Cats are already pretty darn fun on their own! They can turn just about anything into a toy and any boring event into a game. But if you’re looking to take things up a notch, I’ve put together a list of 29 fun things you can do with your cat!
Let’s get started!
1. Clicker Train Your Cat
My absolute favorite activity to do with your cat and my number one recommendation is clicker training. Clicker training is the process of teaching your cat new behaviors using positive reinforcement techniques. While it might look complicated and tedious it’s actually pretty simple-especially if your cat is motivated by food! You use a clicker to let your cat know the exact moment they’ve done the correct behavior and you reward them with food. You can teach your cat to high-five, get into a carrier, run through an obstacle course, or just about anything else you can imagine.
Not only is this a fun activity for both your and your cat, but it can also keep your cat mentally stimulated and even relieve stress.
Even better, is that you don’t need much to get started! Just a targeting stick, a clicker, and only a little determination. The team Cat School has a great clicker training starting kit that you can find on Amazon. It also includes some basic instructions to get started. Take a look at this video to learn more about clicker training and all the possibilities!
2. Tell Your Cat You Love Them With A Blink
Yes, you can communicate with your cat using blinks! In the wild, closing your eyes is dangerous! That’s part of why cats don’t actually need to blink in the same way we do (you can read more about that here). Instead, cats use blinking or soft partially closed eyes to communicate comfort, trust, and relaxation. That means blinking is one of the best ways to communicate with your cat using language they understand. Renowned cat expert Jackson Galaxy explains in the video below, “One of the only ways that we can just zoom in and get an instant relationship with a cat is by blinking.”
Simply make gentle eye contact with your cat (without directly staring) when they’re already comfortable and then slowly blink. If everything goes right, your cat will slowly blink back at you letting you know that they trust and love you!
You can learn more about this technique directly from Jackson Galaxy in the video below!
3. Teach Your Cat To Walk On A Leash
I’m a big fan of leash walking your indoor cats! You can actually see a picture of me and my cat Debbie on my about page. A harness is the best way to do this and while you might feel a little silly at first when you see how excited and interested your cat is in the whole new world around them that embarassment will fade away!
Depending on your cat, it can take some time for them to get used to the process. If you started with our first feline activity, clicker training, then you’ll already have a great system for rewarding your cat for wearing the harness!
The team at the Anti-Cruelty Society wrote about how to leash train your cat and they suggest you start with simply training your cat to wear a harness indoors well before you make your first trip outside.
I’ll be writing a lot more about leash training your cat along with the recommended harness but for now, I suggest you check out this simple and budget-friendly harness on Amazon which is all you need to get started!
4. Give Your Cat Some Catnip…And Watch Them Go Nuts!
If you’ve spent any time around cats, you probably know that catnip makes them go wild! Veterinarian Ramona Turner explains that “when cats smell catnip they exhibit several behaviors common to queens in season (females in heat): They may rub their heads and body on the herb or jump, roll around, vocalize and salivate. This response lasts for about 10 minutes, after which the cat becomes temporarily immune to catnip’s effects for roughly 30 minutes. Response to catnip is hereditary; about 70 to 80 percent of cats exhibit this behavior in the plant’s presence. In addition, catnip does not affect kittens until they are about six months old and begin to reach sexual maturity.”
I learned a lot just in that quick quote! So if you’ve got a kitten you’ll need to move on to another fun cat activity but if you’re got an adult furry friend then it might be catnip time! Watch these silly cats riding the catnip wave in the video below!
When it comes to buying catnip, I like to keep things simple and go for the bulk options. My favorite is Cat Crack (which you can see here on Amazon). It’s a lot more potent than some of the other options (at least for my cat) and the price is right.
5. Give Your Cat A Cardboard Box
While most people are pretty happy to have just about anything delivered in 2 days with Amazon Prime, cats are also pretty happy to have way more boxes in the house. Whether it’s chewing on cardboard, creating a cozy bed, or playing a game of cat and mouse with your legs cats seem to get an endless amount of enjoyment from a simple cardboard box.
If you want to get a little more interactive, try cutting out a small cat-sized hole in the cardboard and sealing the top. This will turn a simple cardboard box into an exclusive cat only clubhouse. You could also toss a little catnip inside to really spice things up!
