The best games for cats - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

The best games for cats

Updated: 9/23/2013 3:16:24 PM
Hemera / Thinkstock Hemera / Thinkstock
  • From The Daily CatMore>>

  • Houseplants vs. your cat

    Houseplants vs. your cat

    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe.
    Before adding a touch of nature to your home with houseplants, it's important to know what types of plants may be harmful to your cat and which are safe. In fact, some plants are extremely poisonous to cats, and others can cause them to become very ill.
  • Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    Keeping your cat happy when you're not at home

    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
    As much as I'd love to spend my days cuddling and playing with my cat, necessity dictates that I must, on occasion, leave my apartment.
  • The best games for cats

    The best games for cats

    Your cat is playful, curious and a hunter, and he wants to interact with you to show off his natural skills. Playing games with your cat is a great way to entertain him, as well as give him some extra exercise.
    Your cat is playful, curious and a hunter, and he wants to interact with you to show off his natural skills. Playing games with your cat is a great way to entertain him, as well as give him some extra exercise.

By Stacey Brecher
From The Daily Cat 

Your cat is playful, curious and a hunter, and he wants to interact with you to show off his natural skills. Playing games with your cat is a great way to entertain him, as well as give him some extra exercise.

Cats love to chase and hunt, so it's natural from him to want to exhibit these behaviors for you. Many cats, if given the chance to go outdoors, will actively hunt for birds and other small animals. If they manage to succeed in their hunt, cats will want to show off their conquest by dropping a "gift" at your doorstep. Your cat's hunting skills will also likely be exhibited if there is a bug or rodent in your home. He will swat, jump around and attempt to kill the intruder.

These hunting and chasing skills can be replicated in games that you play with your cat. Dr. Jeff Werber, DVM, Medical Director for Century Veterinary Group and Chief Veterinarian for ProSense Pet Products, says cats are attracted to movement, and most games for cats capitalize on these instincts, incorporating movement and a chase into the mechanics of the game.

Many cat toys that you'll find in the store focus on the game of the hunt, and allow you to play along with your cat. If your cat lives indoors, he won't be able to chase real animals, so it's a good idea to provide a substitution to entice him to play. "Typical cat toys involve tantalizing the cat with a feather, or a little mouse or rabbit hanging on a string or dangling from a pole, or a ball that circles around a container, sometimes slightly hidden, that attracts the cat's attention and inspires the hunt," Dr. Werber explains.

Another great option for a game to play with your cat involves a laser. Your cat will be transfixed by the red laser light and try to catch it. "The cat sees the laser as an object to be chased and hunted down," said Dr. Werber. "It can be quite comical to watch them trying to grab the laser as it flies by them on the ground, or against a wall." This game can keep your cat occupied for a while and also provides exercise.

Dr. Werber recommends one other game that has proven popular with cats in the past. "Cats like to lie on their backs and grab and claw at your hand as it comes near their stomach," he said. "This is fun for them, but not so much for you unless you wear a heavy glove to protect your hands and arm. An alternative version is to stick your hand under the blanket and slowly move toward them, or away, and watch them pounce."

If your cat loves treats, you can purchase toys that you can hide treats in, too.

It is very important to keep your cat engaged in games that are both enjoyable and a good source of exercise. Your cat will make it known if he is bored, and walk away from you or the toy. Dr. Werber says that your cat may be bored with one activity but another one might continue to entertain him. Mixing up the games and toys will help keep your cat happy.

Stacey Brecher is a freelance writer. She has contributed to Animal Fair magazine, and her blogs have previously appeared on The Dog Daily.

Copyright © 2013 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow