From the Journal Kept by Bobby’s Owner, Bruce Lee Wilson
The other day, I had to stop and laugh. My cat, Bobby, a black and orange Toyger, ran into the living room in what seemed like a single bound. He leaped onto the sofa, then the chair and finally onto the TV stand. But he wasn’t done yet! He jumped down and sprinted passed me to his tree stand, where he acted like a mountain climber until he reached the top. There he paused for just a second, leaped down and ran out of the room.
Bobby’s burst of energy was something to see! Usually, he’s more like a laid-back couch potato. He loves to lay next to me as I watch TV or read the newspaper. He never seems to be in a hurry, sauntering around the house like he’s the lord of the manor.
I was curious enough about this occurrence to look online. Like most cat owners, I was pretty sure I knew the answer. And, an article on Petful.com supplied many reasons for this behavior.
Cats sleep a lot during the day and become more active at night. This behavior stems from their wild ancestors, who had to stalk their prey at night and hide from predators in the daytime.
Nowadays, cats are domesticated, and most live indoors. And, being housecats, inactivity has made them sedentary creatures. The burst of activity displayed at times is just their way of expending energy.
And, just like children, cats get bored. They still have that need to stalk their prey, even if it’s a toy mouse. Some felines will also develop bad habits, such as scratching furniture, fighting with other cats, or urinating on the carpet.
Even though Bobby had shown no signs of bad behavior, I thought I could help him with his boredom. We have a spare room that I thought would make a fun playhouse for him.
As Jackson Galaxy would say, I needed to “catify” the room. I bought another cat tree and added a couple of carpeted shelves that he could hang around on. I moved a stand in front of the window so he could watch the birds. I made sure to place his food and water away from his litter box.
I then brought him into the room so he could investigate his new surroundings. Bobby’s first reaction was to pounce on his favorite catnip mouse, batting it around the floor. After a few minutes, he turned his attention to the new cat tree. He sniffed at it a couple of times, then jumped up on it until he reached the top.
Wagging his tail back and forth, he then noticed the shelves to his left. He tentatively took a step, hesitated, then with more confidence leaped onto the first one. A few seconds later, he moved to the next shelf, sniffing the new scents of the carpet and wood.
After that first day, we started calling the spare room “Bobby’s Playhouse.” He seemed to enjoy the view from the window, playing with his favorite toys, and hanging out on the carpeted shelves.
Bobby’s Playhouse is now where he expends all that extra energy. I think it is because that room has become his domain. It is his territory to patrol and protect.
We still hang out together, with Bobby laying next to me as I watch TV or read the newspaper. He also likes to follow me around the house and yard, curious to see what I’m doing.
And, yes, when he gets that burst of energy, he likes to climb that mountain! But, it’s now in his playhouse.