6. Mount A Birdfeeder For Your Cat (And Look For The Kitty Chatter)
Cats love to watch birds and a well-placed bird feeder can give your cat hours of excitement and mental stimulation. But these aren’t just activities for your cat…these are fun activities for both of you!
So after you mount your bird feeder (this is the one I recommend), sit back, and watch your cat do something you may have never seen before: the kitty chatter.
Cats typically chatter in reaction to prey and I see this most often with birds. Your cat will stare intently at the bird and then rapidly chatter their jaw (like you might if you were really cold) while making a quiet meow. It’s fun to watch and you can both enjoy sitting by the window and watching the birds come by. Just so you know what you’re in for, check out this complication of cats chattering!
7. Toliet Train Your Cat
Maybe you’ve mastered the clicker training and you want to take things to the next level with complete toilet training for your feline roommate! Litterbox training can have a lot of benefits from saving on litter to not having to clean the box daily! Still, it might be a little strange to accidentally walk in on your cat doing their business and have to patiently wait outside the bathroom for your turn!
Not every cat will be able to quickly master toilet training but if you’re ready to give it a shot you’ll need to use a product like CityKitty (click here to check it out on Amazon). This helps you convert your toilet into a litterbox and slowly transition from litter to a regular toilet. If you want to see the product in action you can watch a video here. Just be aware, that when I say “in action” I really mean it.
In other words, if you click on that video you will be watching a cat poop!
8. Hide Treats Around The House
It might take a little while for your cat to catch on but if you start hiding treats around the house your cat will eventually figure out that exploring can lead to snack time! Like many of the activities on this list, playing little games like this can keep your cat mentally stimulated and active all while giving you constant entertainment. If you keep this up, you’ll eventually notice that your cat naturally starts exploring similar areas in the hope of a snack.
This is pretty similar to what your cat would do in the wild as they would search around small nooks and crannies where small game might be hiding! You’ll have a lot of fun hiding treats for your cat with increasing difficulty and this can also be a fun game for kids!
9. Introduce A Food Puzzle
Similar to our last activity, introducing a food puzzle will keep your cat active while keeping you entertained. It might not be as fun as hiding food around the house, it still gives you plenty of entertainment and keeps your cat happy! My favorite is the Catit food tree and you can see the latest price on Amazon by clicking here.
Check it out in action!
10. Brush Your Cat
Brushing your cat is simple, fun, and has benefits for both you and your cat! Your cat gets to enjoy a cleaner and healthier coat while getting the attention that they love.
But there are some major benefits for you, too! According to Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D. “The act of petting your cat releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone or “cuddle chemical,” which can make you feel less stressed”
That means that not only is this something fun you can do with your cat but also a great way for you both to stay healthy! While I recommend you get a nice cat brush (this is my favorite on Amazon) all you really need is your hand!
11. Draw A Picture Of Your Cat
Even if you aren’t exactly an artist, drawing a picture of your cat can be a lot of fun! It will also help you appreciate your cat as you take time out of your day to really pay attention to the features of your feline friend. This can be a lot of fun if you have kids too as everyone will come up with a different variation of your cat once the pen goes to paper! There’s a good chance your cat will enjoy the attention but just make sure you practice the slow blink (see number 2) as you study your feline subject!
12. Take A Nap
What could be easier?
When you take a nap with your cat you’re taking part in one of their favorite activities and you can get some rest! This can be especially fun for your cat if you typically don’t let your cat sleep in bed with you. In that case, a nap with their human would be a real treat!
13. Watch YouTube With Your Cat
While it might be tempting to watch the latest complication of cat videos on YouTube and call that a fun thing to do with your cat what I’m really talking about here is watching videos for cats instead of videos of cats!
And there’s a big difference!
There are thousands of videos for cats on Youtube most of which feature close-up shots of birds, squirrels, and mice. While not all cats will react strongly if you find something your cat likes there’s a good chance you’ll get their attention. Make sure your volume is turned on so that your cat can hear all the noises that the little critters will make. My own cat really enjoys watching these videos but loses interest after a few minutes. But not before she does a few circles around the laptop to try and figure out where those birds are hiding!
You can click here to see a list of videos on Youtube but a simple search will do the trick too!
14. Create An Obstacle Course For Your Cat
Creating an obstacle course or challenge zone for your cat can be super fun! This can also be a great one for kids as long as they’re old enough to understand how to make the course safe.
