Fun Games To Play With Your Cat

If you’re a lover of all things feline, you’ll know that cats love to play. As kittens, it’s non-stop shenanigans. Even when they’ve taken on the dignity of old age, there’s always time for fun and games.

It used to be suggested that cats were merely acting on instinct to develop hunter behaviour while playing. Today, we know that cats do not act on instinct alone. Instead, they’re intelligent problem-solvers and emotional creatures who play for play’s sake – because it’s fun! Cats, like humans, reap both mental and physical benefits when indulging in enjoyable activities that are fun and give them a sense of achievement. If you love to play bingo and enjoy being part of the Kitty Bingo community, you’ll already know this, of course.

So, let’s find out how you and your cat can get the most out of feline playtime. Here are some of the best ways to show your feline friend a good time.

A quick word on sensory enrichment

Cats need more than a few toys strewn around the house. Before humans came along to open tins of cat food and supply warm laps and cosy corners, Ms Kitty would have been hard at work foraging for food, finding safe places to sleep, establishing her territory and fighting off all those ardent pursuers. You can only imagine how busy a day in the life of Ms Kitty was back then.

Providing your cat with sensory enrichment isn’t nearly as fancy or complicated as it may sound. It simply involves finding ways to help her climb, perch, pounce, sniff out and pursue. You will need a few toys but, most importantly, Ms Kitty will love you even more for playing with her. Not only is it a lot more fun when someone is making a feather dive, duck, and hide under the sofa, it’s also a fantastic way to bond with a friend and share the physical and emotional benefits of play.

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And talking of fun – let’s find out how to play like a cat.

Channel your inner bird

Whether you want to call it a cat wand or feather teaser, a rod with a feather or toy on the end is loved by cats the world over, but only when you’re on the other end.

When lying motionless on the floor, Ms Kitty will walk past the cat wand without giving it a second glance. So, when introducing this toy to your cat’s playtime, think about how they would stalk their prey and try to move accordingly. For example, glide the feather or toy slowly and enticingly along the ground, moving away from your cat to encourage her to follow.

Wait for her to watch, stalk, and wiggle her bottom, then just as she pounces, pull the toy up into the air, being as graceful as a bird taking flight. The more your movements mirror those of a prey animal, the more likely you are to get your cat to play, especially if they’re a bit of a couch potato and carrying a few extra pounds. And do let Ms Kitty catch the feather or toy now and then. You want a cat with a decent success rate and high self-esteem! Remember to always keep energetic games for just before mealtimes if possible to avoid lethargy and indigestion.

Modern, motorised play

As more of our activities move online, we’re all familiar with a cat’s response to those times when the screen gets all our attention. They simply muscle their way in by draping themselves over your shoulder in an important meeting, or cat-typing as they walk across your keyboard.

If you don’t have time to channel your inner bird, or you want to get on with playing Slingo or slots online, simply let loose a wind-up toy, and you’re instantly in your cat’s good books. You might have to experiment a little to find out if she loves penguins and fluffy chicks or hides under the sofa as a set of chattering teeth walk across the carpet towards her.

To up the interaction factor, use a remote control car and benefit from a good old belly laugh as you watch your feline interact with the toy. Be sure to remove any motorised toys when you can’t keep an eye on Kitty. With so many moving parts, she just might let her curiosity get the better of her, which could result in an emergency trip to the vet.

Hide and seek

If you’ve ever tried to hide your cat’s favourite treats, you’ll know that they just love to seek out what is hidden and help themselves! Introduce this new game with some delicious treats. Rustle their treat packet, then move to different rooms and hide. When Kitty finds you, reward her with a treat. To begin with, you might have to leave a small trail of treats that lead to your hiding place. In no time at all, you should be able to hide with no more prompting than a few treats in your hand before she takes off to seek you out.

A quick word of caution

If you’ve ever been a cat’s human, you’ll know that Ms Kitty may be small in relation to her big cat cousins, but she never got the memo. Make sure you never make yourself the prey. Avoid encouraging your cat to use your fingers or toes as toys. With razor-sharp claws and long fangs, Kitty’s still the queen of the jungle. Stop any clawing or biting in its tracks by immediately replacing your fingers and toes with a toy or halting play altogether, waiting until she’s remembered her domestic manners, then starting up play again.

Since she loves to play and hold your attention, she’ll soon figure out that roughness brings play to a halt, while manners are rewarded with lots of fun and interaction.

Play like you’re a feline!

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/ 11 January 2022