Cats have a reputation for being “lazy,” since they sleep all day, but they need more activity than that reputation implies. All cats need play for mental and physical stimulation. If you want to make sure your cat doesn’t mistake 3 a.m. for the perfect playtime, it’s a good idea to give them plenty of dedicated play during your waking hours.
Most of us have seen cats play with small stuffed catnip toys, or bat around feathers on a string. However, they can also play more structured games. Here are seven different ways you can play with your cat, without feeling like all you can do is resort to the same old toys:
- Give the gift of a cardboard box: Chances are, if you’ve ever ordered something online, your cat has commandeered the shipping box. Cats love boxes, and no one is quite sure exactly why. It could be that they help your cat retain heat, or they provide what seems like a convenient “hiding” spot to ambush their prey. They may also provide the cat with a sense of security when they’re stressed out. It’s the cheapest toy you’ll ever have.
- Play hide and seek: Hide one of your cat’s toys under a blanket, then wiggle it to catch their attention. They’ll enjoy pouncing on the toy and hunting it down.
- Teach them a trick: Yes, cats can learn tricks, too—they’re just more discerning about it than dogs are. Have some treats ready and let your cat smell them, then teach them a trick (shake hands, sit down, roll over). If the cat does what you ask, give them a treat. Repeat this a few times, if they’re interested, to reinforce the behavior.
- Play tag: Your cat might play tag with you, as long as you follow their cues for when they’ve had enough. Chase them around the house and “tag” them, then run away. If they follow you or surprise you by jumping out from behind an object, you’re it. Watch their tail: as long as the tail is up, they’re still happy to play.
- Download cat apps: There are dozens of cat-centric apps to download to your smartphone or device, which can keep your kitty entertained for hours… or at least minutes, anyway.
- Blow bubbles: Non-toxic bubbles are a fun way to amuse your cat—and there are no stray toys to pick up afterwards.
- Make them work for treats: Finally, you can make your cat work for treats, such as placing a treat underneath a plastic cup or in a specially designed toy. They’ll quickly figure out the name of the game if they’re food-motivated.
With any luck, these tips will help you engage in safe, fun playtime with your feline friends. Remember, playing is great for your cat’s physical, mental and emotional health. Even 10 minutes of playtime each day can help your cat get the exercise they need to remain alert and agile.
For wellness checkups, dental visits and more, visit Kingstowne Cat Clinic today.
Categorised in: Cat Tips
This post was written by Writer