How to occupy your cat and improve his well-being : which games and activities can you offer to your cat ?

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Here is the continuation of what we want to share with you after the training followed by Claire ten days ago (part 1 : how to put food available in a way which increases the cat’s level of activity ?).

Reminder : according to a study of Bonnie Beaver (Feline Behavior, 2003), the approximate time dedicated to various activities by a free cat is the following one : sleeping 9 hours, resting 4-5 hours, bathing 3-4 hours, hunting 4 à 9 hours, moving and feeding 1 hour, other activities (game, marking, elimination) 1 hour. Numerous indoor cats are sub-occupied and spend their days sleeping to pass the time.

Which games and activities can you offer to your cat ?

Learning activities

Contrary to a preconceived idea, cats can learn many things : patience and encouragements will make miracles (and treats also !). Our best example is our friend Summer : in this video, she shows that she knows how to stay, shake hands, high, sit up, and wave her paw to say goodbye.

Games and toys which mime hunting

Toys which make a noise of prey (squeak, little sharp sound, …) are more interesting for us than the silent toys. If they move, it’s still better, because the movement makes us react. The movement given to the toy must be choppy, and go away from the cat, stand still from time to time, as a prey would do it.

But with what toys to play ? Small balls, corks, plushy mice, crumpled paper, … can be thrown or shaken at the end of a string ; a feather toy which moves within reach of paw is irresistible ; a simple string to be pursued entertains us.
Pixie playing with a feather toy
A word on bright points (laser or reflection of watch for example) : first, warning for our eyes ! Then, this little point makes us often totally mad, to the point that we can injure ourselves by jumping everywhere to try to catch it. Finally, this game is extremely frustrating, because we never catch anything. Use it with moderation in a clear space, and don’t forget to give us treats as compensation at the end of the session of game.

No toy is unbreakable, and the risk of ingestion is real : check regularly the state of our toys. Ribbons or strings must be never used unattended, and must be carefully tidied up out of our reach after every play session.

Zorro playing with a string
Claire plays every day with us ; she has decided now to teach us small tricks, like Summer. We’ll tell you more about it when we’ll have learnt a trick !

24 thoughts on “How to occupy your cat and improve his well-being : which games and activities can you offer to your cat ?

  1. Marg

    We all love the silly toys, like wads of paper, and just things to bat around the house. That is so much fun. Two Two even chases pieces of chicken around and then she eats them. Have a great day.

    Reply
  2. The Menagerie Mom

    Such a great post! We have lots of toys around our house – toys that roll, rattle, jingle. Some of the kitties’ favorites are the toys with balls that roll around on a track. Those can’t get lost under a couch, which is a major plus!

    Reply
  3. Summer

    How awesome that you shared my video! Thank you! I do love my learning sessions a lot. I also enjoy playing, but my human hides away my favorite toys when we’re not using them to make them last as long as possible.

    Reply
  4. Athena

    Great post!

    My mum plays with me every day and I have lots of toys and other things I like to play with. She bought me one of those laser toys and it was fun at first but now I don’t bother because like you said, there is nothing to catch!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    Reply
  5. Colehaus Cats

    We get to play with either our Neko mousie or the red dot every evening before bedtime brushies and bed. If forgotten, Quint makes his little squeaky meows until Dad remembers! Playtime is so important to us!

    Reply
  6. Cathy Keisha

    Those are great tips. TW always makes sure to follow the red dots with a toy I can catch so I’m not mad and frustrated. I don’t like toys that chirp or squeak but love those that move across the floor on their own.

    Reply
  7. easy rider

    I’m a little like Zorro, I currently play with berds :o) and we agree with you… it’s better to check the toys from time to time and your best friend when it plays with that toys…:o)

    Reply
  8. mommakatandherbearcat

    Bear used to chase a laser for a minute or two – now I think that he knows he’s not going to be able to sink his claws and teeth into anything, so he ignores it. I try to play with him every day though recently I’ve failed miserably.

    Reply
  9. da tabbies o trout towne

    pixie & zorro……soooper grate post two day, thanx for sharin….

    N high paws two summer; we liked her… high five…. & wavez bye ….. de best …. that waz kewl ☺☺

    we like ta play soccer round heer, N most lee bye R selves… tho me…boomer…
    likes ta beet de be jezuz outt flat squirrel, toss him in de air then pounce on him ~~ ♥♥♥☺☺☺

    Reply
  10. Mark's Mews

    TBT here: We play kibble toss in the evenings. Marley and Iza love chasing and eating them. Ayla needs a little supply of her own close to me as she is shy about competing. Iza gets her tossed rattley mousie time most days; she loves THAT. When she really gets into it, she carries the mousies back to me for mor tossing. Ayla loves her time on the shoe rack and the bathroom windowsill where I give her scritchies. Iza and Marley both love laptime while I watch TV. Ayla sometimes takes laptime if the other 2 are outside.

    Reply
  11. Basil

    Supurr post guys, we love the feather wand thingy and chasing the laser dot, we’re lucky the P.A. makes plenty of time to play with us daily, plus we all get brushed and then hand fed treats, yes we admit we’re totally spoiled rotten! MOL

    Purrs

    Basil & Co xox

    Reply

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