How to build an indoor cat play area

playful kitten image by Lars Christensen from

Outdoor cats are more likely than indoor cats to face health risks and danger , even in rural areas. Predators, other territorial animals, cars and humans can create stressful situations for domestic felines who are out. Many people prefer to keep their cats indoors.

If your cat is inside most or all of every day, he will have a greater chance of staying healthy and safe. Creating an indoor play area can help keep him fit and entertained. Some cats respond better than others to play areas.

Find a suitable area in your home where you can set up a play yard for the cat. Cats love to look outside, so if the area has a window she can see out of, she may be more inclined to spend time in her cat playground.

Purchase one or two multilevel scratching posts to anchor the cat's play area. Then consider changing the playthings that you provide each week so that the cat remains curious and amused. You can often find reasonably priced scratching posts in the classified section of the newspaper or on sites such as Craigslist.

Hang one or two practice golf balls or cat toys from a sturdy and safe location such as the bottom of a table.

Place an empty box in the play area, with a hole in the box large enough for your cat to climb in and out of. Alternate the empty box with empty paper bags. Cats love to explore and to climb in and out of things.

Mix and match catnip toys. Alternate putting them in the play area along with small balls of unused yarn.

Toss a wicker basket or wicker wastebasket into the play area every now and then, and remove it a day or two later. The cat will enjoy climbing in and out of it as well as scratching the soft wicker.

Provide a comfy area for your pet to rest after play. Cats love enclosed areas to snuggle in, so think about using a cardboard box with a medium-size hole. Place a soft blanket or old sweatshirt inside for the cat to nestle in. Place the hole in the box facing a window if possible so he can see outside while resting.