The easiest way to do this is to build your obstacle course in an area that your cat typically walks through. But don’t force your cat to do something they don’t want to do or trap them in an area. Instead, you can use your positive reinforcement skills (see fun feline activity #1) to encourage your cat to engage with your obstacle course for a treat or petting!
For example, to create a jumping challenge you could use any soft material from around the house (toilet paper or paper towels work great) and build a barrier that your cat has to jump over for a treat. You can slowly increase the height of the tower to see just how high your cat can jump! Most cats have a vertical jump of about 5 feet but maybe your cat is the Michael Jordan of felines!
You’ll never know unless you create a toilet paper jumping challenge!
There are hundreds of videos like this on YouTube but here’s one of my favorites:
14. Take Care Of A New Feline Friend
This fun feline activity won’t make sense for all cats but if your cat happens to love new feline friends (like my cat does) then introducing a foster cat or kitten to your home could be a lot of fun! This works best if you’re fostering kittens since they’re going to be much more outgoing and more likely to be happy to meet a new cat.
Not sure what fostering is?
It’s simple! There are shelters all over the world that need help taking care of the animals in their care. They need temporary homes so the cats and kitten can get out of the shelter until they’re ready for adoption. In the US, kittens can’t be adopted out until they’re 8 weeks old and at least 2 pounds. That means kittens in the shelter that are under that weight need somewhere to go while they grow up and your home is the perfect place!
I’m a BIG fan of fostering kittens. Not only do you get to have fun but you also get a chance to help raise and socialize a kitten (or kittens) in need! All you need to do is contact your local shelter and let them know you’d like to become a foster parent. Each shelter will have its own process for becoming a foster parent.
But keep in mind, some cats will NOT want to have a kitten in the house. So you need to have a good understanding of your resident feline before you bring home a friend. You’ll also want to make sure that your cat is up to date on all their vaccinations and consult with your veterinarian since bringing home a new kitten (even temporarily) can expose your cat to a variety of conditions.
15. Play Peekaboo
Yep, most cats would love to play a game of peekaboo! All you need to do is get your cat’s attention and then immediately hide behind a wall or corner. Wait a few seconds and then peek around the corner again! If you do it right, you’ll know it because your cat will suddenly get wide eyes and very interested! If you’re not getting the response you expected, try dangling a toy around the corner to let your cat know you mean business!
You could also try playing a game of peekaboo using some blankets! We already know that many cats like going under covers and blankets which makes for the perfect game of hide and seek!
If you’re looking for an expert level demonstration of peekaboo check out the video below! Notice how the parrot shouts “peekaboo” just to let everyone know exactly what’s going on. It’s completely optional but you should try that too!
16. Brush Your Cats Teeth
Okay, this might not be the most fun thing you can do with your cat but before you move on to the next one know that some cats really do like getting their teeth brushed! That’s because the modern feline toothpaste tastes pretty darn good! Even better, you can actually get toothpaste that doesn’t even require brushing. You can read more about the best toothpaste for your cat here.
Even if your cat doesn’t love getting their teeth brushed (and instead just tolerates it) it’s still a great activity to do with your cat because of all the health benefits! VCA Hospitals explains that “Periodontal disease is one of the most common and serious pet health problems, affecting approximately 70% of cats by the age of 3. At-home prevention is as important as regular teeth cleaning by veterinarians. In fact, unless you provide teeth cleaning for your cat at home, feline periodontal disease will progress regardless of the care provided by your veterinarian.”
Yep, brushing your cat’s teeth is that important!
17. Download An App For Your Cat
If you’ve got a tablet and a cat then you’re in business! Considering the popularity of cats on the internet, it’s surprising that the first app ever made wasn’t for cats! Instead, there’s only a handful of apps available but they all center around the same idea: your cat gets the chance to chase down some digital prey!
What happens next depends on the app but in the case of Paint for Cats every tap of your tablet drops a splotch of digital paint. You’re left with a painting created by your favorite feline! The only thing left to do is get a frame and mount the masterpiece on your wall!
You might be wondering if your cat is going to scratch your tablet when they play these games. While I don’t have personal experience in this particular activity, the team eNCATechReport explains that after testing a few dozen apps with several cats they haven’t had any issues with scratching. No guarantees though!
They also found that the most popular app is Cat Fishing 2 which you can find here. As I side note, I love the fact that they released a sequel!
