Photo: Playing hide and seek with your dog is such a fun thing to do indoors for both of you. Shutterstock.
As much as our pets love playing outdoors, sometimes they have to be inside. Playtime inside is very different from how they can play outside. With pets, you need to keep them stimulated and get the most out of life.
When pets are stimulated, they are less likely to cause a disturbance in your home – it’s a win-win situation. Playing with a dog outside is easy – throw their ball or stick and let fetch begin. However, how do you translate this activity to an inside game? Keep reading for some indoor pet games.
Sniffing Out Treats
Dogs have incredible noses and can sniff out almost anything. This concept is a great place to start with an indoor activity for your pet and is an indoor version of fetch. Place a few of your fluffy friend’s favorite treats around the house and let them find it.
Your dog will put its senses to work as it engages the sense of smell as it tries to find these delicious hidden treasures. You can also set the difficulty level of this activity depending on where you decide to hide the treats and how many.
You can utilize your home and all its features to help your dog have fun indoors. You could use the stairs as part of this activity. You always need to take into consideration the fitness level of your pet when deciding on activities.
If you have a dog who has much energy, here is the game for you. You can throw a ball up or down the stairs for your dog to retrieve. Do this action several times so that your dog is using up their energy in a fun and stimulating way.
If you have some friends who have dogs, why not invite them all over for a puppy play date? Dogs are generally very social creatures, so having a friend there with them inside could be much fun and get their brains and bodies stimulated.
It’s also then a fun opportunity to hang out with your human friends. You can all watch a movie together if it’s a rainy day and let your dogs entertain each other. As much as dogs love humans, they love a fellow four-legged friend just as much.
When the weather is good, your dog is most likely enjoying time outside, or you’re going for a walk or a run with them. Take this inside time to teach your dog some tricks. It’s also an excellent time to practice skills because it’s true that you can teach an old dog new tricks.
This idea is the perfect opportunity to train them as it’s an activity that is suitable for inside, and they’re less likely to be distracted from what you’re trying to teach them. It will also keep you occupied for a while until the sun appears again from behind the clouds.
If your dog doesn’t have a Kong ball, you need to order one right now. These balls are great for keeping your dog entertained inside. It’s also a great toy to keep your dog occupied when you aren’t at home and if they get stressed when you’re not there.
You can hide treats in these balls to keep your pet busy trying to get it out. It gives the dog a challenge, but eventually, the snack will fall out, and your dog can enjoy the game’s reward before getting too annoyed with it.
Here is another version of fetch that can be played indoors. It is called “hall ball.” If you have a long hallway, you can have a lot of fun with this game. You’ll throw the ball down the hallway for your dog to go racing after.
You won’t have to stress about being broken because there is only one way for the ball and your dog to go. If you are still anxious, instead of throwing it, you could roll it instead of a calmer version of this popular pet game.
Interactive dog feeders are becoming more and more popular for dogs that have to spend some time indoors. They are so great as an option to keep your dog occupied for quite some time. There are a lot of variations available online.
Buy a few of these different feeders and puzzles and swap them out each day to provide your dog with something new to do and figure out. It’s very stimulating for them, and they get rewarded from it – we want to play this game too.
Tug of war might be a game you already play with your dog outside, but this is one that you can play indoors with them as well. All you need is a rope and some space. Clear some room in your living room to play.
You can have a lot of fun with this game by choosing a space that doesn’t have anything breakable. It will also tire out your canine family member so that you can enjoy some time relaxing or watching a good movie.
Now, if you want to have fun with your pet and show them what a cool pet parent you are, you should set up an indoor obstacle course. Pick a room or two that are spacious, and that has a place for you to set up this course.
Guide them over chairs and under tables and even circling standing lamps or pillars in your home. You can recreate a dog show in your own home, and your dog will love you forever for doing this with them.
Depending on which dog you have and what their energy and exercise needs are, you could invest in a pet treadmill! You could mostly let them use your treadmill, but it’s safer to use one designed for pets.
You can start by letting them get used to the treadmill when it is off. Then, turn it onto a gentle and slow pace. You don’t need to put your furry friend on a leash, but make sure that this game is a supervised activity, and you can even give them treats from the front end of the equipment.
Did you know that you can play hide and seek with your dog? This idea is a fun game for both of you – it’s hard to know who is enjoying the game more. Start by telling your dog to sit in a room, and then you can go and hide.
