Boredom Busting

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gray cat sitting by a  light blue treat cannister
Gracie loves to get treats when the dogs do, but too many cat treats and she won’t be able to jump as high any more….

Working at home day after day, I could see for myself that young Gracie was bored. We just got two feet of snow over the weekend, so winter is not over yet! There are too few birds to provide window entertainment. If I petted her when she was in a mood, she would claw and bite me but playing made everything better. I realized that she needed much more playtime to keep her energy in check. Unfortunately, I must work full-time and can’t play with her as much as I’d like. So, I splurged and bought her some things to entertain her. Sixteen-year-old Nami was eager to play, too, which warmed my heart. She didn’t need it as much as Gracie, but she certainly wanted it!

Bengal cat sitting on an irregularly-shaped wood table.
Nami is bored, looking for a little action from her position on the coffee table.

For three or four years, we’ve had a corrugated cardboard hexagon lying about for the cats to use to sharpen their claws. When I brought it home from the store, I set it on the bathtub’s wide edge until I decided where it should go. The cats took to it immediately, and I decided not to move it. It had become Gracie’s favorite hang-out, and she often slept there at night, with her head inside and her butt hanging out. Whatever. But when she started biting and tearing at the edges, I knew it was not long for this world.

A gray cat is standing in a corrugated cardboard hexagon about 12 inches deep. She is sitting half in, half out, with her face and light green eyes looking to the camera.
Gracie is happy to have her hexagon on top of the bookcase in my work area. Now she has a spot of her own while Nami takes the heating pad. She was happy to find her old friend!

I have bought other open-sided corrugated cardboard claw-sharpeners for the cats, but none seemed to have the same appeal. Then one lazy weekend, I found what I thought would do the trick on the internet. Ta-da! The cat’s new hideout!

Gray cat lounges in the opening of a peach colored box. The box is enclosed on all sides, with a front door facing me (full of cat) and  a back-side escape hatch.
I’m so glad you can see Gracie in this picture. I discovered the ultimate camouflage is the gray cat in the shadows of the hideout. We’d only see an occasional fang and her collar!

I placed on the bathtub’s wide lip again because the master bathroom is a favorite place for the pets to lounge. It faces southeast and is arguably the warmest room in the house before noon. Gracie has made it her favorite place, so I placed the new hideout in the same spot. Success!

A gray cat sits in its box while a Bengal cat sits atop the box roof, reaching down with one  paw in an attack on the gray cat.
Nami challenged Gracie for the hideout, but Gracie held firm. Nami’s whack (one of several) was quick and ineffective. Gracie never stands up to Nami, so I knew she was partial to her position. If I’m not mistaken, she is smiling here!

On to the toys! We already established in our home that Yeowww! brand catnip is superior to anything else on the market. Our cats have one little fish toy sold by Yeowww! with their trademark catnip, and even Nami likes to play with it. So, I found a Yeowww! kicker for Gracie, who loves to kick my arm, so she should love the toy. I bought more of the little fish and a container of the Yeowww! catnip so that I might marinate some other toys in it. After all, no need to argue with success.

Bengal cat with bright green eyes holds a kicker toy under her body with an end sticking out between her front paws.
Nami possessively guarding custody of the Yeowww! kicker.

I couldn’t even get the labels off the kicker before Nami started trying to grab it away from me. The Yeowww! fish are also getting batted around. I bought some cork toys that are beginning to get some playtime. I bought some little plastic rings that are easy for a cat to carry in its mouth. I once had a cat that loved to bat around bottle caps and play fetch with them, so I thought the rings might appeal to Gracie. She’s played with them some. I’ve held several things back to introduce in a couple of weeks.

A gray cat plays with a bright pink squiggly plastic ring. Nearby is a cork toy.
Gracie playing with the ring while the cork toy awaits its turn.

The cat toys aren’t fixing my boredom, but I have enjoyed watching the cats enjoy their toys and fight over share the hideout. I’m relieved that Gracie has accepted a new place where she feels secure to watch us come and go. It’s positioned right above the heater vent, too, so she should be warm and snug!

Bengal cat sits in the box hideout, looking at me like she owns the place (a time-share, really).
Nami looked a bit smug when she finally got a chance to occupy the hideout.
A bray cat peaks out of the whole in the box hideout. All you can see is the right side of her face as the left side remains inside to box. She is looking at me curiously.
Gracie watches me from the safety of her hideout.

41 comments

  1. Cats get bored with the outrageous toys and accessories we buy them. For one year my two cats adored their matching pop up tent beds..then one day..together..they decided they were bored.

