to play with your cat
We all know that exercise affects
us both physically and mentally. The same is true for your cat.
Playing with her is essential for bonding, weight control, and
for helping your cat develop muscle tone, agility, and stamina,
so a daily dose of aerobic exercise is as important for cats
as it is for their owners.
If you have a young kitten it will
most certainly want to play all day long! Playful behaviour begins
when kittens paw and bite their litter mates. This is often followed
by chasing, stalking and wrestling. Your kitten may pounce and
stalk different toys or pieces of paper. Don’t worry. It
is just exercising its natural predatory instincts in a harmless
and often amusing – manner.
Cats are predators and they get
their confidence from going out and catching prey. When you play
together, the cat focuses on being a predator, which makes her
feel more confident because she’s out conquering territory.
When to play with your
The part of day you should play
with your cat depends on her interest to play. When she is fast
asleep on the sofa, she is less likely to be interested than
when she is sitting and watching the environment around her.
Cats will often focus their hinting activities early in the morning
and in the evening around dusk so aim to play with your cat at
Cats are wonderful athletes, but
you shouldn't forget that they like to be active for short periods
only. Many cats like to be picked up and held, but usually they
only like it for a very short time. For instance, if your cat
begins to fuss or struggle, put her down. Always support a cat's
hindquarters when you pick her up. A comfortable way to hold
her is to rest her against your body with her front paws on your
shoulder and your arm under her rump.
What toys your cat will
Cats are motivated by smell, sound,
texture and movement. The toys you use should aim to cover all
these aspects. Discover your cat’s preferences by presenting
a variety of different sized toys made of different materials
and watch her reaction while she is choosing a toy. You can consider
the following options:
- In general, cats prefer homemade
toys over expensive store-bought ones. Paper balls, superballs,
plastic rings from milk jugs, pencils, paper bags, socks, cardboard
boxes, wads of paper and ping-pong balls, enhances the cat’s
- Toys that are too heavy for your
cat to move or that are small enough to be swallowed should be
avoided. If you and your cat like to play string games, make
sure the string is safely put away after every game.
-You can use toys that will move
independently or that your keep moving at a distance such as
fishing rod style toys. Cats get bored easily, thus it is very
important to rotate toys to maintain their interest. Variety
in “prey” can be provided by tying different toys
at the end of the string on a rod.
The aroma of catnip loses potency
over time. To keep kitty's catnip toys fresh, store them in a
plastic container and take them out for a special play session
two or three times a week.
Check toys for glued-on decorations
and edges that could come off and be swallowed. The eyes on some
toys can be especially hazardous. For example, one very popular
toy, the small mice made of real fur, have eyes that are tacks
and should be removed before the toy is given to the cat.
You can make your cat’s
life more fun if you:
- Install a window perch with a
view of the birdfeeder,
- Provide a goldfish bowl or an aquarium to watch when the birds are not at
- Provide your feline with some cat furniture - something great to climb, perch
on, and to scratch.
- Some cats are entranced by television. If your cat seems to like watching
TV you might consider videotapes of birds or mice.
Your cat loves playing with you.
If you notice your cat hopping about sideways or racing around
the house, chances are she’s in the mood for some fun.
Below are a few games to try that will keep both you and your
- Flash a beam of light on the
walls and floor of a dimly-lit room (use a flashlight or a laser
pointer). Cats love to chase the light across the floor, over
furniture and up walls.
- Chase the ball or string. Some cats may even retrieve the items for you.
- Put an empty grocery paper bag on the floor and see what happens.
- Hide and see. Cats love hide-outs.
You can see if your cat likes particular
game by checking her pupils. If they are dilated, your cat is
having a great time