My indoor cat has a (rotating) variety of toys, things to climb on and scratch, and places to run around; I'm not concerned about him getting enough physical stimulation. But I've heard that cats also need mental stimulation. How do I best provide that, both when I'm playing with him and when he's alone in the house? I know that there are "puzzle toys" that reward solving the puzzle by dispensing kibble or treats, but I'd rather not have that happening all over the house (especially where any missed kibbles could be ground into rugs). What other options do I have for exercising his mind as well as his body?

The cat is probably 12 or 13 years old. Getting another cat isn't an option right now because of disease-transmission concerns. Other than being a carrier for something I'd rather not spread (coronavirus), my cat is healthy.

  • here is one way to do it youtube.com/watch?v=UrIsR7vyUXY i guess you have to do something simmilar,your question gives me some intellectual stimulation.the question is hard to answer :) Commented Jun 29, 2019 at 19:50

2 Answers 2


From what I've observed with cats, they tend to provide their own mental stimulation in the form of role-play. I've seen cats quiver with anticipation at the thought of jumping onto inanimate pieces of fluff. I've seen then dance around in imaginary play-fights with their toys.

Cats also include the environment in their role-playing. They'll creep around furniture to sneak up and attack an unsuspecting table tennis ball, crawl behind a sofa to lie in wait.

So you could try moving items of their environment to allow them to explore the house in different ways. Not large pieces of furniture (although you could if you wanted to), smaller items like side tables and foot-stools might provide some variety.


Having a bird feeder near kitty's favorite window is a great way to stimulate the mind. It gives something to focus on and get excited about, and you may even catch kitty chirping. A fish tank may also be exciting for kitty to watch, just make sure it is well secured from your furry friend.

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