10 Games to Entertain My Cat
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Playing with your cat is just as important as keeping them well fed and offering a comfortable bed to sleep. Without fun the animal will end up suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. To do this, it is advisable to set a schedule of games a day, and always follow the same routine to set a pattern.
If you do not know how to play with your cat or which games you can practice with them, in this AnimalWised article we will show you 10 (easy and very funny) games to entertain your cat at home.
The importance of hunting in cats
Cats are curious animals by nature and, therefore, offering elements that keep their mind stimulated is practically obligatory - if we want to enjoy a healthy and happy animal. A good way to achieve this is through games, since they will cover their need for fun and their hunter instinct. Lack of games will generate boredom in cats, which in turn can develop stress and behavioral problems; like the destruction of furniture.
As you may have noticed if you live with a feline, chasing prey is one of their favorite activities. If you can cater to this instinct with objects you already have that is great, as long as it does not involve the destruction of things relevant to us, such as underwear, shoes, etc. Likewise, it cannot cause any harm to the animal, such as cables. Problems occur when the animal tries to attack our hands and feet or brings home dead animals. As we say, it is part of their instinct and it is not a problem of conduct, but wrong education on our part. When we decide to play with our kitten and constantly move our hands, without realizing we are indicating that this is the toy to bite. This will result in constant bites during adulthood.
The best thing to do is offer toys that guarantee the safety of the cat, avoiding those with small parts that can easily fall off and get stuck in their throat, and avoid those that can cause them frustration. What causes frustration in cats? Games they cannot win or toys they cannot catch. A clear example of this is the laser. Although it may seem amusing to see our feline chase after a light they will never catch, that same fact produces frustration, stress and anxiety, disorders that can generate serious health consequences.
There are toys that allow us to entertain our cat and let them play alone, and for those who also involve our interaction with the purpose of reinforcing your bond and improving communication. In general, cats are selective animals, so buying the most expensive toy won't guarantee they will love it. Knowing your pet, their tastes and preferences is crucial to provide them with what they exactly need.
Games for my cat to be entertained alone
Some cats are more independent than others, and prefer to have fun alone or do not want to devote their leisure time to playing only with their human friend. Therefore, the ideal is to mix both types of games and to allocate hours of the day to keep them entertained alone and others to play with them. For the first option, we must be clear that felines are animals that tend to easily tire of things. This means that in probably a few weeks, or even days, the cat will stop playing with that new toy they loved so much, because it is no longer new and curious. Remember what we said at the beginning of the previous section: they are curious by nature and need to discover new smells, textures, etc., constantly. To help you with this, we advise you to have a box with several toys and games, and offer them alternately. In this way, over time, a toy will become interesting again.
A cardboard box, lots of possibilities!
Something as simple as an empty carton box can be the best game to entertain your cat at home. You have the option to leave it within reach so that they decide when to enter and play, or to introduce other stimulating elements, such as toys, treats, etc. into their interior.
And if you want to make the game even more fun, get yourself three or four boxes and create a labyrinth with them, linking them together and creating different passageways so they can go in and out. Do not forget to distribute several treats and toys to guide you! Especially if you plan to go out for a couple of hours and the cat should stay alone, this game will keep them entertained for a good time. Check out our YouTube for an easy tutorial on how to create your own toy circuit for your cat.
Multi-level scratching posts and toys
It is no secret that cats love filing their nails! What better way to do it than a scratching post that also offers fun. You could go for a simple traditional scratching post or make one that has more than one floor, even a small house, feathers as prey and other components that will keep the cat entertained. Don't miss our article on choosing the right scratching post for your cat.
Paper bag with a surprise
This may not seem like the most fun of games but remember how much cats love to hide and enter any empty hollow! A paper bag can be a very fun game for the animal if we know how to motivate them. So, we propose to introduce several treats or dispose of one of their favorite toys inside, so they can go on their search and start to entertain themselves with the bag. And if you leave the paper bag with a surprise inside... the fun is more than assured!
