All you have to know to play with your cat


The games of cats that enjoy with their owners are fun and very important for the physical and mental health of these animals

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: August 15, 2014

Cat games are fun and necessary for their health and, in addition, people can share them with them by spending very rewarding moments. By playing with the cat, the animal's mental health is taken care of and the emotional bonds with him are strengthened. This article includes five free games that the cat will love to share with its owner: games with sticks for children and felines, paper bags and cardboard boxes with edible prizes and even a hiding place.

Cat games. And humans!

Playing with the cat is an activity not only fun, experts remember, but it is also essential for the mental health of the furry companion. "Games with the cat are essential to provide the feline with the stimulating environment it needs to stay healthy and happy," concludes a study on feline behavior at Tufts University.

Cat games are a basic necessity, which keeps the furry friend happy and motivated

The ancestors of the urban cat needed hunt insects, birds, mice and other small mammals to survive. "A wild cat can hunt between 10 and 20 small prey daily," added scientists at the University of Ohio, who have conducted research on the importance of play for cats.

These wild cats are ready to pounce on any possible prey as soon as they detect it. "Although our cats no longer need to hunt to eat, they retain the need to pounce on objects and play", these experts add. That's why, they explain, games are a basic need, which keeps the furry friend happy and motivated.

Play with the cat, in addition, helps its owner to strengthen emotional ties with his furry friend, in addition to helping him smile more and to be happier with a feline nearby!

1. Boxes and inside an edible prize

Anyone who has lived with a cat will have been able to check the fascination that these animals have for the boxes. This attraction can be used to play and stimulate the feline's mind.

A fun way is distribute several boxes of different sizes in the room. Boxes of cereals, shoes and even some larger ones can be used.

Just left hide some edible prize in them. And invite the furry partner to find him!

2. Sticks and wands to play with children

Cat games with sticks and hanging dolls are good for children, as they teach the cat to play, while the child's feet and hands are protected

Children and animals They can become great friends. In addition, cats can teach young children great lessons, including being more patient, respecting other ways of life and even encouraging them to read.

Hooking, with the help of an elastic band, a cat mouse to a stick or stick can be transformed into a toy that will be shared by small and felines in a safe way. "The wands with dolls are a good toy that children and cats can share, since we teach the cat that what they hunt are toys, while the hands and feet of the children are out of the game," explains the International Association for Care of the cat.

Why you should have time to play with your cat

The decision to have a pet, in this case a cat, is an act that entails responsibility and dedication, and goes far beyond simply remembering to buy the balanced food, apply the corresponding vaccines or change the sanitary pebbles.

A cat also needs attention, good attention, that will take you to give him time and dedication.

And when you give it to him, you'll discover that your kitty can be a fun playmate. Cats love to play, they have a curious and mischievous spirit that drives them to play with almost anything. Therefore, so that your ornaments and furniture do not suffer the consequences of their cat games, the most important thing is to make available toys specially designed for cats.

In recent years, the entire industry related to the world of pets, constantly seeks to make the most interesting toys for cats, because they noticed the need for owners to interact with their pets from another place.

Your kitty needs to play because it allows him to improve his hunting skills. When you chase a toy, your cat looks for a target, sneaks up, rushes and enjoys when he gets the toy. And watching him do that action will be a lot of fun for you.

In addition, using toys specially designed for cats, these funny cats can maintain a healthy weight and release tensions that can lead to certain negative attitudes.

Feline toys are also very beneficial to help shy cats to gain confidence, because when they play the attention is focused on the object and not on fear or distrust.

The game allows cats to develop survival skills, which are very important even if your kitty never ventures away from home.

What are the best toys for your cat

That you want to play with your cat, does not mean you have to run to buy an arsenal of toys. You can provide simple and inexpensive toys by placing them in different places in your home, such as to transform your living space into an interesting playground.

It is important that you always check that whatever cat toy you buy is completely safe for your cat, that is, that it does not run the risk of being able to swallow it, or that it does not contain small pieces. Let's see what are the toys that our feline friends love to play with.

Toys that allow them to be hunters

Cats are drawn to anything on the move. When your kitten sees a simple feather swaying in front of him, he cannot avoid the temptation to pounce on it. Many kitty toys are designed so you can play with them, pulling a string or string, and moving the object in front of your pet. Drag the toy so that your kitten chases it, varying the speed and direction, do not leave it very easy, but occasionally, allow your kitten to be able to catch the toy. Hunting for cats is a physical and mental issueThat is, your kitty has to be able to plan the movements, have successful captures and not get frustrated.

Toys that teach them to eat

Many cats can be too gluttonous and instead of eating, they really devour the food in a few minutes. To avoid this, which can also be very harmful to your health, you can use the puzzle toys, which are a kind of containers, which dose the food, allowing your cat to play while accessing the food in a slower and safer way.

