Although many cats stay within the comforts of home, even they can feel cooped up and bored from time to time. As a cat owner, it’s important to remember that your pet is still a natural predator at heart, no matter how cute and cuddly they are. If those predatory instincts aren’t nurtured and reinforced, it can lead to them becoming bored, depressed, sedentary, and lethargic.
That’s why playing games with your cat is such a great way to have fun and get engaged, for both you and your pet. With that said, we all know that cats can be picky about their toys, which is why we recommend periodically switching up the activities in order to keep things fresh for your pet.
Are you running out of ideas for new games to play with your cat? Looking to freshen up the activities on offer at home? If so, why not check out these fun and even vet-recommended games for cat owners?
This might be a surprise, but many cats can and will play fetch just like dogs do! You’ve probably tossed stuff around the house for your cat to chase. One thing you may not have considered though is that, when done right, you could also get your cat to bring it back to you.
Start by ensuring you’re throwing something that your cat can safely and easily pick up, and make sure that it’s something they like to chase as well. Toss it enough times, and your cat may start to bring it back for you to throw it again. Be sure to reward this behaviour (if it does happen) with treats and praise.
If you just can’t get your cat to bring back the toys you throw, don’t worry. There are other options out there that will keep your cat healthy and entertained—it just may mean you have to spend a bit more time picking up their toys!
One great way to make throwing things for your cat more fun is by switching up what you throw. Balls and toys that roll and bounce predictably can become boring for all involved, so try adding different toys into the mix. Even something as simple as a ping pong ball will probably have your cat excited to run around, while other cat-specific toys like large plastic springs are available for even more options. Just be sure that anything you choose to throw for your cat is safe for them to pick up and handle, and large enough to prevent choking.
Enhance old toys with catnip
Cats are infamous for quickly losing interest in once-beloved toys. However, one way to create new interest in an old toy is with a little catnip. Try either filling or rubbing an old toy with catnip, and use it to get your cat’s attention. Assuming your cat likes catnip (not all of them do), it should reignite their love for that toy and get them playing with it again.
Predator vs. prey
Cats are predators through and through, so what better way to entertain them than by honing those natural instincts at the same time? Chances are, you have some kind of cat toy already that plays on these instincts. If not, you can easily make something that should do the trick.
There are countless types of prey toys, but generally, it’s as simple as some kind of object attached to the end of a string. You might have to experiment with a few to see which ones your cat likes best, whether it’s a feather, a toy mouse, a pom-pom, or something else entirely. Even if you’re going for the DIY option, a simple string on a stick tied to some kind of small cat toy should captivate your cat and keep them active and engaged.
Most cats love to eat, which makes treats and snacks the perfect opportunity to incorporate a new game into their routine. Puzzle feeders and food dispenser balls can be cheaply bought at any pet store, and essentially challenge your pet to work a little for a treat.
These toys essentially work by releasing the food inside just a little at a time, usually triggered by your cat pouncing on the ball or rolling it along the floor. You might have to help your cat get the hang of it to start, but once they realize it’s full of tasty food, they should have no trouble on their own.
These are just a few of the ways you can keep things fun at home with your cat. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, however. If push comes to shove, you can always try asking your friends or even your veterinarian for more personalized suggestions on keeping your cat stimulated, active, and healthy.
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