Play is a fantastic way to bond with your cat while giving her important mental and physical stimulation. Play offers a chance for you to “hunt” together, explore together and create memories….and maybe viral videos.;)
FIRST THE BORING BUSINESS:
Rule #1: Never allow your hands to be the toy. This is encouraging negative behavior and you will eventually regret it.
Rule #2: Let your cat win sometimes. If there’s no “kill” in the hunt, your cat will likely be discouraged and not want to play the game.
Rule #3: Take the cues from your cat. Cats can be great communicators, if we listen. Pay attention to your cat’s responses to determine what kind of play she likes best. Not every cat will like every game. Dawn and dusk are times when your cat may be particularly active.
Rule #4: All toy play should be monitored to avoid injury, foreign object ingestion, choking, etc. When the play is done, up go the toys.
NOW THE FUN STUFF!:
Ipad Apps can be an excellent way to get those mental gears grinding! There are tons of them available to suit your kitty’s taste. Don’t get discouraged if your cat doesn’t immediately like this one. Sometimes it takes a couple times for Fifi to figure out what she’s supposed to do with this weird contraption. Friskies has several game apps for free download and is a good place to start. There’s even one you can play with your cat! Game on, Fifi!
Flirt Poles/Cat Teasers offer an opportunity for free play or for an organized game. Free play is just that. Wiggle, drag and flip it around while Fifi goes bonkers trying to catch the “prey.” Just remember, it is important to let the catch happen sometimes to keep your cat interested. There are a lot of more structured flirt pole games like using the teaser to walk your cat through a home-made obstacle course or using the pole under a blanket to play a pounce game.
Bubbles, Laser Pointers and Paper wads, Oh My! Watch Fifi fly high to catch those bubbles (they come in catnip scent!). Start a game of hide and seek using the laser pointer or have a soccer match with a paper wad. Fifi will love the interactions of game play. She’ll get her mind and body exercised and her prey drive satisfied. You’ll get a stronger bond with your friend.
Treasure Hunt is loads of fun! Grab an old purse or bag and start stuffing. Fill it with toy mice, touch activated blinkers/noise makers, tissue paper, feathers, catnip-stuffed balls and the like. Sprinkle in a few of Fifi’s favorite treats and you’ve got tons of cat fun! Set your pirate cat loose to explore the booty!
For as many cats out there, there as many fun ways to keep them and yourself active and entertained. Now go on! Get out of here and play!