You’ll then call your dog from your hiding place and then give them the chance to come and find you. You can even play this with your whole family. This game of hide and seek isn’t all about winning; it’s about having the best time with your dog and helping them stay active inside.
If your dog needs some brain training, this is a great game. Dogs all benefit from mental stimulation and not just physical stimulation. You can play the “which hand?” game with this to get those wheels turning.
Place a treat in your hand and then close your fist. Show both of your hands to your dog. Let your dog sniff your hands and decide which one is holding the treat. If your dog chooses the right one, give them the snack, and if they don’t, try again.
Many dogs are water babies too, and they just love swimming. If you are lucky enough to have an indoor pool, you can still do it with your dog, even if you’re indoors. If you have a puppy, you could also let them swim in your bathtub.
This game is also an excellent opportunity for small dogs who need exercise. Let them do a doggy paddle in the bath. Make sure the water is a pleasant temperature for them. It’s also a good exercise for dogs who have joint issues and struggle on long walks.
Not everyone is a dog person; you might be a cat lady instead. If you are an owner of cats, you know how much stimulation these critters need. Cats are highly intelligent and will let you know if they are bored and take it out on your couches.
Many people are raising their cats indoors these days. It helps to save them from going missing, being in catfights, or being hit by a car. For these reasons, we need to get extra creative with some fun indoor activities to stimulate their minds, bodies, and senses.
With cats, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on toys to keep them happy. All you need is a piece of paper. Take a piece of paper or some old junk mail and turn this into the ultimate toy that your cat will love.
Crumple up the piece of paper and throw it to your cat. Your kitty is very interested in the smell at first and then most likely will take their paw and hit it. They’ll then chase it down and do this all over again. There’s even a chance that your cat will start playing fetch and bring the newspaper back to you.
Apart from paper, there’s nothing that makes a cat happier than a plastic or paper bag. This indoor pet game could keep your cats entertained for all nine lives. They love going inside the bag and playing around inside.
You should also make this a supervised game so that they don’t get stuck in the bag’s handles. If you want to let them play like this without supervision, cut off the bag handles so that they won’t get their heads stuck through them.
Cats are hunting creatures, and if they aren’t allowed outside, you should make it a priority to help them enjoy this instinct that they have. You can simply do this with a blanket and your hand – beware of the cat claws, in any case!
Slide your hand underneath a blanket and let them pounce onto your hand and chase it around. You’ll soon figure out if you need a thin or thick blanket for this activity, depending on your cat’s claws. You could also use a stuffed animal instead of your fingers to play this hunting game.
If you have some leftover cardboard boxes lying around your house, you can repurpose them into the ultimate cat condo for your furry friend. You can go very basic and just leave the box open and let them play in it or…
You can cut some cat-sized holes into the sides of the boxes and let them have some fun. You can go onto Pinterest and get inspired to build some proper cardboard castles for your cat, and it will keep them entertained for ages.
If you love DIY, this is something fun for you to make for your cat. You’ll need a shoe box and some empty toilet rolls. Stand the toilet rolls vertically inside the box, and you’ll need quite a few of them to fill the box up.
You can also use a hot glue gun to secure the tubes together; otherwise, they’ll end up all over your home, but if this doesn’t bother you, you can skip out on the glue. Cut out small holes on the opposite end of the box and stick a toy through the hole and let your cat try to catch it. It’s the cat version of whack-a-mole.
Since cats love paper so much, you can play a game using a newspaper. It works the same as the blanket hunting game, but you can instead use a pencil or spoon underneath the newspaper for your cat to try and catch.
You can also make the newspaper into a tent and let your cat hide underneath it. You can then walk past your pets with a ribbon or string and wait for them to pounce and attack from their newspaper hiding place. They love this game!
An ice cube could provide hours of entertainment for your kitty. Get out a few ice cubes from the freezer and take up a spot on your tiled floor. You will bat the ice cube back and forth from each other and see who scores a goal first!
Here is an excellent idea, and it’s entirely free too. Pets don’t care how much money you spend on a toy; they just love the chance to interact with you and have you participate in their playtime with them – they appreciate the effort.
If a DIY cat house isn’t in your wheelhouse, you can always go and buy one. They can vary in price, depending on the size you want. Find one with exciting features that will suit your cat’s personality and needs.
Cat trees are great for cats to exercise, practice good claw health, and even to sleep. There are so many great options out there with little boxes to hide and sleep in, some with hammocks and some high ones too if your cat enjoys climbing but can’t be outside in the trees.
