Keeping your cat amused

Cats are so independent that companions sometimes assume they don’t need our attention. In truth, cats love companionship and above all, they love to play. Play reinforces their natural hunting instincts, stimulates them mentally and keeps them physically active. A cat that’s bored may become ill-tempered and start to act out in unacceptable ways.

Play with your cat at least twice a day for about 15-20 minutes each time. It doesn’t have to be strenuous for you as long as it appeals to your cat’s inquisitiveness and love of the chase.

Here are some ideas:

  • Brown bag it. A large paper bag is simply irresistible. When your cat ventures inside, scratch lightly on the bag. This will send your feline into a frenzy as she tries to find her prey.

  • Fetch? Some cats will actually retrieve balls, but most are more interested in batting them around the floor and pouncing on them. Crumple aluminum foil into a shiny, lightweight ball that cats can carry and move easily.

  • The thrill of the hunt. Indoor cats still want to be on the prowl. Attach a ball or small object to a string and pull it along the floor, under and over furniture at varying speeds. Your cat will love the chase, but give her an opportunity to capture her prey to keep their interest.

  • Lighten up. This one is ultra-easy after a long day. Sit in a darkened room and shine a flashlight beam at a spot just out of reach of your cat. Your cat will love climbing and lunging as he chases the light.

Related pages:

Keeping cats off the couch

Caring for your older cat

Raising a social cat

Dealing with an aggressive cat