Whether you are working from home or self-isolating there are many of us at the moment who are spending more time at home than usual. What a good opportunity to have some fun and play with your cat.
You may be thinking that it is a long time since you did this or that you haven’t played with your cat since he or she was a kitten. The reality is that all cats, no matter what age, love to play and it is one of the most important things that we need to provide for our cats to ensure they have a happy and healthy life. So, if you are fed up with yet another box set or you want to have a break from your computer, why not have a go.
Games to play – why not try….
- Fishing rod toys – these consist of a long rod (the longer the better) attached to a string with a small toy at the end. This toy should be as near to the real thing as possible in size and texture so a couple of feathers or a little toy mouse is always popular. Move the toy in front of your cat in jerking random movements and watch them leap. Make sure you put this toy out of reach when you are not playing with your cat.
- Small fur toys – cats love toys that look and feel like the real thing, so a small furry mouse-sized toy is great. Your cat will toss this up in the air and generally make their own entertainment. Once killed though it will soon lose its appeal so have two or three on the go and rotate them regularly, giving your cat one at a time, to maintain their novelty.
- Catnip – catnip is a dried herb that excites many (but not all) cats. You will notice your cat sniff it, eat it, roll in it and generally behave as if the whole experience is very enjoyable. Providing a pinch of catnip, every now and then, or storing favourite toys in bags with catnip inside, will keep those cats that succumb to catnip’s charms interested.
- Food puzzles – If your cat has a favourite dry cat treat try putting a small handful inside a paper bag or cardboard egg box and watch your cat working out how to get to the prized morsel. You can convert all kinds of objects into food puzzles (e.g. cereal boxes, yoghurt pots and toilet roll tubes), you are only limited by your imagination!
- Cardboard boxes – these were undoubtedly invented for cats – just giving your cat a new box to explore two or three times a week is a joy for most. The boxes can be big or small but they can represent hours of fun for the inquisitive cat.
Don’t forget that cats are sprinters rather than marathon runners when it comes to playing, so one minute of frenzied activity is a good result. Most importantly, your cat is going to naturally be more active at certain times of day, often dawn and dusk (or if you are very unlucky, the middle of the night), so choose a time to play that suits both of you!!