18. Play With Da Bird
While you could play with just about any toy, and for many cats, a crumpled piece of crinkly paper is all you need, my absolute favorite cat toy is Da Bird. This wand toy features spinning feathers that most cats go absolutely crazy for! If your cat prefers to chase things on the ground (instead of aerial prey) you can also drag it along the ground, too. You can click here to get the latest price on Da Bird and order from Amazon.
I’ve really never met a cat that didn’t want to play with Da Bird but you have to figure out if your cat is more interested in prey like birds and moths or things that crawl like grasshoppers and other bugs. Once you figure that, it’s time to play!
A quick note: ANY cat toy can be destroyed, dismantled, and possibly eaten. You absolutely do not want that. So always monitor your cat when you’re playing with any toy and make sure to safely store the toy in a place that your cat can’t get to it later.
With that word of caution, you might be wondering why not use a laser pointer?
Laser pointers can be a lot of fun, but sadly your cat can never get the satisfaction of actually capturing their prey. Instead, the laster pointing is perpetually out of reach! Over time this can be pretty frustrating to cats! So while the occasional laser pointer isn’t a bad thing, I wouldn’t make it the number one activity for your cat and it’s always good to mix in some other toys that they can at least safely capture from time to time!
And if you haven’t seen Da Bird in action before, check out the video below! You can see how much Da Bird really looks like a bird flying around the house!
19. Build A Cat Tree
If you’re handy and have some basic tools you can build your own cat tree! There are tons of instructions and how-to guides on YouTube and it all depends on what kind of cat tree you want to build! If it’s your first time, I suggest you start with something very simple or even consider adding to your existing cat tree.
While most cat trees include carpet or other material that’s scratch friendly you can actually build a cat tree entirely of PVC and plastic bedding! This style of cat tree can be very simple to build and it’s possible to clean with soap and water!
20. Create Social Media For Your Cat
Creating a social media account for your cat can be a lot of fun but it can also be surprisingly profitable! The late, great Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat) has a net worth of more than $99 million!
Okay, you and your cat might not hit it big like Tardar Sauce but even a few followers for your furry feline friend would be a lot of fun! To get started, all you need is a phone and a social media account! You can use just about any platform but Instagram and YouTube seem to be the most popular for feline celebrities!
Make sure to take photos that show off your cat’s unique personality or look! If you’re not sure how to show off your cat then pick any of the fun things off this list and get started! You could always start with clicker training (I told you it was my favorite) and show off your cat’s new tricks!
21. Make Some Cat Toys
Making your own DIY cat toys is another great activity for you and your cat that’s also kid-friendly! Just remember that cats are going to do their own thing so don’t be disappointed if you spend time making a beautiful cat toy only to have your cat decide to play with a piece of paper instead!
It’s all about having fun during the toy-making process and doing something nice for your feline!
You can check out the video below to get some great ideas for creating DIY cat toys! My favorite is the ping-pong ball with rice! Always make sure that the toys you create are safe and be sure to supervise your cat’s playtime especially if it’s the first time they’re playing with toys.
22. Create A Kitty Arena In Your Bathtub!
All you need for this one are some ping-pong balls from Amazon and a bathtub. Place your cat in the bathtub, dump the ping-pong balls, and let the fun begin! The bathtub creates the perfect slope so that your cat can knock the ping-pong ball around and it almost always bounces back without ever leaving the tub!
You can always use just one ping-pong ball but with budget-friendly bulk options on Amazon, I like to drop about 10 ping-pong balls into the tub at once and let the games begin!
23. Plant Some Cat Safe Plants
You could plant some cat grass in your home to give your indoor cat some extra enrichment and a taste of the outdoors! While you may have heard the term cat grass mentioned before, veterinarian Lori Teller explains that “Cat grass isn’t any one type of grass but can be a combination of grasses, such as rye, barley, oat, and wheat.”
Even though cat grass might sound as healthy as a salad, your cat is an obligate carnivore which means they only need animal meat to get all the nutrition they need.
So why do cats like cat grass at all?
Veterinarians aren’t entirely sure but there are some theories out there. Dr. Teller explains “It is also thought that the chlorophyll contained in the grass could serve as a mild pain reliever and help keep the cat’s breath fresh.”
