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How To Play With A Cat

Wand toy: The majority of mine have really enjoyed the wand type toy with a feather on the end. You can swish it on the ground for them to stalk and pounce and then you can throw it in the air for the cat to attack. A similar toy is a peacock feather used a similar way. 

cat wand toy

Laser Pointer: The next type of toy that cats love is the laser pointer. Point it on the ground or the wall and watch your cat run and pounce. Just be careful not to point it in kitty's eyes.

cat laser pointer


 


 


 


 


 

Boxes and bags: Cats can't seem to resist playing in cardboard boxes and large paper bags (never use plastic). I had a friend who would stick together several boxes with holes in them for the cats to play in. They seemed to have hours of fun playing and hiding in them.

cat box

Food games: Toys in which you can hide food treats are popular with cats. These are less interactive than other toys but are a good idea if you have a cat who is up all night or when you are out for long stretches of time. They provide your cat with the challenge of working to get the food reward, and keep him occupied.

Catnip toys: Some cats go crazy for catnip, others seem immune to it.  Most toys come in the form of a mouse or similar. Pick it up, throw it, let your cat maul it, repeat.

catnip toys

Toy mouse: Similar to the catnip toy, minus the high. Some cats go absolutely crazy for toy mice. Stalking, batting, picking up and throwing into the air, chasing again. Lots of fun. 

toy mouse

The key to playing with your cat is finding what works with him and having a variety of toys. Some cats love to run, jump, stalk while other cats love nothing more than a game of fetch. Siamese, in particular, seem to enjoy playing fetch with their owners, who will need a stockpile of toy mice to keep them amused.

There are so many toys on the market for cats these days, add to that household items that you can throw into the mix and there is an endless supply of entertainment. Other great "non-toy toys" your cat may love to include ping pong balls. They move fairly erratically which appeals to the inner hunter in your cat. Scrunched up paper, again to chase and bat around the room.

Ideally, if you have the time, several short games a day are the best way to play with your cat, but if you don't have the time to do this, then  the best time is before bed. Play time can be of great benefit in settling down a cat who may prefer to be up half the night. Think about how a cat would live in the wild. He would hunt, kill and then sleep. Try to mimic this. Before going to bed, spend 10-15 minutes playing with him, you should get him to the point where he's tired but not exhausted, once you reach this point, stop. Feed him. He has just gone through the motions he would have in the wild. He's hunted and stalked his prey, been rewarded with a meal, now it's time to sleep if you're lucky!

Laser photo courtesy of Lee Ann  Cat-in-box courtesy of TaraDSturm

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