Photo  by MagneG /  CC BY-NC-SA

Ways to Play with Your Cat

Though cats have a reputation for being more independent animals, they still enjoy playtime with their humans!

While dogs may seem like the obvious pets for playing games, cats like them as well! Playtime is essential to strengthen the bond between pet owner and animal, along with maintaining your feline’s overall health and happiness.

Cats Play, Too? Well, What Games?

Just go shopping at your local pet store, and you will find the way to your furry friend’s purrfect heart. And I don’t mean the food section.

  • Feathers, Jingle Balls, Squeaky Mice: In the toy section of the pet store you can find all of these fun toys for your pet—plus catnip-laced fabric toys. Buy a few, or let these toys inspire you to use items you might already have at home.
  • Laser Pointer: My roommate’s cat, Mitzy, absolutely loves to play with a laser pointer. However, always be sure that the laser is safely away from the animal’s face and eyes.
  • Cat-Fishing: Go cat-fishing, as my dad affectionately calls it. He attaches a jingle bell to the end of a long piece of rope. He then will hide behind the couch and throw the string over the other side. Give it a few tries, and you will certainly catch a feline!
  • Paper Bag Cave: My mother used to leave all the paper grocery bags on the floor for our cat to hide in. They seem to love the coziness, plus the noise they make. Of course, paper is the only safe choice. To add to this game, toss a ball or crumpled paper into the bag, and watch Fluffy go on a hunt!

  • Balloons: I will caution you that this may not work for all cats, but it’s a cheap game to at least try out. Buy a package of balloons, blow up a few of them and then hit the balloon to your cat. My cat loves hitting the balloon back to me, and he even has claws! He somehow knows not to extend them when hitting the balloon. Clever kitty.
  • Cardboard Boxes: For anyone who has had cardboard boxes lying around the house, you may have noticed your cat scouting them out. Set out some cardboard boxes for your feline friend and you’ll see just how much fun he’ll have.
  • Make a Treat Trail: Finally, a great idea to help your furry friend get some exercise is to make him work for his meal. Instead of placing food in his bowl, throw pieces of dry kibble across the floor one at a time. This will tap into your animal’s hunting instincts and give him a great workout. If you have two cats, throw the food in opposite directions to prevent any competition from happening.

Remember, Safety Always Comes First

Playtime should always be two things: fun and safe. Never forget that cats can be quite mischievous critters, and anything left out is fair game to them!  If you have a young kitten, keep string, plastic bags and other small items out of reach, because cats often eat these. Don’t leave anything lying around that your feline could get tangled in, or get a claw accidentally ripped off.

Now, tell us your cat’s favorite game to play! And watch for an upcoming blog post about games to play with exotic animals. It might inspire more games for you and Fluffy!

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