We can’t help it: We have to go to work every day to earn money to buy cat food, cat litter, catnip, and cat toys. But it’s not fun for your cat to be left home alone. Consider installing a feline home entertainment system.

The Cat Tree

A sturdy cat tree with several levels is a great perch for some serious window-watching. The top level should be high enough so that your cat can lie on it and get a good view out the window. Don’t try to stick a nice cat tree in some dark corner of the house, because then it offers no entertainment whatsoever. Make sure the cat tree is near the window.

The Bird Feeder

If there’s not much going on outside your windows, a bird feeder will quickly change all that. You can place it on a high pole near the window and fill it up, and you’ll likely have birds all year round. If you live in an apartment building, there are also bird feeders that fit right on the outside of an apartment widow. Some have mirrors on the back, so your cat (and you) can get up very close without disturbing the birds. Don’t worry about frustrating your cat. Most cats really enjoy watching and stalking birds, even though they can’t catch them.

Kitty Videos

There are videos made especially for home-alone cats. The best ones have lots of different scenes that change frequently, plenty of small movements and soft rustling and squeaking. The movement and the soft noises are what most cats seem to really like. Be aware, though that some cats simply aren’t interested in the television, no matter what’s on.

Pet Fish

Fish can be nice pets for a cat. They come in bright colors and move around a lot, which can be very entertaining. There are two things to remember, though: First, fish need care, and you must be prepared to give it. You can’t expect your cat to maintain the fish tank. Second, cats can knock over or fall into a fish tank, so make sure tank is on a sturdy, stable stand and is covered at all times.

Caged birds and small critters are not great pets for your cat, because the temptation to eat them is just too great for the cat and the stress of being in the same house with a known predator is just too great for the birds and other animals.