Toys to stimulate and get your cat's attention

Have you ever heard of catnip? If you never heard of her, do not waste another minute and run to the pet store to buy this kind of cat aphrodisiac. And prepare your mobile to take the funniest photos of your cat, while performing the funniest postures, stimulated by the smell of catnip.

Toys to jump and hide

Not all cat toys have to be bought in a store. Try putting a simple cardboard box in front of your kitten. You will see that he cannot avoid being curious about what is inside, and he will want to get in and hide. You can complement this moment of play with your pet, bringing some "prey", so that you try to capture it.

It is true that cats can get to sleep up to fifteen hours a day, but when they are awake they need to play. In nature, felines hunt. And you must give your cat the possibility of developing that hunting instinct, without having to break everything in its path.

The game gives them much more than exercise, since relieves anxiety, boredom and stress They may feel being locked or left alone in the house.

And what is more important, share games with your kitty.

It is not simply to buy toys for cats in the store and distribute them through the different rooms of the csa.

It's about that you can spend a few minutes of your time a day to interact with him through a playful activity.

It is very important that you do not get frustrated if the first toy you buy for your cat does not arouse interest in it. What can be very attractive for one cat, for another it is not. Observe the behavior of your kitten, to discover which elements or objects attract your attention.

And above all, enjoy this game time, to strengthen the bond Between both.

3. Paper bags to play with the cat

The games and toys most loved and appreciated by cats are cheap and free! So, a simple paper bag It can become an endless game for him. And to make it more attractive, "we can put a ball in the bottom of the bag"point out the veterinarians of the association.

Another fun alternative to playing with cats is put this paper bag inside a cardboard box. The cat can jump inside the box and leave during the game!

4. The hiding place

As cats love the boxes, some can be distributed around the room and hidden inside edible prizes

The hobby of cats for shelters (boxes, interior of closets, etc.) can be used to devise a great and fun game.

"Where is Minnie?" (Instead of Minnie, name your pet) is a good invitation to start the game. The intelligent feline will soon recognize the pattern of his game if, when found, his owner offer a warm hug and shows his joy.

5. A ball that moves

Homemade toys (there are great and very effective ideas in the article 'Five cat toys with the toilet paper roll, fast and cheap!') Are usually very attractive and, in addition, Free!

"A ball knotted on a rope very long is a toy that will attract the majority of felines, even the most shy ones! ", explains the Feline Medicine Group, specialized in taking care of the health of the furry companions.

Do you know other cat games that your cat likes to share? You can tell us in the comments section. Thank you!

Why is playing with a cat so important?

The lifestyle remarkably influences behavior and well-being of the cat While it is true that cats sleep many hours a day, between 12 and 18, it is also important to highlight that when they are awake, their activity level is very intense, something that is often reduced when we are faced with domestic cats who live in a home without access to the outside.

In these cases, felines cannot carry out the hunting behavior, which in the wild would involve up to six hours of daily physical activity to meet their nutritional needs. That translates into boring cats, overweight cats or cats that can only hunt small insects or toys.

In addition, this problem is aggravated when the owner is not able to correctly interpret the feline language and considers that the cat may be asking for food, when in fact it seeks social interaction and play. When playing with cats, we improve your quality of life, well-being, relationship with the owner and we prevent various problems already mentioned, such as excessive weight and stress. For that reason, it is so important to play with a cat.

What do cats play with?

Cats are curious animals that they need to experience new experiences to feel stimulated and it is important to emphasize that they do not always use pre-designed toys as an exclusive form of entertainment. A cat can play with plants, boxes, catnip or catnip and even with the appearance of any new object in the home that provides curiosity and poses a challenge to his senses.

However, when wanting to play with a cat, it may be advisable to use toys to avoid possible scratches and bites, since the game behavior is closely related to hunting. So, what toys should we choose to know how to play with a cat and motivate him in a positive and successful way?

Hunting toys

Hunting toys are usually the most recommended and we can highlight the Rod or toy rod, already have feathers or stuffed animals at the end. It is usually the most popular toy for cats, although each one has their own preferences. We also find in this category stuffed mice or interactive toys that move alone, such as butterfly toy for cats, many of them also emit noise.

Intelligence toys

We can also use intelligence toys, such as ball circuits for cats, the kong and other similar toys that act as food retailers. Usually these types of toys combine physical and mental stimulation, but do not include the owner as a participant of the game.

How to make a cat play? - 5 fun games>

The game behavior is fundamental and necessary For any cat, regardless of age, it is advisable to dedicate our best friend quality time to his side that promotes natural game behavior, especially if it is combined with hunting behavior. As owners, we must strive to know the cat preferences as well as perform activities that foster feline nature.

