Friday, March 10, 2017
Keeping Playtime Fun and Creative for Your Cat
Regardless of your cat's age or personality, chances are they enjoy playtime. However, like humans, cats get bored with doing the same thing over and over again. That's why it's important to keep your cat's playtime creative and fun. Use the following few tips to keep playtime exciting for your pet:
Everyday Items Are Entertaining
Cats seem to be highly entertained by random household items like cardboard boxes, balls of yarn, and bubble wrap. If you have boxes that your cat seems to like playing in, you can decorate the boxes and put toys in and around them that further entertain your cat.
Catnip, Catnip, Catnip
Most cats love catnip. Sprinkling catnip on your cat's favorite toys can really get them going by increasing their willingness to play and how much time they spend playing. Cats might expend a little bit more energy when buzzed on catnip. Even larger kitties might be tempted to trot about when they've got nip in their systems. You can use catnip grass, sprinkles of catnip or catnip spray to entice your cat to play with more toys.
Laser Lights, Catnip Bubbles and Anything That Moves
Despite the numerous hours they spend sleeping or hunting birds from the comfort of a windowsill, cats are mobile creatures. Playtime should be interactive, and many cats enjoy visually-stimulating activities like chasing laser pointers or bubbles. While regular bubble solution is generally okay as long as your cat doesn't try to lick up the soap, there are catnip bubble solutions on the market that can be fun for cats to play with. If you use a laser pointer, allow your cat to "catch" the light instead of having them endlessly chase it. This can help to satisfy their natural hunting urge.
Always involve treats in playtime, especially at the end. When you notice your cat starting to slow down, offer them a few treats. If they seem somewhat energetic, you can make them work for the treat by sitting up or chasing a treat across the room. Once they've worked for that treat, however, give them a few treats that they do not have to work for so that they will feel prompted to play again next time. Make sure to also give them some head-scratches or belly-rubs to help them relax.
Change up what you do during different play sessions, and make sure you keep positively rewarding your cat after each session. If you have more than one cat or have other pets, get them involved in group playtime. Dogs and ferrets (who share a similar hunting and playing style with felines) in particular seem to play well with their cat housemates. Make sure to devote equal time, toys and treats to each pet you involve in playtime, even though it is okay for those who tire out more quickly to stop sooner than others.