On the surface, a cat’s entire existence seems to consist of sleeping and eating. What they really live for, though, is the fun times with their favorite human. And due to their wild roots, play is a crucial component of your kitty’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
When starting to train or play with your cat, it’s important to work on the trust aspect of the relationship between you and your feline first. This is what will allow them to open up enough to play at full feline force!
5 Tips for Inviting Your Cat to PlayA simple interaction is enough to strengthen the bond between man and feline. Here are 5 tips for inviting your cat to play:
- Get down to your cat’s level without getting in their personal bubble.
- Look at your kitty’s precious face and speak with kindness.
- Ask them questions while saying their name sweetly and often.
- Do the “slow blink.” Cats give humans the cute “slow blink” to show them they trust them. Blinking back will show that the feeling is mutual.
- Speak their language! When your kitty meows, mimic the sound back to them.
How to Stimulate Your Kitty Mentally and Physically
- Play with a cat toy and pretend to be your cat's prey. Let them win!
- Crumple up some paper or find something that is crunchy and noisy as your cat tries to catch it. In the wild, cats rely on the sounds of their prey scurrying through leaves and bushes. This simulation will definitely get them in the mood to chase the thing down! Keep the object moving. Don’t be afraid to join in on all the feline fun!
- No cat can resist the laser pointer. Get your cat to run and chase the funny red dot! (Just be careful not to shine it in anyone’s eyes!)
- Cats love to work for their food because it reminds them of hunting. Put their food in a paper cup so they have to knock it over and really dig in with their paw or face to get to it.
- Make sure your cat’s hips and joints are healthy enough so they can run around and enjoy a full range of motion. Cat parents would be wise to add a hip, joint, and muscle supplement to their cat’s daily routine.
- Bring something to your cat from outside. Indoor cats love to sniff out new things as their daily environment is pretty limited. They love to rub themselves or sit on new objects in the home to establish the fact that the thing belongs to them now!
When training cats, it’s important to always go with their nature. Always use positive reinforcement; if you need to correct any behavior, just redirect them to what you want them to do instead.
Cats are nocturnal creatures. It is suggested that you try to connect and play with your cat late at night, about half an hour before your bedtime—unless you want to be woken up by your cat’s 3 a.m. zoomie sesh/opera recital!