10 Simple Indoor Cat Enrichment Hacks (Apartment Approved!)

Cat sitting on a window sill, and looking at a plant beside the window

Keeping your kitty indoors is the best thing you can do for your fur pal. You protect them from so many dangers – cars, predators, illnesses, and more… And you also keep wildlife safe! Did you know that free roaming cats kill 1.3–4.0 billion birds and 6.3–22.3 billion mammals annually – in the USA alone?!

But hey, let’s be honest: apartment living can feel a bit…cramped for our natural-born explorers. No rustling leaves to stalk, no chirping birdies to pounce-dream about, just a never-ending game of dust-bunny catch and judging the goldfish from afar.

You can transform our (humble) homes into purr-adise with a few simple hacks. No fancy gadgets needed, just a sprinkle of creativity and a whole lot of love for our furry little ninjas. So grab your DIY thinking cap, dust off your catnip stash, and get ready to unleash the inner wildcat in your indoor kitty!

Rotational feeding

The easiest way to enrich (our) cats’ diet is by feeding them a rotational diet – switching up different proteins, brands, and textures. If you have a picky eater, you should check out my blog post! Here is how I turned my cat from a picky eater to a foodie.

If you’re looking for upgrading your cat’s meal time, check out this post about 5 simple things you can add to your pet’s food!

Bonus point: If you feed your pet this way, they are less likely to develop food allergies or intolerances, and your pet won’t become a picky eater!

Horizontal Spaces

Cats love climbing, jumping, and (looking down at everything and everyone).

If you have the space (and the means), get your cat a kitty tower/ tree. I got ours from Facebook Marketplace for pretty cheap – I just had to fix up one thing! My cat absolutely loves his kitty tree. We even brought it with us to our family’s house – we stayed there for a month, house/ dog sitting. 🙈

If you want to be fancy, you can take advantage of wall space and create a climbing haven! That’s my ultimate cat mom goal, but I can’t do it at our current place hehe.

Interactive play time

Don’t underestimate the power of good old-fashioned playtime! You are your cat’s only “connection” to the outside world, and the most exciting part of his life. 🥹💛

Dedicate some time each day to engage your cat with wand toys, feather teasers, or even just catnip kickers. The mental and physical stimulation will keep your kitty happy and healthy. Click here for 12 easy DIY toys for your cat – most of them are interactive!

But please make sure to not leave any toys that could be swallowed around the house. I didn’t do it and my cat had a terrible obstruction and needed emergency surgery (the surgeon removed almost 40 items)…

Cat using puzzle Petstages Interactive food toys

Keep your cat’s mind sharp by incorporating puzzles and interactive toys into their routine. These toys stimulate their natural hunting instincts and provide mental stimulation. Our cat LOVES his Petstages food puzzle! And I love it because you can use it in so many ways – for feeding them, when I’m gone for a day and don’t want the cat to get too hungry, and even to stop my cat from waking me up at night.

There are some really cool ideas for interactive toys that you can DIY – for $0!

You can also play “hide-and-seek” with your cat, but using treats! Hide treats in different spots around your home and watch as your cat uses their keen sense of smell to track them down. This game stimulates their mind and provides a fun activity for your indoor kitty.

Create window spot

Cats can be entertained for hours when looking outside through the windows. To be honest, I love bird/people/animal watching myself, so I get it.. 😅 Place bird feeders, squirrel feeders, or other wildlife attractions within view to entertain your feline friend. This simple activity can provide hours of mental stimulation.

Just double check on your local laws regarding wildlife feeders/ attractants. Some places might have restrictions on those.

Trick Training

Engage your adventure cat’s mind through training sessions. Teach them simple tricks or commands like sit, stay, or high five. It can be a really fun activity for you and your pet. Cat School is a great resource for that – they offer both articles, videos and an option to join their online membership. Training your cat isn’t as easy as dogs, but it’s definitely rewarding and a great “party trick” haha.

Don’t forget to include snacks and positive reinforcement 😸

Cat TV

This is probably the simplest idea of the ones listed here. There are plenty of channels and online videos dedicated to entertaining felines with birdwatching footage, fish tank simulations, and even calming nature sounds. It’s like Netflix for cats, and they’ll be glued to the screen (watch for catch launching at the screen, hoping to catch the birdie 😹).

Cat playing in the backyard Supervised outdoor time (Harness Adventures!)

For supervised outdoor adventures, consider harness training your kitty! Walks on a leash can be a great way to explore the neighborhood and get some exercise. Remember to always prioritize safety and make sure your furry friend is comfortable and secure.

Another great alternative to walks in harness is having your kitty in a pet safe backpack. I often do that in the summer when the ground is too hot for my kitty to walk on, but he wants to go exploring.

Catio

If you live in an apartment with a balcony, check out this site showing how you can turn the balcony into a purrfect catio. Some ideas are renters friendly!

If you have some outdoor space and are able to build/ buy a catio… I am so jealous 🙈 Your cat(s) will absolutely thrive with one of those. Some people do just a simple enclosure, but some create almost a separate house for their felines!

Grow cat friendly greens

I recently started growing a bit of wheatgrass for Chumka – he’s been trying to nibble on my plants. Growing some kitty grass can a) help your cat stay away from your plants and b) provide your kitty with some enrichment. It’s like bringing the outside world home! And wheat grass is really beneficial for cats!

There are a number of cat friendly greens that you can grow from seeds.

Get another kitty

This is a bonus one, as it’s not possible for most of us to get (yet) another kitty. However, if you are able to, I HIGHLY recommend it. I will live through you 😸

But on the serious note, having 2 cats can be quite beneficial, especially if you are a busy individual. The cats can keep each other company, be each others play buddies… and you get to have double the purrs and cuddles 🤭🥰

Final words

I hope you found something helpful in this blog! I’ve been trying to enrich my cat’s life while he’s stuck inside, recovering from his surgery.

Remember, the key to indoor cat enrichment is to tap into your kitty’s natural instincts and keep things fresh and exciting. With a little creativity and these simple hacks, you can transform your apartment into a purrfect paradise for your furry friend. Even if the great outdoors is just a raindrop-streaked windowpane away.

Please give your pet some love from me 🥰💛


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Paulina, Chumka's Mom

Paulina, Chumka's Mom

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