How 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
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
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 these times.
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
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
popular toy, the small mice made of real fur, have eyes that
are tacks and should be removed before the toy is given to
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.
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ways to save your furniture from cat scratching.
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