Even though cat grass isn’t a nutritional requirement for cats, there are still plenty of benefits. VCA hospitals say that “Grass benefits even well-fed cats. Grass provides roughage that aids digestion and elimination. Cats that eat grass routinely may have more regular gastrointestinal tracts, fewer hairballs, and less constipation.”
What’s not to love about cat grass?! Cats love to chomp, chew and rub their cheeks on it and it can help with hairballs and fresher breath! The easiest way to get started is to pick up a kit that comes with soil, seeds, and a planter. This simple set is my favorite on Amazon and you can easily transfer the planter into small mugs or jars so you can have cat grass throughout the house. You’ll have a lot of fun planting the seeds and watching your cat enjoy the fruits (or grass) of your labor!
25. Make Some Homemade Cat Treats!
If you like to cook then making some delicious homemade kitty treats might be the perfect way to have fun with your cat. If you use the recipe in the video below, there’s a good chance your cat will take in interest in all the ingredients (especially the sardines) so not only will they “help you” prepare the meal but they’ll certainly be happy to taste it at the end!
Homemade treats can be nutritious and since you know exactly what you’re feeding your cat you never have to worry about giving your cat unhealthy treats. The possibilities are really endless when it comes to making your own but just remember that your cat is a carnivore which means whatever treats you make should be meat-based. If you’d rather follow a recipe, check out the video below for a sardine and turkey kitty treat!
26. Give Your Cat A Massage
I’m sure you already pet your cat but have you ever considered giving your cat a little massage?
Just like with humans, massage therapy can have a long list of benefits. The team at Purina wrote a guide on massaging your cat and they explain that “massage stimulates the nerves, muscles, circulatory and lymphatic systems in cats too. This, in turn, enhances motion, increases oxygen supply, and helps to flush away toxic compounds that cause pain. It’s also been used to treat depression and anxiety – which makes it ideal for rescue cats who’ve had a rough start in life.”
You don’t need to be a certified professional to give your cat a massage but you will need to start slowly. There’s a good chance that your cat hasn’t received a massage before and so the experience might be a little confusing. Also, remember that your cat is small! You only need a little pressure to get the benefits of massage!
27. Try Some Cat Yoga
Cat yoga might sound like teaching your cat to get into a warrior pose and as interesting as that’d be it’s not something I can recommend! Instead, we’re talking about doing yoga with your cat. I know that if I do any kind of stretching on the floor my cat is very interested! While it can sometimes slow down the process, if you plan in advance, yoga with your cat is definitely a fun thing to do!
If your cat isn’t into yoga you could always try to find a local studio that offers cat yoga. Yep, that’s a real thing and these types of yoga plus animal classes are growing in popularity. Check out this yoga studio in New York which features rescue cats that are available for adoption! What a great idea!
28. Listen to Cat Music
There are a growing number of studies that support the idea that cats do like music. But that it has to be “species-appropriate” music. Care.com explains that “Cats, with their acute sense of hearing, instinctively prefer music that corresponds closely with the sounds they use to communicate with each other, such as purring and meowing.” That doesn’t mean that your cat only wants to hear music with other cats purring but instead, it’s all about frequency.
So what type of music is best? Dr. Wagner, a specialist in the growing field of music for animals recommend two types of music: “Calming music has lower tones, slower tempos, and minimal instrumentation, while enriching music is just the opposite. For example, a soothing Chopin piano sonata calms your kitty down, while a lively Bach flute sonata encourages her to jump and play.”
There are also entire YouTube channels dedicated to relaxing cat music. While we’re talking about fun things to do with your cat, these YouTube channels can be great for when you’re out of the house. It’s easy to find a video that 15 hours (or more) so that your cat can have some relaxing music while you’re away.
29. Throw Your Cat A Party
It’s all led up to this! We’ve reviewed 28 fun things you can do with your cat and now it’s time to combine your favorites into a party for your cat! The obvious choice is a birthday party but it really could celebrate any event! You could make some homemade treats for your cat, take them on a stroll through the neighborhood and then settle in for some relaxing cat music! Or create some one of a kind artwork with the latest cat painting app and then get to work building your own masterpiece in the form a DIY cat tree.
The possibilities are endless!
That’s my list of 29 fun things to do with your cat! With this list, you and your cat can have fun for days! If you’re feeling up to it, I suggest you start with clicker training your cat because once you’ve got the basics of that down the possibilities really are endless! But if you’re looking for something a little more simple, consider starting with some nice music or a cat app!
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