People always talk about how much fun it is to play with their dogs (and it is really fun!) but cats can be just as fun to play with. Cats are natural predators and because of their instincts to pursue prey, they are not interested in playing alone. If your cat is an indoor cat, it is even more important for you to find cat games to play with them as these felines need regular exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Cats should get at least 20 minutes of exercise each day. Try playing with your cat for 5-10 minutes at a time so you don’t feel pressured to play for 20 minutes straight. Below are some of the games I like to play with my cats. Check out these games and also see if you can come up with games of your own.
- Feather, String, and Stick – cats just love to play with a feather tied to a string on a stick/wand. It must be their natural instinct to hunt birds that causes this reaction. It is so much fun (and good exercise) watching your cat lunge at the feather as you wave it back and forth just out of their reach. Cats will also leap high in the air in their attempt to snatch the feather. You can either purchase one of these at your neighborhood pet store or just make one yourself.
- Fetch – contrary to common belief, many cats love to play fetch. Find a small toy that your cat likes to play with and through it across the room. Cats who like to play fetch will retrieve the toy and, if they enjoying playing fetch, will typically return it to you to continue playing. Just make sure the toy is small enough for your cat to hold in her mouth.
- Whack-a-Finger – I have seen some online videos where cat owners have taken a box and cut a number of holes in the bottom of the box just big enough to fit a finger through. Then, they turn the box upside down with hands inside the box. In front of your cat, start sticking your fingers through the holes randomly and watch in delight as your cat tries to catch your fingertips. Don’t forget to make a video! It’s hilarious.
- Paper Bag – cats just love paper grocery bags. This is an easy one. Simply put the bag on the floor near your cat. Most cats will gravitate into the bag. Now, start poking the sides of the bag making noises. Your cat will get some really good exercise from this.
- Rotating Toys – cats love to play with cat toys but they can become bored with them if you just leave all the toys out. I rotate the toys and only leave out a few at a time. This way my cat always feels like he has a new toy. Another trick I use is putting the unused toys into a plastic covered bin that I periodically sprinkle catnip into. This makes the toys even more enticing to cats and creates real excitement during rotation time.
These are just a few of the games I play with my cats. Try some of these and come up with your own games. Your cat will love you for it.