We’ve all heard the saying that our cats are our surrogate children. There is no doubt that people who have cats include them as family members. The added benefit is that having a pet at home can be very therapeutic.
They know when to give you a cuddle and when to leave you alone. They will come for snuggles in the night time, or anytime really, and demand attention during the day.
You may not realise that your cat needs to be physically and mentally stimulated as well as loved and cuddled. Just like your children learn, grow and bond through play, so do cats.
Playtime is a great way for them to stay sharp and alert mentally and it gives them much needed exercise to keep their bodies supple and functioning well.
So How Should You Play With Your Cat?
One of the best ways to play with your cat is to create or purchase an interactive toy that you control and they stalk. It is a cat’s natural desire to want to stalk prey and pounce when ready.
What we do during play with our guests at the Durack Pet Motel is to think like a cat does. If you have observed them outside trying to stalk some fast moving bird you will notice that they can move quietly to get themselves into the correct position for the pounce.
There is a variety of toys on the market so each cat will respond to different toys depending on their appeal or threat; therefore, select a toy that bests suits your cat’s personality.
Once you have your cat’s attention, you must move the toy in a way the prey might. A mouse will dart, keep still as it checks out its environment and then will flit somewhere quite quickly. As a rule of thumb prey rarely move towards a cat but rather across its line of site or it moves away.
Let the game run its course naturally and do not intervene especially, when it is about to end. This helps trigger the cat’s predatory instinct. A span of approximately 15 mins is ideal for a little chasing activity until the game ends.
If you allow for this end game to play out, your cat will be calmer due to its catch and is able to relax, wind down, and sleep happily afterwards.
Always put these toys out of reach of your cat so that they remain a special game.