How to Keep Your Kitten Entertained

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    Kristina Tyler

    Kristina is a full-time freelance writer who specializes in pet care topics. With her life-long love of animals and passion for learning, she thoroughly enjoys researching and writing about how to care for pets.

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  • Updated on: 22/04/2020

Are you bringing a new kitten home?  Kittens have lots of energy and love to play, meaning you will need to find ways to keep your cat entertained.

Read this article to learn why your kitten needs regular play sessions, how much playtime your kitten requires, and how to provide that playtime.

Photo by Dimitri Houtteman on Unsplash

Why Your Kitten Needs Playtime

Playing isn’t just about having fun.  It also teaches kittens the important skills listed below:

  • Communication – Playing with littermates teaches kittens how to communicate with other cats.
  • Hunting – Chasing cat toys develops hunting skills.
  • Eye-paw coordination – Batting toys around improves a kitten’s coordination.
  • Overall coordination – Running, climbing, and jumping around also improve coordination.
  • Self Confidence – Successfully catching “prey” during playtime boosts self-confidence.

Making sure your kitten gets enough playtime helps your new pet develop important life skills. But the benefits of playing with your kitten don’t stop there!  

See the list below to find out what the additional benefits are:

  • Burns energy – Tiring your kitten out will help your furry friend sleep at night.
  • Prevents naughty behaviors – Boredom leads to bad behaviors, but playtime keeps your cat entertained.
  • Saves your furniture – Providing a cat scratcher allows your kitten to keep his or her claws in tip-top shape without tearing up your furniture.  
  • Strengthens your bond – Playing with your kitten is a great opportunity to spend quality time with your pet.
  • Keeps your kitten in shape  – Excercise is necessary for optimal health and prevents unwanted weight gain.
@user18617236 / FreePik

How Much Playtime Does Your Kitten Need?

Generally speaking, cat parents should aim for several 10-15 minute play sessions per day.  The total time spent playing should be about 20-30 minutes per day.

How you break that time up depends on your cat’s preferences and your schedule.

Some cats like to play for longer durations.  If that’s your feline, you might be able to get all 30 minutes of play into one session per day.   

But if your cat seems to quickly lose interest, make your play sessions shorter but more frequent.

There are some cats who are always ready to play, especially when they are kittens. If that sounds like your kitty, try to squeeze in some playtime whenever you get the chance.    

Keep in mind that kittens have more energy than adult cats, so your little kitty will probably require even more playtime than the general advice given above.  Don’t worry, your kitten will grow up and settle down eventually.  

How to Entertain Your Kitten

Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

There are so many different ways to play with your kitten.  But if you are working and gone most of the day, you might not be sure how to keep your kitten entertained.    

Check out the advice given below.  You will find some great ways to keep your kitten occupied.  These ideas can be used whether you are at home or in the office.

Create a Play Area

Pick either a room or a corner of a room to give to your cat.  This space will become your kitten’s play area.  

Here’s how to create a cat paradise:

  • Give your kitten a view – Setting up a perch by a window allows your kitten to observe the outside world.  You can buy or make a perch.
  • Scatter toys around the area – These toys will provide your kitten with entertainment even when you are unable to play with your cat.
  • Provide cat scratchers – This will also keep your kitten busy.
  • Set up cardboard boxes – Sometimes the simple things in life are the most exciting.  Your kitten will have a blast jumping in and out of cardboard boxes.
  • Buy a cat tree – There are all sorts of cat trees on the market.  Some are short, some are extremely tall, and others include holes for hiding in.

Provide Toys for Your Kitten

There are tons of cat toys available in pet stores.  Which are best for your kitten? We have a few suggestions for you.

Puzzle Toys

Some toys are designed to stimulate your kitten’s mind by requiring mental effort from your feline.  These toys are meant to be filled with food. It’s up to your cat to figure out how to access that food.

Moving Toys

These types of toys are super exciting for kittens.  Some examples include:

  • A tube with a ball that your kitten can bat around.
  • A stand-alone cat wand.
  • An automatic laser toy.

Toys for Batting Around

Kittens love to hit toy mice and balls around the house.  When you are home and it’s time to play with your kitten, try tossing them around and encouraging your kitten to chase after them.  And even when you aren’t home, your kitten can still enjoy playing with them.  

Homemade Toys

On a budget?  Just make your own toys.  You could give your kitten a ball of crumpled up paper to hit around.  You could also punch holes into an empty water bottle, before filling it with food and giving it to your kitten.

The possibilities for homemade cat toys are endless.  You just need to get creative!  

Build a Catio

If you really want to keep your kitten entertained, consider building a catio.  This screened porch provides safe outdoor access. If you like that idea, follow the steps below.

Get Permission

Renters will need to make sure their landlords are okay with adding a catio to the home. If the landlord isn’t happy with that plan, you might be able to get around this by installing a catio that can be removed.  

Even if you don’t rent your home, you might need a permit from your city or homeowners association. This is something you should look into before you start the building process.   

Pick the Right Spot

You might not have a huge yard to work with.  That’s okay. You can make do with what you have.  The catio doesn’t have to be large.

An ideal spot to place the catio is underneath one of your windows that looks out to the backyard. This window is how your kitten will access the catio.

Choose The Best Option

Once you have permission and you’ve chosen a spot, it’s time to get the project going.  

But wait!  What if you aren’t handy with tools?  No problem. You could just buy a premade catio that requires installing.

Or maybe you have no problem with the building part, but it’s the design you are struggling with.  No need to worry about that either. You can buy a design plan that fits your situation and preferences.

Buy the Right Materials

If you have chosen to build the catio, you will need to purchase the right materials.  These materials include:

  • A Screen – This will keep your kitten from escaping the catio, and prevent wildlife from harming your fur baby.
  • Wood – This will provide adequate support for the catio.
  • Hard Base Material – Although hard, you can cushion the base material later.

Purchase and Install a Premade Catio

If you decided to buy a premade catio, you will need to measure the space you plan to fit it in.

After you buy the catio it needs to be installed.  As long as you measured correctly, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Test the Catio

Whether you’ve made your own or bought and installed a premade catio, it’s important to make sure it will keep your kitten secure.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Look around the entire catio for spaces where your kitten could squeeze through.  Remember how small kittens are.
  • Test the catio’s ability to support your kitten’s weight.  Keep in mind that your kitten will eventually grow up, so use an item that weighs about the same as an adult cat to test the catio’s weight-bearing capabilities.
  • Give the catio a good shaking to ensure it won’t come apart and that other animals can’t break inside.
  • Supervise your kitten the first few times he or she uses the catio.  You want to be absolutely certain the catio will keep your kitten contained and keep all dangers out before you allow your kitten to access the catio while you are gone.  

These steps are essential because they will reveal if your catio is safe for your beloved kitten.  Don’t skip them!   

Photo by Ernesto Bruschi on Unsplash

Quick Tip for Working Cat Parents

As mentioned before, the ideas in this article will help keep your kitten entertained while you are at work.  However, that doesn’t replace your kitten’s need to have one on one playtime with you each day.

If you are busy at work all day, it can be difficult to squeeze in this playtime.  A helpful tip is to play with your kitten right before you leave and right when you get home.

This routine will give you the opportunity to bond with your kitten.  Plus, the extra activity before you head off to work might help your kitten fall asleep as soon as you leave.

Keeping a kitten entertained isn’t really that hard.  All you need to do is follow the advice given in this article.  When you provide your kitten with plenty of playtime, your little feline will thank you for it!

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