Home » Blog » 7 Ways to Keep Your Indoor-Only FIV Cat Stimulated

A blue-eyed cat lying upside down on the floor.

FIV positive cats are like normal cats but with more specific health needs. Although an FIV cat can lead fairly normal lives, they will need to be separated from other cats to prevent them from spreading FIV and protect them from getting infections.

As such, an FIV cat will often find itself stuck indoors with its owner. Healthy food and enough care are easy to provide indoors, but good mental and physical stimulation may be lacking if your cat is always indoors.

The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals says that cats need to exercise and play twice a day for at least 15 minutes to keep them healthy and active. This exercise is even more essential to cats with FIV since they need to stay active to prevent their disease from worsening.  

With that said, here are 7 great ways to keep your indoor-only FIV positive cats stimulated.

1. Play Fetch

Two cats playing with a mouse toy.

According to Nutro, cats also enjoy playing fetch as much as dogs do. It would be best to use a toy small enough that your cat can bring it back to you while also being big enough for you to throw it all across the room.

If you want your cat to learn how to return the toy, you can reinforce the behavior by giving them healthy treats or affection every time they bring it back to you.

2. Play Chase

A black cat playing with its owner’s hand.

Cats play with each other by pouncing and chasing each other. With that said, you can also play with your cat by chasing them.

If you find your cat staring at you while moving backward, that might be an indication that they want you to chase them. It would be best to keep aware of your cat’s behaviors while playing chase because there might come a time that they are running due to fear instead of enjoyment.

3. Switch Up The Toys

A green-eyed cat lying on bed with pink toys.

Over time, your indoor-only cat can get bored of playing with the same toys every day. It would be best if you considered keeping away some of your FIV cat’s toys and bringing them out only during playtime to keep things interesting.

You can leave some toys out for your cat to play with themselves, but you should change them up every now and then.

4. Create Hiding Spots

A cat hiding behind a beige pillow.

Cats are ambush predators with hunting instincts. Now that they are domesticated, cats use their instincts for play.

Their instincts include hiding and pouncing at their prey. As such, you can encourage them to play indoors by giving them lots of hiding spots such as a play tunnel or a simple cardboard box.

You can entice your cat to play by placing a dangling toy next to its hiding spot. You will see your feline friend trying to sneak up to and jump on their toy prey.

5. Play With Light

An excited cat laying on a bed.

You can keep your cat active by playing with it using light reflections. You can use any reflective surface such as a DVD or a watch.

Lasers are a common choice, but it would be best to avoid them because lasers can damage your cat’s vision if you accidentally shine it into their eyes. Bounce the reflection low onto the wall, floor, or any safe surface.

Trying to get something that you cannot catch can frustrate your cat, so allow your pet to grab it now and then.

6. Have A Conversation

An owner’s hand petting its cat.

There are times when playing is not needed to keep your cat with FIV happy and stimulated. Sometimes, all it takes is a one-to-one chat.

Chatting is a great activity because it can be done anywhere by fosters, owners, and volunteers. By getting down on your cat’s level at a distance, you can begin speaking softly with a high pitch to your cat.

Regardless of what you say, this activity can be meaningful, trust-building, and soothing for your cat.

7. Consider A Cat-Proof Garden

A cat stuck in a DIY house.

Despite our best efforts, some cats really enjoy the great outdoors, especially if they are rescued from the streets. Rescued FIV positive cats may want to play, chase, and roam outside like they used to and will be unhappy if kept indoors for too long.

As a fur parent, you should consider giving your FIV cat its own playing area in your backyard. You can install nets that curve inward, poles that roll when stepped on, and other barriers to keep your cat from leaving and prevent other cats from entering the yard.

That way, your cat can explore as it used to while keeping it from spreading FIV to other felines in the area. You can even do the six other steps with your cat in your backyard.


A brown and black cat lying on the bed.

Cats with FIV are misunderstood due to their disease, but they need love, too. If you want to help give animals a good home, you can volunteer to be a foster by signing up to Doobert today!