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  2. Mee-yow such grate hide-outss Nami an Gracie! Wee have nothin like this up here!!
    LadyMew tried a cork toy an mee was all ‘MEH’ ’bout it. Shee has looked fore those kind of ringss an again nothin….
    LadyMew has showered mee over THE past 2 1/2 yeerss with ALOT of Yeowy ‘Nip toyss. Nip Nanner was OKay. Nip Ladybug was fun fore a while.
    Kicker was ‘meh’…..
    Poor LadyMew mee makess it diffycult fore her to buy toyss fore mee….
    Then again, it givess her sumthin to due at Pet Valu store beesidess jsut buyin foodabullss! Mew mew mew…..
    ***purrss*** BellaDharma (allways a Deeva an allwayss finicky!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad that my cats aren’t as picky as you, BellaDharma! I’m relieved that they like anything I bought. In the past, my cats weren’t interested.😔

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  3. That sardine can scratcher is cool. I have never seen one of those. How kind of you to get new toys and scratchers to entertain your kitties. 🙂

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    1. Gracie’s hexagon was really worn out inside and she looked sad trying to cram herself into it when she is too big. We discussed what she wanted, and I’m so glad I got it right! I was surprised to see Nami was interested, but seeing them share warms my heart! I hope you and LadyMew are doing well. Take care of each other!

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    1. I have been slow to get on board with toys and treats because purchases in the last were totally ignored. Getting the right kind of catnip really helped. And when I was desperate to find a hairball remedy that Nami would take, I found hairball treats that she loves. Gracie and the dogs love them too, so I guess I’m coming around on treats and toys!

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    1. You flatter me to think I’m that good at photoshop! I have plenty of crappy photos where you can hardly see the cat, so I posted one where she was more photogenic. And our senior cat is very spunky- she wanted the hideout, too! And she was quite smug the next day as she lounged in it. I’m happy they will share.

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  4. Wagnificent hideouts! Nami & Gracie are pawsitively well loved 😻 I’m sure they would love our hemp cat toys & wild catnip we grow. This year we have 2 new toys for cool cats coming out; one will be available by the end of the month; hopefully ready to launch on Purple Day.
    Dot & Jerry Underfoot want to know where ever did you find that purrfect Tuna Can Hideout. It’s pawtacular 🐾💜🐾

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    1. New catnip toys? Yay! I actually found the sardine can hideout, made by District 70, on Chewy, but you can probably find it at other places as well. It is also a scratching post and the cats love it all!

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  5. I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved this post. At first I thought you photshopped Gracie in the sardine can, LOL! That is such a clever hideout for the cats. The cats and dogs do get bored. Jeff and I were re-learning West Coast Swing last night in our downstairs dance area, and Xena – who loves her Freestyle dancing – kept standing on her hind legs showing me she wanted to dance too. We danced for a long time with her on both two and four feet. Then she intently watched the instructional video with us and asked to dance some more! Sometimes I wonder…

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    1. Ha, ha! She’s pretty smart to be able to learn from a video, but no doubt she can. How wonderful to find a way to incorporate her into your dancing!
      BTW, we got a Perquackey game and have played a few times. It is a great change of pace, but my husband, youngest Son, and I enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yay! We have been searching for new cubes, as the letters are wearing off. When we finally get some, I’m going to put clear nailpolish on them to try to stop that from happening again. You may want to try that or shellac or something else like that.

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        1. Thanks for the tip. It looks like our box is from the 50’s and perhaps an estate sale, but the dice are in good condition. We have found it to be a collaborative game — no one can keep their mouth shut when they see a good word!

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          1. Ha, ha, ha! We write down the words we see off the side and tell each other after the turn is over. We seem to have some telepathy going on, though, as the other one often gets that word soon after it was written down (and no, we don’t cheat by looking at what the other one wrote, LOL!)

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          2. We have seen similar telepathy. I’ll see a word but haven’t said it, and then they suddenly put it together. So then we congratulate them for listening. Since my husband is very competitive, we’re happy that he brings it down a notch on this game.

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  6. Love the sardine box! I have two gray cats. One looks like your Gracie and the other is smaller with a longer nose and slightly deeper shade of gray. She is much harder to photograph. Seems like her gray blends in with everything. What a different a shade or two makes. Glad your toys were successful. Usually my cats don’t play with anything I buy except for cat trees!

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    1. They were interested in anything with a different brand of catnip, so River took one of the toys that Gracie ignored. Oh well, at least someone is playing with it!

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