For most of us around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a new reality and lifestyle that disrupted our day-to-day lives and routines. It is not an easy transition as our way of life, livelihood and incomes were shattered. We might not think of it, but it isn’t easy for our pets either. They too have to deal with the social distancing rules when outside and being near strangers. They have to adjust to their owners being home more and thus invading what they think is their space. Also not having certain relatives or pet friends to play with (in the case with dogs), and other ways their routines had to change. This is why we believe that entertaining a cat or a dog now is more crucial than ever for all pet parents reading this article.
For many of us working from home and self-isolating with our pets entertaining a cat or a dog and keeping them happy can be a challenge. Considering that our main focus at Bella’s House and Pets are cats and everything that has to do with them, we will keep this article directed at toys, games, and activities for you and your feline kids to engage in while the lockdown and restrictions are continuing to be in place in most countries around the world.
Health Precautions to Take to Keep Your Cat Healthy
Having said that, it never hurts to take precautions and keep social distancing and hygiene rules for your cats, the same ones we have to follow as people. Avoiding other pets and having strangers pet, kiss, or play with them is of utmost priority at the moment. Of course, washing or sanitizing your hands before and after you handle your feline friend and when you come home from the outside before you touch them is also a good practice to put in place.
Generally speaking, keeping all the health and safety regulations put forth by your country’s medical authorities is crucial. Although we don’t advice panicking and hoarding supplies, we do recommend that you keep a 14 day supply of all necessary items that your cat could need in case you have to be quarantined, such as food, litter, medical supplies, and other necessities that you use on daily and weekly bases for your cat.
For many of you, working from home became the new norm, but as we all know, most cats love to get in the way. Cats hanging out and invading your laptop’s keyboard is a famous comical behavior that happens to be normal for many felines. Thus, to be productive and keep your job while you work from the comfort of your home, keep entertaining a cat, and ensuring he stays out of your way is a top priority. As opposed to us humans who need our laptop, Netflix, internet, movies, TV, books, and other fancy ways to be entertained, cats can be entertained with much simpler tools, with some being absolutely free.
In this article, we want to give you several ideas for keeping your cats entertained and making cats happy with simple and absolutely free tricks. We would also like to highlight some very interesting toys that are currently on the market that can keep your cats preoccupied for long periods of time and not grow tired of them too fast.
If you are looking for DIY cat entertainment ideas, don’t worry, we have plenty of exciting bored-cat solutions and ways to bring some fun for cats during the pandemic!
Top 5 DIY Cat Toys For Entertaining a Cat
- We all know cats’ love for climbing into and playing with boxes. Are you getting food delivered to your door by Good Food or ordering stuff on Amazon? Make sure to keep those boxes and let your cat have at them.
- Fishing games: Turn a string into a fishing rod. Mount a shuttlecock to one end of a string and throw it across a room. Cats love chasing them!
- Agility: Google or search on YouTube “how to build DIY agility courses for your cats”. Many of them aren’t that difficult to build and are a great way to get your cat exercising.
- Ball games: Simply get a small bouncy ball and throw it against the wall. Most cats will have a blast jumping up and down trying to catch them.
- Food Puzzle: Drop a cat treat into a small water cup or some other non-breakable container that’s not very deep and that allows for the cat’s head to pass through, and let them figure out how to fish out the food with their paws or tongue.
Top 5 Cat Toys in 2020 For Entertaining a Cat
We have also reviewed several exciting cat entertainment toys and food puzzles that will keep your cat busy for long periods of time and don’t require a lot of financial investment, especially considering the economic situation we are in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Digger Slow Feeder
Catit Senses 2.0 Cat Digger Slow Feeder – this is one of the best puzzle feeders on the market at the moment for beginners. It has 5 tubes that vary in depth and width levels for adjustable and different levels of difficulty. They are easy to clean and are BFA-free, and the base is wide enough not to be knocked over by your cat. The game is perfect to prevent overeating and binge-eating and plays on cats’ natural hunting instincts by making them work and “hunt” for their meal.
Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center
Trixie 5-in-1 Cat Activity Center – This is Bella’s favourite toy and I am sure your cat will love it also. It features 5 unique activities with an array of games to keep your pet mentally and physically engaged. All five activities focus on different senses and make cats alternate between using their paws, tongue, and nose to “fish” their way to their favourite treat. This play set is sure to keep entertaining a cat and keeping your feline friend engaged and focused! It is dishwasher-safe so it is easy to clean once the playtime is over. It is big enough for several cats to play at once and has activities that are challenging enough to have a lasting appeal for your furry friends.
SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Toy Box
The SmartCat Peek-a-Prize Toy Box is one of our all time favourites as it is sure to keep entertaining a cat for hours on end. The point of the game is for your cat to use his or her paws to fish out two mini-balls (included) out of a hole-filled board. However, you can mix it up by using other items, ranging from favourite treats to favourite toys. It satisfies cat’s desire and natural instinct of hunting and stalking its prey, as well as stimulating him/her mentally. You can keep this game fun and novel by hidding new toys and items into the board, and your cat will usually end up chasing them around the room as the second bonus game, giving even more things to do for your cat during the lockdown.
Easyology Amazing Roller Cat Toy
The Easyology Amazing Roller Cat Toy is our top pick for a budget-friendly consumer and is a classic ball-and-track game for just $15. The toy is constructed out of 3 tiers with one colorful ball on each level. The movement of the balls mimics the movement of prey and your cat will chase the balls around the tracks trying to catch them. The construction is sturdy and safe without any small plastic parts or strings, hence without any choking hazards. The best part is that the Easyology Amazing Roller Cat Toy is quiet and will not disturb you if you are working, watching TV, or sleeping. This is one of the best self-entertaining cat toys out there that is simple and not expensive!
Ethical Pet Laser Exerciser
No list of cat toys can be complete without this all-time classic. The Ethical Pet Laser Exerciser has been entertaining a cat for generations and will be a sure hit with your furry friend! At less than $10 you cannot go wrong with this simple, yet effective way to keep your active feline pre-occupied and to tire him out. The LED light is safe for both cats and humans and is a great way to prevent having one bored kitty at home and also to add a little physical activity to his daily routine. The batteries are included and will last for a long time, the same as your cat’s interest in chasing the tiny red dot. For the price and the amusement value – this is a no-brainer!
Frequently Asked Questions about Cats and COVID-19
Q: Is there a vaccination for cats against COVID-19/coronavirus?
A: As of now, the same as for humans, there is no vaccination against COVID-19 available (we aren’t claiming that animals get the virus).
Q: How do I prepare for self-isolation if I have a cat?
A: Always make sure to follow the guidelines put forth by your government health officials for self-isolation, home quarantine, and lockdown. Keep enough food, litter, and medication that your cat takes, enough for at least 14 days.
Q: What if I cannot take care of my pet?
A: Try to make arrangements with your neighbors and family if possible, but first, call your local pet welfare organizations or shelters and ask for their advice and see what services they can recommend.
Q: Should I put on a mask on my pets when walking them outside?
A: Masks are a great way to help humans from spreading and catching the virus, however, we have heard of no such instructions from the health authorities to have animals wear them. We do suggest talking to your vet about vaccinating your pets against other respiratory diseases such as Bordetella, parainfluenza, and canine influenza, which are the most common vaccine-preventable respiratory diseases in pets.
Q: Can I bring my pet to work?
A: If your office and workplace allow cats, make sure to follow all national health and safety measures, and we also recommend keeping the cat close to you to avoid contact with other people.
Final Thoughts on Entarntaining a Cat During Covid-19
The current pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty and anxiety to all of us and is forcing many to re-adjust our normal ways of life. It is not an easy period for anyone and can also include your cats as they have to adjust to your new routines while you are stuck on lockdown in your home. Our pets are our family members and provide us with an immense amount of emotional support, unconditional love, and companionship. This is why it is important to ensure their well being and take extra care of them during this pandemic.
We hope that the list above gives you ideas for keeping cats entertained and occupied while also allowing you to do your job if you are currently working from home. If you have any further ideas about entertaining a cat or questions about anything you read here we would love to hear from you and as always we welcome your comments. Stay safe, be healthy, and take care of your loved ones!