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The Best Ways to Keep your Cat Entertained
Friday August 12th 2016
Dogs are easy to play games with and a simple walk or game of fetch can keep them entertained for hours. Cats, however, are more complicated, especially if they’re indoor animals. With that in mind, we look at a few ideas for games that will help to entertain your moggy and provide some mental stimulation…
Before you play…
You don’t necessarily need fancy toys and elaborate climbing posts to keep your cat entertained. It’s important that games incorporate a cat’s natural instincts – hunting, pouncing, and catching.
Try to observe your cat’s behavioural patterns. When are they most active and likely to play? Most cats are at their most playful at dawn and dusk, but watch out for your moggy’s own signals, including being excessively energetic, sudden movements and frozen postures or crouched legs. These can be clues that your cat wants to play – now’s the time to pick up the toys!
Cats are fascinated by paper bags, so provide your moggy with one big enough so that they can crawl inside. The bag is an ideal place for them to hide and jump out at unsuspecting feet that walk past – so be careful! Try rolling a toy past the entrance to the bag, or poke at the outside randomly and watch as your cat falls over itself trying to catch your finger.
For a fun game for cats, and 10 minutes of entertainment for you, bounce a ping-pong ball along the floor and watch as your kitty tries to catch it. If that’s too easy, try rolling it down the stairs, or unleash two or three balls at once – your cat will be falling over trying to catch them all!
Shadows and light
Try shining a torch on the wall of a dark room, or creating shadows using your fingers and hands. Your cat will love trying to track down the movements. Be sure to switch off the torch every so often and watch the confusion on your moggy’s face!
With these games, it’s important not to use a laser, as these can damage cats’ eyes. Cats can get bored of a game if they go too long without catching something, so make sure you introduce a toy near the end of the game so that your cat can feel smug about bagging its prey.
Using a feather wand or other cat toy, wave it above your cat and watch them leap into the air in an attempt to catch it. You can also put the toy on your kitty’s belly as they lie on their back so that they can bat it in the air with their back legs.
Hide and seek
Cats have a natural inclination to stalk prey, so encourage this by hiding behind your sofa or bed and watch your kitty come and find you. To avoid being pounced on, throw a toy in their eye line for them to attack instead!
Under the blanket
If you’re not afraid to get a few scratches, move your hand underneath a blanket on the floor and watch your cat try and catch it. Alternatively, you can use a wand toy to avoid the inevitable cuts and bites you’ll otherwise get.
This classic game isn’t just for dogs. Using a toy or a crumpled-up bit of paper (cats love the noise!), throw it across the room and watch your cat chase after it. More often than not, they’ll bring it back to you for more.
After you play
Cats love new things, so make sure you clear up all toys and alternate their use every few days to keep things fresh. It’s also important to keep string and other makeshift toys, including scrunched-up paper, away from your pet’s reach when you’re not playing with them – it could result in your cat swallowing it, or at least lead to a mess of paper confetti over your floor!
This article was written on behalf of helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company who offers pet insurance.