Playing with your cat is very important for several reasons. It not only helps your cat release built-up energy, but it also prevents undesirable habits, such as picking fights with other pets or scratching the sofa.
All cats play differently – one likes to catch the toy while another prefers a long chase quickly. Kittens have very different needs from senior cats and Bengal cats are far more energetic than Persians.
This means that you have to control the toy and make it move like prey. Buy something that looks like a rodent or a bird and mimic the animal’s actions when playing.
As cats age, movement becomes more important to preserving physical agility and mental alertness. Don’t wait for an invitation, though – senior cats are more laid back and might not start a game.
If you want a happy and well-behaved pet, you must help your cat fight boredom and burn off energy. Games are the way to go. They strengthen the human-animal bond and help kittens develop many skills, like coordination, balance, and agility. Through play, young cats also learn how to respect boundaries and become better hunters.
If your cat becomes aggressive during play, stop interacting immediately. Withdrawing attention shows that the behavior is not accepted. Try using a longer toy (without catnip) that will put distance between you and the kitty, recommends cat behaviorist Jolene Pelmear, owner of Trainedcat.com.
Research shows that the same qualities that entice cats to hunt also get them to play when it comes to picking cat toys. So, the more a toy resembles a potential victim – like a bug, a bird, or a snake – the more enthusiastic a cat will be. For example, a fluttery.
Balls made of anything crinkly and shiny (like aluminum foil) are sure to get your cat interested. Wadded-up paper works well too. Slide a ball across the floor and get ready to watch your kitty bat and run.
A garlic clove on the hardwood floor may seem like great entertainment to your cat, yet garlic is poisonous to cats. So are onions, scallions, leeks and chives. And while house plants seem fun to smack and chew, they can also pose a threat to your pet’s health.
Raisins and grapes can make cats ill as well. Eating even a small portion of grapes, raisins, or currants can cause vomiting and kidney failure. Several other fruits and vegetables can be harmful to cats, so check before you let your cat play with such items.