Kong, perfect for entertaining the cat
The kong is a food dispensing toy ideal for entertaining the cat while we are at home or alone. In this sense, it is a very effective method to treat separation anxiety, so getting one is more than recommended. In order for the cat to start the game, simply introduce food or treats inside it, press it slightly to make extracting a little difficult, and give them the kong. The feline will quickly smell the food and start the game to try to remove it, keeping them entertained and motivated.
Currently there are many brands that are betting on food dispensing toys, so you do not necessarily have to get the official kong brand. Of course, we recommend that you check the material beforehand and choose a tough one. On the other hand, you also have the option to DIY by following the instructions in our video: "How to make a homemade kong".
Find the candy, a game with cardboard tubes
Do you usually dispose of toilet paper rolls? Stop doing so! They are perfect for making funny, easy and economical cat games. One of them is created from tubes and the lid of a cardboard box. To do this, follow the following steps:
- Take the lid of a small-sized cardboard box about 20 cm long.
- We cut the tubes in half, because at the end of the game we will put treats inside.
- Fill the inside of the lid with the tubes placed vertically and glue to the base with a strong adhesive.
- Let the glue dry.
- Place several treats in the tubes and hang the game on some wall, at the height of your cat, so they can follow the smell of the food and try to remove it.
As you can see, it is easy, fast and will entertain your cat and keep their mind active.
Games to play with my cat
It is good to let a cat play alone, but it is still better if we participate in the game. By playing with our feline we keep them entertained while strengthening their bond, increasing their confidence and preventing disorders and conditions like stress, boredom, loneliness or anxiety. Here are the funniest, simplest and cheapest games to play with your cat at home:
Hunt the prey!
We said that cats are hunters by nature and, therefore, we must meet this need if we want to prevent them from pursuing prey on their own. A good way to do this is through so-called "cat fishing rods". On the market we will find them in different colors and shapes, with feathers, toy mice and other animals that act as prey and capture the cat's attention. Choose the one that your furry partner likes the most, set an hour of play a day and enjoy a good time with them by making them chase it.
Remember that not winning can generate frustration in cats, so let them catch the prey from time to time to prevent this from happening and deem the game useless.
Find the ball!
Finding and bringing the ball is not just a game fot dogs, cats also enjoy using these toys. To teach this exercise, follow these steps:
- Find the ball that your partner likes best and throw it to begin their search.
- At the same time, say "go look" to associate the act of searching with a command and reward them when they reach it.
- Once this is accomplished, you can proceed to teach them to bring you the toy. To do this, when they have the ball in their mouth, call your cat to come to you, remove the toy softly and give them a treat so that they understand when they hand over the ball they receive a prize.
- Slowly introduce the "let go" command and keep practicing until they do it alone.
And if you are one of those who prefer to make homemade toys, you can make yourself a ball with rope that will also allow your cat to file down their claws with it.
Hide and seek, a classic that never fails
Do you remember how much you loved playing hide and seek as a kid? You can do it again with your cat! To start this game and entertain your cat all you have to do is hide, call your pet and let them find you. At that moment, run, go back to hide and perform the same ritual. And if it is your cat that hides, before starting your search say "Where is (name of your cat)?", so that the animal associates those words with the beginning of a new game.
Game with old socks
Grab a pair of old socks, tie them together in a strong knot and make cuts at each end to create some fringes. Once the toy is made, capture the attention of your cat and start the game. To do this, move the socks energetically on the ground so they can chase them and let them capture them from time to time.
The cup and ball trick
The famous game cannot only be practiced between people, we can also carry it out with our animals. It's as simple as picking up three plastic or cardboard cups and a scrumptious treat. We put one of the glasses over the prize and the other two next to them, not covering anything. Then, with our expectant cat, we begin to move the cups and let the cat figure out (with their smell) which contains the prize. This game is perfect for entertaining our cat, strengthening the bond with us and having a fun time together.
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