Did you know that playtime is just as important for our cats as daily walks are for dogs?
Playtime is essential for an indoor cat's mental and physical health and without it they're bound to get into something they shouldn't through no fault of their own. Even the most pampered house cat still has the basic feline instinct to hunt and the best way to partake in this natural behavior is through play.
Playtime is also an important component in keeping your cat healthy and happy by providing exercise to keep them active and at the proper weight.
When us humans get involved it's even better! Interactive play is one of the best ways to form a bond with your cat and spend quality time with them, and I can guarantee you'll get just as much satisfaction out of your time together as kitty will!
Yet as cat moms and dads we all know the frustration of picking out the purrfect toy (or so we think) for our fur babies, excitedly presenting our finds to them, only to have them prefer to bat around a crumpled up piece of paper or dive into the packaging it came in. Turns out the way you introduce your new cat toys can affect your cat's reaction and enjoyment!
Pick one new toy at a time,
and rather than simply placing it on the floor, here are a few fun ideas:
1 - PLAY CATCH
Your cat will love to chase after her "prey". Toss a toy for your kitty to chase and watch her dash about. She may even play fetch and bring the toy back for you to toss again.
2- PLAY ON DIFFERENT SURFACES
The way toys move when your cat pounces and swats at it will affect your kitty's level of interest in her new toys. Try tossing your toys on different surfaces like carpet vs hardwood to see which movements are more irresistible to your kitty.
3 - PLAY HIDE AND SEEK
Hide a toy or two in a paper bag or cardboard boxes (make sure to remove any handles) or even in various nooks and crannies around the house. Your cats will be thrilled to find a new toy hidden in a special little place just for them!
4 - KEEP TOYS IN ROTATION
In order to prevent your cat from getting bored of their toys, keep toys in a rotation by making only a few available at a time. Pick 2-3 toys that vary in size and shape and at the end of the week store the two away and bring out 2-3 different ones.
5 - PLAY WITH A VARIETY OF TYPES AND SIZES
Small/Medium toys: Cats will want to stalk, chase and pounce on their "prey", so look for toys that are made for batting and swatting. These are toys that are plush, lightweight, and small enough for your cat to pick up and carry about.
Large toys: Cats love to cuddle with teddy bears and other soft, fluffy toys. However, depending on your cat's personality, she may feel the need to attack the toy to defend herself instead. Observe your kitty during play time to check if she is enjoying a playful battle or aggressively attacking her large toy. If she has a history of shredding her toys to pieces, try cat tunnels, treat puzzles, or durable interactive toys to keep her attention rather than a stuffed toy.
6 - "REFRESH" CATNIP TOYS
Store your catnip toys in an airtight container in the freezer to help the catnip last longer. Dried catnip will eventually lose its potency but you can always "refresh" the toys by misting the toys with high quality organic catnip spray as needed. Catnip sprays are safe, convenient and mess-free! Providing a stimulating environment and scheduling regular playtime activities makes for a happy and healthy kitty.
Set aside some time each day to play with your cat. If won't be long before you're both looking forward to this special part of your daily routine. Everything is more fun for them when their favorite human is involved!
Cats who are bored with their toys will find other ways of entertaining themselves
(like unrolling your toilet paper in its entirety and shredding it to pieces)!