How to Play With Your Cat
It is a common misconception that because you have a cat and cats are fairly independent that they do not require much of your time or your company. This is not true!!
Your cat will require stimulation in life just as much as you do and this includes exercise and play.
Simply giving your cat some toys to play with however isn’t going to be quite enough as cats not only need mental and creative stimulation but they require interactive play with their owners to enhance the bond between you and pique their natural curiosity preventing them from becoming bored especially if they are a house cat.
Cats tend to be active in short bursts and their talent lies in their speed of movement, not the distance they travel so it is essential when playing with your cat that they are allowed to showcase their skills in hunting, leaping, pouncing and catching their “prey”.
Schedule playtimes with your cat daily for 15 minutes at a time perhaps twice a day. Your cat will come to love these sessions and it will enhance the bond between you and your furry friend. Be sure to invest in a selection of toys that your cat will enjoy exploring whether alone or at home with your participation.
But do you know how to play with your cat?
Many cat owners have been guilty of waving a cat wand around the air or dragging it across the floor and then complaining that their cat doesn’t “play” much or “isn’t interested in playing” not realising that they have failed to catch their cat’s interest by their own movements.
The whole idea of “play” with cats is to tire them out. To allow them to have short bursts of activity, rest, become active again, then rest, and play again. Almost like bringing a pot to the boil then allow it to simmer, and then bringing it back to the boil again. As cats are naturally active in short bursts this is the best way to play with them but again, it is not about waving a cat toy weakly around the room and hoping your cat will suddenly become interested in it. It is about presenting the toy to your cat as “prey”.
Your cat’s main objective when playing will be to catch the “prey” represented by the toy and the energy and life you give the toy. It is important when using these types of toys to “be the bird” or “be the mouse” and imitate the “prey” as much as possible so that your cat’s attention is focused on the hunt.
They will want to hunt, catch, kill then eat the prey as their priority so allow them to catch the toy from time to time and after play reward them with a treat.
You will want to allow your cat to jump high and leap for the target, run, hunt and pounce on it as if it were really hunting and ultimately become tired out from the chase just as if you would after exercise. For a cat, the thrill is all in the chase!!
To prevent your cat from becoming bored you will want to invest in a variety of different types of toys for your furry friends that will include toys they can play with when they are alone or toys that can be used interactively with yourself. Remember to change around the toys from time to time to allow your cat a choice of playthings. You would be bored with your old toys too if they weren’t replaced regularly.
Exploring toys for when your cat is alone can be as simple as a cardboard box in which your cat can keep themselves amused while you are out. Paper bags are also a good option for your cat’s curiosity and they will happily sit on or climb into the bags safely for a unique hiding spot or den.
Another favourite for home alone cats are crinkle toys and rattle balls which they can tap and chase around the home with the added stimulation of the sounds they make.
Motorised toys are also a good option allowing your cat to chase, pounce and stalk the independently running featured animal and can be left on when your cat is left alone at home or you can quietly watch your cat hunting it down from the comfort of your sofa.
Feather toys are great to use interactively as they allow your cat to snatch them from the air and hunt them down as they would a bird in the wild, lastly we also recommend laser light toys that cats are always fascinated by and instinctively try to catch whenever you allow them to chase it.
Catnip toys seem to be the one that works independently allowing your cat to go into their own world and realm for around 10 minutes while playing with them before the effects naturally wear off leaving your cat feeling invigorated, maybe dazed but certainly very good.
Cats need a challenge
Remember the most important part of playing with your cat is to get them stimulated and to tire them out. A few waves of a cat wand or one or two rolls of their rattle ball towards them will not do. Cats need a challenge and playing with them is beneficial for their physical and mental well being as well as giving your cat another reason to totally adore you.
Schedule playtime with your fur baby today and experience a wealth of cat love in return and watch your cat’s new elevated approach to playing with you and their toys. You will see a much happier cat immediately!!
Always loving cats!!
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