Wind, snow, foul weather and the sun hiding behind clouds all day - winter is definitely not our favourite season. Even cats don’t like it that much - no flies to catch, no people to watch through the window, no way of stepping out the door with even one claw. Brr! Only birds looking for food are good entertainment. Warm radiators and blankets everywhere add, of course, +100 points to the comfort scale, but you have to find something to do from time to time. And today we’re looking for ways to make the time at home not that boring, just so it doesn’t cool down your cat’s feelings towards the heating season. Who’s coming to look for them with us?
Cat TV - new programs in the schedule
Winter is a great time to get interested in cat TV. And you don’t even need to hunt for the best prices in appliance stores - cat TV with its’ best, seasonal programs shows up at the window quite naturally, all you need is to encourage it well.
Depending on where you live - in the city, in a quiet neighbourhood, in a flat with a balcony or in a home with a big patio, your version of cat TV might take various shapes.
- Bird house - it’s the simplest and cheapest option to give your cat some entertainment in the winter and help wild birds in the coldest months at the same time. You can set up the bird house on your balcony, by the window or on the patio, making sure it’s secure and easily accessible for small birds (but definitely out of your cat’s paws reach). You can build one yourself, as a great winter DIY project or find a ready made one in a shop. What we don’t recommend is getting a bird house if your cats go out on the balcony or the patio - their hunting instincts may end badly for the birds coming for a free winter meal.
- Feeder for wild animals - when you have a bigger garden outside your house and it’s often visited by wild animals, you can think about placing a feeder for more species, like squirrels, small rodents, bigger birds or even deer, if you live closer to a forest and open fields. Once again, the first priority is to ensure safety for everyone, both the animals visiting you and your cats. If your cats get crazy outside and catch whatever they can get their paws on, there’s no point in tempting faith. But if your cats are happy staying in and you do organise a feeder for wild animals, remember to always check what sorts of snacks you can provide them - is it nuts, seeds, hay, maybe ready-made mixes? What you definitely shouldn't put in the feeders is leftovers from your table, processed foods and white bread.
When you safely install a cat TV receiver in form of a bird feeder, think about how you can make the best spot for watching the TV for your cat. Our MIA cat house will be great for it, set up by the balcony door, making it possible for cats to watch everything from the roof of the house. A good idea is also to place our scratchers and cat beds in places with similar view of the balcony or the garden. You can place the smallest of our scratchers - TOBI, on a window sill, where it will definitely encourage your cat to spend more time watching new episodes of “Among animals with a camera”. Of course, vertical scratchers, armchairs, desks or stools standing by the window will also be those spots where cat TV can play all day - without consequences of being bad for cats eyes :)
The CAT games - at home olympics
Bored in winter? Even if a cat can kill boredom with a longer nap, their body will need some type of activity at least a few times a day. This is why in winter we shouldn’t give up on the cat’s daily routine and toy hunting cycle, putting all the blame for boredom on the gloomy days, and, on the contrary, we should get the cat’s motor going to use up the energy buildup with an active play session, especially in the winter months.
Besides playing with a wand toy, a ball or a string, think about diversifying your cat's training arsenal by adding activities they can do on their own, ones that engage all their senses in a completely new way and will make them use up their energy. All sorts of kicker toys are a good option (those with catnip and valerian, like our KungFu will move even the most lazy of cats), as well as interactive toys, sniffing mats and toys that require the cat to work for their treat. You can also hide snacks in different areas of the house - in cat houses, on shelves, on window sills. Let the cat wandering around their usual walking route find a surprise treat and get inspired to look for more treasure.
Remember that with clocks going back and days shorter than ever, cats may feel a little bit lost, asking: why is the night so long now? If we help them manage their time better through play and set feeding times, the risk of mischief out of boredom is much lower :)
Christmas is is behind us and before we know it, the decorations hanging around the house will be begging to be taken down and put away into boxes to be ready for the next winter season. We’ve discussed how cats love helping with the Christmas prep right before Christmas:
If they like it so much, why don’t we involve cats in the post-Christmas chores? They will surely love taking down the tree and the possibility of running away around the house with every ribbon that happens to fall off. And they will definitely like being allowed to make baubles fall down, to test the boxes or to pack the decorations away. And once the decorations are gone, they will happily check all the “new” areas of the house and won’t hesitate to rub against every corner, threshold and piece of furniture that returns to its rightful place.
If you have boxes from myKotty scratchers and cat beds stashed away, their capacity will be purrfect to house all your Christmas decorations. Just remember to check three times if your cat isn’t being put away along with them before you close the box :)
Space full of warmth
Up until now, we were looking for ways to kill boredom but we wouldn't be ourselves if we didn’t turn our attention to some blissful lounging as well. After all, that’s what long winter evenings are for! Cats will definitely appreciate the possibility of laying around by the warm radiator, observing the world through the window from a comfy scratcher or helping the hooman with knitting during a Netflix marathon. If you don’t want the winter time to feel mundane and boring, for the time of your house heating being turned on and evenings being spent together on the couch, prepare them a real lounging paradise. More cat beds, more hiding spots, more warm blankets requiring more fur on it. Why not use winter to its fullest!
New year, new hobby? Changing the pages in the callendar is near and the post-Christmas chill with a cat on your lap is the purrfect time to look for a new hobby together and deepen your cat-hooman relationship. Maybe you found a cat photography photo under your tree and feel inspired to make an Instagram account for your cat to share their everyday life there? Or maybe you feel like doing some handmade goods and while chilling out on the Christmas-New Year’s break, you could start creating some little gadgets? Whatever you think of, we’re sure that your cat would still like to be at the center of action and put their 4 fluffs into every project. Cats are marvellous artists, graphic designers, handymen and even cooks - you just need to give them the chance to show their talents.
And how are you having fun with your cats in winter, fabCats? Is an extra cat bed and cat TV enough for them or are they joining every house chore out of boredom? We’re waiting in the comments for your ideas on fighting the winter cat boredom.
Ps. It’s the last blog in 2021 so with our entire myKotty team, we wanted to wish you, dear fabCats, swinging fun on the New Year’s Eve and a happy, fabCatstic New Year! See you in 2022.