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I have two lovely cats.

I live on five rural acres and am a birder; then this stray cat came into my life. He is an avid and effective hunter. Much as it breaks my heart, I cannot allow him to roam freely to hunt and kill the wildlife.

I got him a cat companion. He has a cat door that leads to an outdoor shelter. I take him and his companion out each day for two half hour walks on a leash. They have three cat towers and every toy I've ever seen.

I try playing with them, but they seem jaded. They are indifferent to lasers, birds on wands, ping pong balls, etc. They simply want to be outside. They don't mind the leash, but I can't give them more than an hour a day. (They will not stand to be tethered to a fixed point even if I'm gardening nearby.)

Oh, yes, I tried cat bibs, too, but they still managed to catch birds.

What can I do with my restless cats? I always feel guilty.
Earthakit
 

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Hmmm...that's a tough one. My girls are indoor cats. They have an outdoor enclosure, but it's very small (just a large dog crate). So, they're not used to being outdooors too much. I'll give you some suggestions as to things I do with my girls, although you might have already tried what I'm about to suggest and/or the suggestions might not work for you, given that your cats have been used to running free outside (whereas mine have never had that opportunity).

First, have you tried Da Bird? It is a bird on a wand, but it's very realistic...much more so than other wand toys. If you haven't, you might give it a shot. Second, when I play wand toy games with my girls, I find their interest perks up if I make the toy act like real prey...so make it hide behind furniture or inside a tunnel, or slowly climb up against a wall, etc. My girls are often bored silly if I just wave the toy about, but as soon as it's hiding or climbing, they come to life. How are they with things like paper bags and boxes? That's something else my girls enjoy. Finally, I find my two get bored of the same toys all the time, so I'm in the habit of only letting them play with a few at a time...I put the other toys away in a closet and then rotate toys every week. It typically takes a month to rotate all the toys...so, when I bring out the new rotation, my girls think they're getting new toys.

Perhaps others here will have other suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Susan, for taking the time to answer this question.

I do have "Da Bird" and the cats were crazy about it at first, but not very much now. And you're right about making the toys act like prey; that's the only way I can grab their attention for a while.

I've read about the toy rotation idea but haven't made much use of it so far. So I'll be more diligent in trying that.

Thanks, again.
 

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Try putting a blanket over one of the cat tree towers. My girls like to hide and sneak attack each other using that. Also, I spread some heavy packing paper out in my living room, they LOVE it! They like to pounce on it, hide under it, they just love the way it sounds.
 

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I know exactly how you feel with the boredom problem! My cat was a stray who I adopted from a rescue centre and she too tends to get very bored with her toys quite quickly (I have to keep her inside as I live in an apartment). A classic solution is a collar and bell of course, I don't know if you've tried it. Tends to notify the birds :)
 
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