Play is fundamental, right from the kitten stage, because it’s by playing with their mother and their sisters and brothers that cats learn lots of things that will be useful to them in their adult lives, they:
At the kitten stage play is essential if your cat is to develop both physically and mentally in a balanced way, in terms of her health and her behaviour. Felines who don’t play during this very important stage of their development can have problems when they reach adulthood: playing in an uncontrolled way, not allowing themselves to be touched because they aren’t used to physical contact, aggressivity while playing, becoming afraid in certain situations, etc.
Here you have some useful tips:
You need just three things for playing with your cat: time, imagination, and enthusiasm. You know better than anyone what he likes best, so we at Ultima are going to give you a few ideas to try out, or adapt, whatever suits you best:
These sort of games provide mental stimulation for your cat, because they set a cognitive challenge: how can he get at that edible treat tucked inside the toy?
There are lots of different interactive games on the market, but you can easily make some yourself at home. When it come to using them, you need to make sure that:
Cats love boxes, as I’m sure you already know. So sometimes you don’t need to rack your brains for long in order to come up with something that will make your cat happy. Just let him hide, and get into and out of any cardboard box you happen to have lying around the house. Doing this helps to keep him entertained as well as fit.
These are cat games that consist of tying a small figure to a stick with a piece of string. As if it were a fishing rod.
Rods are ideal for re-educating your cat, and drawing his attention towards a toy rather than your own hands or feet.
‘Sticks with dangling figures are a great game that children and cats can share together, as in this way you show your cat that what he’s hunting are the toys, and that your kids’ hands and feet are not for playing with’, as the International Cat Care association explains.
Like boxes, paper bags have something that cats love. To make them even more fun, try putting a ball inside.
Small balls that roll fast - a bit like mice - are a favourite with felines. Anything that resembles the way that prey might move will be a hit.
A great idea for a homemade interactive toy is to tie several toilet paper rolls together on a string and put some edible treats inside. The movement of the resulting ‘snake’ and the rewards hidden inside are hugely entertaining for felines. And as you can see it’s cheap, easy and fun.
A cat version of a classic. All you need is three or four small, identical recipients, and some edible treats. You could use empty yoghurt pots, for example.
The idea of the game couldn’t be simpler: all you need to do is to hide the reward under one of the recipients, and then move them around so that your cat’s not sure where it is. The first time you try this with your cat, take it slowly so that he gets to understand how the game works.