Cats are playful and active especially during dusk and dawn being crepuscular by nature. Although they sleep for up to 16 hours they can be hyperactive for the rest of the time. While this is adorable it can be annoying especially if they are at their most active during the night.
How to tire out a cat?
Here are some tips on do to tire out your cat:
1. Provide her with the right toys.
Allow your cat to have physical exercise and mental stimulation by providing her with interactive and stationary toys. These will allow her to burn energy and tire her out. Interactive toys like wand toys are great for cats but keep a routine as to when and how long she can play with them so your cat won’t get bored. Stationary toys like balls and mice are also okay but cat experts recommend toy cycling so your cat won’t get bored with them.
To do the toy cycling, take note of the top four or five toys your cat responds to or enjoys the most and put them away for future use. Alternate the toys you give to your cat for variety so she won’t get bored with them.
Here are some toy suggestions for your cat:
- track toys
- rubber chew toys
- agility toys
- automatic laser toys
- lure wand
- snuffle mat
- treat-dispensing toys
- rotating butterfly toys
- concealed motion toys
Do not give your cat very small toys that have tiny objects or ornaments as she may ingest it and small parts can get stuck in her throat. Toys that have strings or threads should not be left with the cat unattended as she may get entangled in them. Opt for toys that exercise your cat’s hunting instinct and consider the age of your cat.
2. Play with her.
Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes twice each day just playing with your cat. It will keep her mentally stimulated and will strengthen the bond between the two of you.
Here are some suggestions that you can try for your playtime sessions aside from using interactive toys:
- play hide and seek
- teach her a trick
- give her an empty box
- blow bubbles and let your cat chase them
- set up a treasure hunt by hiding treats in certain spots in your home
- engage her in a game of tag
- download cat apps on your phone and let your cat watch it
These are the benefits of playing with your cat:
- it contributes to strengthening her bones and muscles
- it stimulates her cognitive abilities
- it balances your cat’s metabolism, weight and cardiorespiratory rhythm
- it prevents behavioral problems due to stress, boredom and tension
- it makes your cat well-socialized
3. Train your cat.
You can also keep your cat busy and tire her out by training her. It also encourages good behavior and cats usually repeat actions if it produces a consequence or reward.
Clicker training helps condition your cat to associate the clicking sound with a positive reward. This is done by clicking a small plastic device with a metal strip each time your cat does something you want. Give her a treat with each click so your cat will associate a click with a treat.
Leash training is done so you can take your cat for a walk and a safe way for indoor cats to explore the outside world. Give your cat a few days to get used to the harness and leash and you may also apply clicker training with this. Patience and understanding of your cat’s personality are essential if you are intent on training your cat.
4. Get her a cat companion.
You can keep your cat occupied during her waking hours by getting another cat. Having a cat companion at home although you are away at work keeps your cat busy and preoccupied.
Here are the advantages if your cat has a cat companion:
- it keeps her happy and entertained
- it can prevent any destructive behavior
- your cat becomes better adjusted
However, before taking in another cat try to consider your cat’s gender and age and ask for opinions from your vet when it comes to choosing the right cat companion. You can also check our article on introducing two cats for additional information on this.
Other things to do to tire out a cat
Here are other things to do to tire out a cat:
- install a cat tower so your cat will be encouraged to climb and play
- create a hockey rink by placing a ball in a large cardboard box for your cat to chase around
- provide a treadmill or wheel and supervise your cat while she uses it
- bring your cat out for a walk so she can enjoy the fresh air and sceneries
- create agility courses by placing bars to jump over and tunnels to pass through so your cat will have ample exercise
You can schedule interactive play sessions with your cat during the night time so she can tire out more easily. Feed her a main meal before your bedtime since cats tend to become sleepy after a hefty meal. If she still annoys you during night time, a timed feeder may be helpful but reduce the meal sizes so your cat won’t become overweight.
How to tire out a kitten?
You can tire out a kitten by feeding her a full meal especially before bedtime. Spend time playing with her for at least 15 to 20 minutes during the day so she can have her exercise and to release pent-up energy. Switch up her toys so she will not get bored playing with the same ones and try to offer a variety of playthings. Try to pair your playtime sessions with a good meal to tire her out.
Stimulate your kitten’s mental abilities by keeping her entertained and challenged. Cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger recommends giving your kitten puzzle toys to hone her mental focus and skills. You can also add another kitten so your furry one will have a companion to keep her moving and entertained the whole day. They will be chasing and playing with each other which will zap their energy.
How do you tire out an indoor cat?
You can tire out an indoor cat by scheduling interactive play sessions during the evening. Use toys that imitate the movement of birds and mice like teaser and wand toys. If your cat loves to play fetch provide her with toys like softballs and furry mice toys. The jumping, chasing and swatting will wear your cat and tire her out.
How long does it take to tire a cat out?
It usually takes around 10 to 15 minutes of playtime during night time and just before bedtime for a cat to tire out. It will also help establish a bedtime routine for your cat.
Cats are energetic with a penchant for playtime. You can tire out your cat by providing her with interactive and entertaining toys to keep her busy during the daytime. You should also schedule playtime sessions with her for at least 20 minutes twice each day. Adding another cat to your household can also tire her out since she will have a companion to play with all day.
Image: istockphoto.com / Lightspruch