Because of their highly developed drive to pursue prey, cats aren’t very interested in playing alone. That’s why cats love it when you play with them.
Try these games with your cat to give a great workout in 10 minutes or less. They’re perfect for even the busiest days when it’s hard to find time to play. Ideally, your cat should spend a total of at least 20 to 30 minutes playing daily.
Contrary to popular belief, cats do play fetch. A few pointers:
- Make sure you choose a toy you can throw all the way across the room and that is easy for your cat to carry in their mouth.
- Throw the toy and watch as your cat leaps to chase it. You’ll be surprised to find that, more often than not, your cat will bring it back to you to throw again.
- Reinforce this behavior with petting or healthy treats.
- If your cat doesn’t bring the toy back, that’s more exercise for you! Simply go pick it up and throw it again.
Cats love toys that make crinkle sounds. Bat crumpled paper around the floor for your cat to chase, wrestle and catch. Just make sure your cat doesn’t chew it or swallow any paper. When your cat is finished playing, throw the paper away so it doesn’t become a safety hazard.
Feather and String
Purchase a wand toy or make your own with a stick, a string and a bell or feather. Pull it slowly away from your cat’s view and watch as your cat lunges after it around corners and under furniture, and even jumps to catch it in the air.
Skip the fancy three-level scratching post. An empty paper shopping bag can be one of your cat’s favorite toys. Lay the bag on its side so your cat can play inside. Then scratch and poke the sides as your cat bats at the movements and sounds from the inside.
Cats enjoy chasing light reflections. Try catching light with a watch, a CD or another reflective item. Bounce it low onto a wall, a floor or another safe surface. Avoid laser pointers, as they can cause damage to your cat’s eyes. Also, chasing something that can never be caught can frustrate your cat. Make sure to switch to a catchable toy before playtime is over.
Tablet Games for Cats
Now you can even download games for your cat to your tablet computer! These apps feature moving fish, mice and other motion graphics designed for a cat. While it doesn’t give the most rigorous workout, it will certainly keep your cat’s curiosity piqued.
(Like New) Toys
Cats enjoy variety as much as we do. The key to keeping your cat’s toys interesting is not by continually buying new ones. It’s by keeping the toys your cat already has seeming like new. Rotate them. Set a few out and keep the rest hidden. Then, present your cat with a “new” toy every few days. Your cat will never get tired of the toy collection, and you’ll save money.