17 Things to Keep Your Cat Busy While You (Try to) Work From Home

Your cat probably doesn't grasp the concept of "working from home," so these items are the purrfect distraction.

By Carly Milne, Marenah Dobin Apr 11, 2021 2:00 PMTags
Cat, Working from Home, ComputerGetty Images

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Let's be clear: We love our cats. They are our best friends, a source of comfort in times of stress, hilarious hams when they want attention... but they can also be a pain while we are working from home!

They're awesome right up until a conference call starts, or we're working on a deadline. And then all of a sudden, they're laying across our laptops, biting our ankles or howling for attention. So we went hunting for solutions to occupy them while we're working, like tunnelswand toyscat loungers and trees, and even the old standby, cat nip. Something's gotta work, right?!

If you're in the same boat, shop our picks below. Hopefully we can keep our cats occupied while we're being productive!

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ZOTO Cat Laser Toy, Automatic Rotating Laser Pointer for Cats

The ZOTO Cat Laser Toy is a rotating laser pointer that has five different modes at three different speeds. It has an automatic shut-off after 15 minutes to keep your cat from being over-stimulated. It automatically turns on every 1.5 hours for a 15-minute session, so you don't even have to worry about pressing the "on" button and you can focus on work instead.

AmazinglyCat Store Dancing Fish Toy for Indoor Cats & Small Dogs

This toy has pockets for catnip and it moves around to keep your pet even more entertained. It's USB-chargeable, durable, and it's machine washable. Just make sure you empty those catnip pockets before doing your laundry.

Hartz Just For Cats Cat Toy- Pack of 7

You really can't beat $3. Plus, these toys got 1,300+ 5-star reviews from Amazon shoppers. Each ball has a bell that will keep your cat engaged while you do your thing... most likely in another room if you don't love the sound of bells ringing.

Frisco 48-in Faux Fur Cat Tree & Condo

If your kitty is a climber, give them something to scale instead of the back of your office chair. Not only is there tons of climbing space, but the cat tree and condois great for scratching, and the multiple platforms make for great lounging surfaces. It's available in three colors, so you can even match your decor.

Eco-city Cat Toy Feather Cat Teaser

This kitty toy is a lifesaver, and not just for your sanity. It'll save your hands, too, if your kitty gets a little over-enthusiastic during play time. And while you'll get the most out of this toy when you swing the wand around for your cat, you can also stick it somewhere where the wand will hold so your cat can pretend its catching birds on its own.

Aspen Pet Kitty Cave

If your kitty likes to hide, this pet cave is an ideal spot for them. And if you really want to keep them occupied, stick a noisy toy inside.

PetFavorites Original Mylar Crinkle Balls Cat Toys- 6 Pack

This is exactly the kind of toy that would work in that kitty cave, but it's great for regular play, too. With the shiny material and crinkly noise, it'll keep your cat's attention on their toy, and off you so you can get things done. And they come in a set, so if one disappears, you'll have plenty on hand.

CO-Z Collapsible Cat Tunnel

This is a great option if you have multiple kitties. There's room to hide, run through and play, and you can toss some toys in to give them a little more to take their attention off you.

SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys

Ahh, cat nip. The magical grass that makes your cat go bananas, then conk out. These mice toys are filled with it, so they'll keep your cat entertained for a while... until the cat nip kicks in. And that means you can work in peace. 

Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

This toy doesn't look like much... after all, it's a few pieces of twisted cardboard at the end of a long wire. But there's a reason why this simple toy is a best seller: it works. Oh, and they have over 13,800 5-star reviews from happy cat owners. Cats love it. And it's another one you can stick in the corner of a chair, and let your cat go to town.

SmartyKat Loco Motion Electronic Cat Toy

Let's say you're in the middle of a conference call, or you need some uninterrupted computer time. Meet your new best friend. Just press the button on the base of this toy, and it jumps into action, spinning the wand around for up to two hours of continuous kitty play.

Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy

Part scratcher, part interactive toy, this nifty little combo piece features corrugated cardboard at the center that's ideal for clawing. Meanwhile, a ball rolls around the rim, guided by a formed track. It's designed to reduce destructive behavior due to anxiety and boredom. Leaving you the time and space to work is an added bonus.

PetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher Lounge

Just look at how much this cat loves this scratcher/lounger combo. This could be your cat, digging on the corrugated cardboard to sharpen their claws, and then lazing about on the surface when they're done. And as a bonus, you can just flip it over and use the other side when they've scratched up the first side. Plus, it has over 9,000 5-star ratings.

K&H Pet Products EZ Mount Window Scratcher Kitty Sill Cradle

But if your cat needs more stimulation, and if they like to be up high, maybe this window mounted scratcher may fit the bill. It's also made of corrugated cardboard, so it's still great for scratching, but you can also suction it to a window so your kitty can "watch TV," so to speak, while they lounge and scratch to their heart's content.

Youngever 24 Cat Toys

But if you don't have time to test everything out, just throw both barrels at the problem and buy this combo set that features a little bit of everything. From tunnels to balls to wand toys and more, there's gotta be something in here to distract your kitty, right?

From The Field Ultimate Blend Catnip & Silver Vine Mix

And if all else fails, just douse them in catnip. This one is actually a blend that includes silver vine, which intensifies the effects of the catnip, to the point that it can even affect cats who aren't usually into it.

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—Originally published March 24, 2020, at 11:37 a.m. PT

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