Here are 5 games for homemade cats:

  1. Motivate with the fishing rod: It is usually the most attractive game for a cat, since the rapid movement of the fishing rod captures the attention of felines, who are much more sensitive to movement. If you do not have this toy, you can use any other that you have on hand, moving it constantly.
  2. Play hide and seek with the cat: Do you think dogs are the only ones that know how to play hide and seek with humans? Hide yourself behind a door and call your cat to come find you. Once he finds you, give him effusively and reward him, even with a little piece of food. You can always use the same words to associate them with this activity. For example, "Garfield where am i?"
  3. Proceptive exercises: To do this activity you will not need much and, in return, you will get your cat to stimulate its balance, touch and also the sense of sight. They are especially popular in dogs, but they can also be excellent in cats. In addition, they help the cat gain self-confidence. You will only need to place different textures and objects in a room, for example, bubble wrap, a square meter of fake grass or a ladder on the floor. Then you must spread prizes for the cat or rub them with catnip. The cat will experiment with new textures and shapes, while discovering.
  4. Olfactory exploration: Try to hide in a toilet paper cardboard more or less closed different herbs with odors, always paying attention to avoid toxic plants for cats. Some examples may be catnip, valerian or aloe vera. He will have a great time discovering new things.
  5. Hidden tunnels and awards: In any specific pet trade (and even for children) you can find tunnels that your cat will love. Hide in the tunnel a prize or some plant that can attract you to stimulate your curiosity. If you don't know what to use, discover 10 smells that attract cats.

Why doesn't my cat play alone?

Many people confuse the enrichment of the home with leaving all available toys available to the cat. This is a serious mistake. You should know that cats show a lot of interest in new objects, substances and odors, therefore, after a single game session and without the stimulation that you can provide them, a static object does not cause them any curiosity, so they stop playing alone, even when we talk about interactive toys or those that move alone.

It can be very interesting to have a box with toys of our cat and withdraw only one or two on a daily basis, in order to show interest in them. If the goal is to play with us, we will spend time to surprise you with those toys and to socialize, but if instead the goal is to have fun in our absence, we can rub the toys with catnip, so that your senses wake up.

How to play with a small cat?

Kittens are especially playful and easy to motivate and, unless they have had a very traumatic experience, they usually enjoy the game with their humans, conforming to virtually any new object at their fingertips. It is very positive to stimulate them at this stage, although never excessively, since this will favor a more positive behavior and better well-being, in addition to predisposing the animal to be playful at all stages of its life.

How to play with an adult cat?

Not all cats play in adulthood and it may happen that, if they have not learned hunting or playing behaviors in their socialization stage, they do not know how to play correctly. Some have not even played in their entire lives, since they were quickly separated from their mother and siblings, in addition to the fact that the humans with whom they lived did not motivate him. Therefore, if you have adopted an adult cat and are not able to make him play, you may find yourself facing such cases.

How to play with an adult cat that does not know? This is undoubtedly a very complicated case and it takes time, dedication and the use of all possible tools. Combining catnip, toys and movement, we can get our cat to show interest in the game, although in serious cases, as before a sensational deprivation syndrome, it may happen that the cat never comes to play.

How to play with older cats?

Have you ever wondered how old do cats play? Most owners do not know that many cats play even in their old age, although obviously not as actively as a puppy or adult cat. In these cases we must adapt the game according to the limitations of the same cat, but trying to motivate him to continue exercising and stimulating his mind.

How long do you have to play with a cat?

A study published by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare in 165 shelter cats shows a significant improvement in wellness and stress reduction in those individuals who were in an enriched environment, with a management based on positive reinforcement and where consistency prevails, the opportunity to relate and favoring natural play behaviors in the feline in 69-76% of cases.

So how long should you play with a cat a day? It is important to highlight that the needs vary according to each guest and, although it is a fact that the game can improve the levels of stress and anxiety in the feline, a study of the book Animal Behavior highlights the negative effects of excessive stimulation, which would significantly increase stressful situations and that would not always be a welfare indicator in the case of cats that have been deprived of stimulation for a long time.

Therefore, you should always favor the game progressively and adapt it to the individual and their specific needs for play, fun and stress reduction. But on average, you could place the daily game time in 30 minutes Approximately

How to know if my cat is playing or fighting?

Especially when we face a problem of aggressiveness in the cat, it can be difficult to differentiate the game's own behaviors and those that are effectively part of an aggression towards us. As we have explained above, aggressiveness can be a consequence of the lack of play, which causes the animal to redirect the hunting behavior towards us, although it may also be due to the accumulated energy that has not been able to channel properly.

But if our cat shows aggressive beyond the moments of play, we might suspect that the behavior is due to another reason, for example a lack of socialization, a trauma or a bad experience, due to the feline's own genetics and even for an organic cause, that is, due to pain or a hormonal problem among others.

Given any of these problems, the most advisable is perform a veterinary exam that discards any pathology and, in the face of serious behavior, consider going to an ethologist or a feline educator.

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