if the weather allows or let them hang out in your backyard if it’s fenced in or secure. Playing with toys with your pup can help tire them out as well!
As you can see there's a lot of ways to try to keep your pet occupied, burn some of that pent up energy, and hopefully help them get some good rest! Stay tuned for our next blog post!
*Disclaimer: None of the items or YouTube pages are sponsored, these are my own recommendations.
This is all advice based on my pet owner experience throughout the years and educating myself through studies and articles. This is not a diagnosis, medical advice, or to be taken as such. This does not guarantee anything from behavior changes or health. I’m not responsible for any injury or harm to a pet or human if my advice is taken. I'm not responsible for any injury or harm caused by use of the products that I recommended.
You know your pets, you do what you think is best for them or consult your veterinarian!