Playing with your indoor cat is a great way of preventing stress, boredom and lethargy causing your cat to become unwell or unhappy. Playing is also useful for strengthening the bond between your cat and the other members of the family. Furthermore, play time is an important part of kitten development, aiding coordination, physical development, communication and social skills.
Without play cats can’t have problems with behaviour and with weight and health problems. Play is vital for all pet cats but it’s extremely important for indoor cats and cats with controlled access to the outdoors with cat fencing or other types of cat containment systems.
5 Ways to Play with Your Cat
You can’t take your cat fishing, but you can choose toys that are like fishing rods, with a string attached to a rod, often with a toy stuck on the end such as a bird or mouse. Use the toy to encourage your cat to jump, pounce, bite, run and even stalk. These toys are cheap and there are many different designs so you can swap to prevent boredom.
Cats are great climbers and jumpers and outdoor cats can be seen scaling walls, fences and trees with ease. Replicate this natural behaviour by adding cat activity centres, cat shelving and cat scratching posts around the different areas in the home and catio where your cat loves to spend time.
Phones and tablets are fun for humans, there’s no need to deny pets from modern day entertainment. There are plenty of apps, games and videos designed for cats. They can follow fish on the screen, watch birds in flights, even listen to ‘cat music’. Explore your device’s app store and see what you can find.
Treats and Meals
There’s no need to stick to feeding your cat in the same way. Spice things up a bit with treat toys designed to release treats through interaction. You can also move the cat feeding station to different areas and heights to liven things up a bit. Failing everything else, hide some treats around the home and garden for your kitty to discover during their daily prowl.
Hide and Seek
Place boxes, cat beds and other covered areas around the home and garden. Cats love to find a safe and secure hidey hole, perfect for when they get tired or life becomes a little too stressful.
Play with your cat several times a day in short bursts, but never try to force or wake your cat up to play. Make sure they’re willing and happy to get involved, and always let your cat ‘win’ in the end.