Humans and felines have a long history together. From the reverence held by the ancient Egyptians, to the more modern house cat with their own Instagram page, our cats always expect to be honored entertained by us. Don’t disappoint your pets and check out these 7 fun games to play with your cat!
Why Are Games for Cats Important?
Like many of their wilder cousins, house cats are born hunters. Not only do games for cats and playtime serve as a way to direct their energy, but it also helps prevent their destructive and sometimes annoying behaviors such as tearing into furniture and knocking glasses off of tables.
Luckily, cats aren't picky about their toys. They don't care about the difference between a homemade ball of paper and a store-bought jingle ball. It’s surprisingly easy to enrich your feline's playtime with everyday objects at home.
Fun Games to Play With Your Cat:
Cat fishing - Pun totally intended! All you need is a sock or old pantyhose, a long string, and a stick. Tie the sock around the stick, dangle the sock from the stick, and let your cat chase it back and forth while keeping it slightly out of reach. Cats also hunt birds and like to track aerial prey, so don't forget to get that sock leaping in the air to witness some fun feline calisthenics.
Treat-seeking - Catching and eating prey is an extremely important behavior for cats. These two instincts can be satisfied by hiding treats or pieces of food in toys for your cats to find and hunt. A clean wiffle ball makes an excellent hiding spot, or you can puncture holes in the tube from a roll of toilet paper and twist the ends closed around the treats.
Crinkle ball - Cats love the sound of crinkly paper. Squish one into a ball and throw it for your cat to chase. This will simulate the act of chasing a noisy ground rodent, allowing your cat to track with both sight and sound.
Shoelace dangle - Pull a shoelace from your shoe, and enjoy another fun way to engage your cat's visual acuity as they attempt to catch a fluttering object similar to the movement of a bug. Since strings cause blockages and damage to the intestinal tract if swallowed, always use a thick shoelace, remove the lace if it becomes frayed or chewed, and never leave your cat unattended with any form of string.
Boxes and bags - A plain cardboard box or paper grocery bag presents the opportunity for a cat to hide and stalk. Place it on the floor and let your cat do all the playing. For more interactive play, lightly scratch the sides of the box or bag with a toy - just be prepared for the inevitable pounce.
Make the bed - Place your cat on the bed while you make it. The movement of the sheets imitates hidden prey. Your cat can chase and bat at the movement while you tuck your sheets into place. You can also cover your cat with a light top sheet, and dangle a string or other hanging toy on top. Use a sheet you don't mind getting torn because cats will often use claws to catch the toy through the sheets.
Download an app for your cat- There are several games for cats designed for your tablet or phone. Many cats are able to see flat images, and this allows them to pinpoint movement on-screen. Load up the app and get your phone ready for the cuteness!
If you’re more of the crafty type, here are a ton of super cute and easy DIY games for cats and toys.
Have any questions about fun games to play with your cat, or ideas of your own? We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today!