Did you know that cats can play fetch too? This game is not exclusive to dog owners and is something that cats enjoy. You won’t be able to use a tennis ball for a cat, but there are many options when it comes to items to play with.
You could use a catnip mouse that you throw for your cat that they will bring back to you to throw again. You could also use rolled up paper if you don’t have one of these toys. Another option is small soft pom-poms that your cat will have so much fun with.
As a cat owner, you should own a laser pointer. If you don’t already, you need to be ordering one for same-day delivery right now. Laser pointers are a favorite with cats and give them so much exercise and fun when you play with this.
Point the beam onto the floor and let your cat have so much fun trying to catch the impossible red dot. You can even shine it on the wall or their cat tree to increase the level of difficulty and exercise. This idea is an easy game you can play with them that requires minimal effort from you.
Since cats are hunting creatures, you can also create their mealtime a bit of a challenge. This game isn’t one that you should do for old or sick cats. But your young and energetic cats will love this hunting challenge.
Instead of feeding your cat in one bowl, turn this into something a lot more exciting. Leave small portions of their meal in spots around you home and let them discover them as they go. It’s also a perfect solution for cats who just gobble down their food too quickly.
Windows are indoor cats’ favorite place to spend their time. They’ve probably become quite accustomed to sitting on your window sill, but you can make this a lot more comfortable for them so they can enjoy their bird watching.
There are many window hammocks online, and installing this window perch is great for your indoor cat. It will stimulate their brains so much to be seeing what is going on outside. You could even position it strategically near a bird feeder in your garden to get a closer look at those birds.
An indoor cat could get bored when you aren’t at home to play with the laser pointer or throw the ball of newspaper for them to fetch. So, the solution is a doorknob toy. Attach a toy to a piece of thick string or even shoestrings.
You can then tie this rope and toy to a doorknob so that it swings down, and your cat can easily play with this all on their own. The noise it makes won’t bother you since you won’t be at home, but you’ll know that your cat is having a great time anyway.
We know you enjoy YouTube videos, but guess what – your cat might as well! There are so many great videos on YouTube that will keep your cat entertained. Just type it into the search bar and pick on and put it on.
Some of the most popular ones show small rodents or fish moving around the screen. Others show birds flying around. They’ll have so much fun growling at your device or trying to catch them on the screen.
Another fantastic option for indoor cats is a catio. This pet game is an enclosed outdoor area for your cat to spend time in. They can be safe and outside at the same time. They’ll be able to see what is happening outdoors and get some fresh air too.
You can include many fun activities into a catio, including shelves that they can climb, hammocks to sit in, and even some grassy areas. You could also plant some cat-friendly plants like catnip for them to munch on when they are out there.
Since your cat is indoors, they won’t be able to chase real-life mice and other creatures. To let them have a bit of fun, buy a wind-up or battery operated toy. They look like small rodents, and your cat can chase them around the house.
For these toys, it is best to use them on the floor, and your cat will have a great time pouncing and working on their stalking skills. These toys have erratic movements, so they’ll be very stimulated and entertained when playing with this toy.
Another indoor pet that needs a lot of stimulation and fun activities is a parrot. They are amazing creatures, and they need to be looked after. One important thing is to let them stretch their wings outside of their cage occasionally.
This indoor pet game will keep them a lot happier and very entertained. When you let them out, make sure that the room is secure, and none of your other pets are in the place. Also, ensure that your windows are closed so that you prevent any flight risk.
When they are in their cage, they need many things to entertain them. Make sure you have lots of interesting toys hanging inside that they can play with and chew on. You could even get a foraging tree for your parrot for much excitement.
Another great toy to hang in their cage is a mirror; it will almost create the illusion of them having a friend in there with them. Pet stores have a wide variety of toys to keep your flying friend entertained, even when they are in their cage.
Last but not least, when you aren’t going to be at home and won’t be able to talk to your bird, you should leave a radio or television. This background noise will keep them company and entertained when you aren’t at home.
You might think it’s a good idea to put on the nature channel, but predator sounds might scare your parrot. Stick to the news or a sitcom channel with lots of human noises that will keep your parrot occupied until you get home.
Our pets are like part of the family, and we want to ensure that they are always happy, healthy, and of course – entertained. There are so many fantastic options to make this happen, and some of them don’t cost you anything at all.
Pets love having our attention and care. When you play with them indoors, make it count, and make it an experience that you both enjoy. Taking the time to do an activity with them will make your day so much better and theirs.