How to play with your cat, the five funniest games
The confinement in millions of homes that is currently being experienced due to the coronavirus crisis means that we can enjoy our pets more, especially dogs and cats, which are the most common. Felines stay at home and, unlike dogs, require greater imagination on the part of their owners so that they do not get bored with the same game. A very beneficial activity not only for adults and children, but for the pets themselves, since by playing with the cat the mental health of the animal is taken care of and the emotional ties with it are strengthened. This article contains five free games that the feline will love to share with his owner: stick games to also involve the children, paper bags and cardboard boxes with edible prizes and even a hiding place.
Cat games … and humans!
Playing with the cat is not only a fun activity, but it is also essential for the animal’s mental health. “Cat games are important to provide the feline with the stimulating environment it needs to stay healthy and happy”, concludes a study on feline behavior at Tufts University (USA).
It should be remembered that the ancestors of the urban cat needed to hunt insects, birds, mice and other small mammals to survive. “A wild cat can hunt between 10 and 20 small prey a day,” explain scientists from the University of Ohio (USA), who have conducted research on the importance of play for cats. These wild cats are prepared to pounce on any possible prey as soon as they detect it. “Although our cats no longer need to hunt to eat, they retain the need to pounce on objects and play,” these experts add. Therefore, they explain, games are a basic necessity, which keeps the furry friend happy and motivated. Playing with the cat also helps its owner to bond with her furry friend, in addition to helping her smile more and be happier.
1. Boxes and, inside, an edible prize
Anyone who has lived with a cat will have seen the fascination that these animals have for boxes. This attraction can be used to play and stimulate the cat’s mind. Thus, a fun way is to distribute several boxes of different sizes in the room. You can use cereal boxes, shoe boxes and even some larger ones. Now, it only remains to hide an edible prize in them … and invite the furry companion to find it!
2. Sticks and wands to play with children
Cat games with sticks and hanging dolls are good for children, since they teach the feline to play, while the feet and hands of the little one are protected. This is just a sample that children and animals can become great friends. In addition, cats can teach great lessons to little ones, including being more patient and respecting other ways of life.
Hooking, with the help of an elastic band, a cat mouse to a rod or stick can be transformed into a toy that small and felines will share in a safe way. “The wands with dolls are a good toy that children and cats can share, since we teach the feline that what it hunts are toys, while the hands and feet of minors are out of the game,” explains the International Association for Care of the cat.
3. Paper bags to play with the cat
The games and toys most loved and appreciated by felines are cheap and free. Thus, a simple paper bag can become an endless game for him. And to make it more attractive, “we can put a ball in the bottom of the bag”, point out the veterinarians of the association.
Another fun alternative to playing with cats is to put this paper bag inside a cardboard box. The feline will be able to jump into the box and out during the game!
4. The hiding place with the cat
Cats’ fondness for shelters (boxes, inside cupboards, etc.) can come in handy to create a great and fun game; since cats love boxes, you can spread some around the room and hide edible treats inside
“Where is Minnie?” (instead of Minnie, put your pet’s name) is a good invitation to start the game. The intelligent feline will soon recognize the pattern of his game if, upon meeting him, his owner offers him an affectionate hug and shows him his joy.
5. A ball that moves
Homemade toys are usually very attractive and, moreover, free! And if these days you have been enthusiastic about buying extra toilet paper, take note of the great and very effective ideas that we offer in the article ‘Five toys for cats with the roll of toilet paper, fast and cheap!’.
“A ball tied on a very long string is a toy that will attract most felines, even the most shy ones!” Explains the Feline Medicine Group, which specializes in caring for the health of furry companions.