Lots of people think cats are low maintenance pets that should be left to their own devices to manage their lives independently; however, they’re also fun-loving and clever animals who enjoy playing, learning and bonding with their family!
Cats love being active, and their play tends to be in little bursts rather than taking a whole morning or an afternoon! Playing with your cat is a fab way to bond with them as well as ensuring they get much needed exercise, which is especially important for house cats.
If cats are bored, they can overeat, become depressed and seek adventures elsewhere. Keeping your cat active and loving life can be achieved in many ways – and often through ways that are beneficial to both of you – as well as meeting their natural needs to hunt, pounce and chase.
Contrary to popular belief, cats are very trainable and most enjoy brief sessions of learning. Basic things such as sit, wait and spin can be achieved with the right treats and plenty of patience and can help build, as well as maintain, a solid and trusting relationship. Cats are playful creatures who love to bat things with their paws, jump onto or into things and scratch and chase things - especially if they contain catnip!
Balls, wind-up toys and rolled up bits of paper (be sure not to leave these unsupervised in case your cat eats them!) and anything else that will roll along the floor could provide hours of fun for your cat. Some cats even learn to retrieve, so you could end up playing fetch! If the space is too large, or your cat is on limited movement, put the ball into a large cardboard box or suitcase so it’s contained!
Whilst on the subject of boxes and suitcases, these also make excellent additions to a cat’s play time as they love to jump into things and hide or explore!
Scratch posts come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have numerous benefits - with the added advantage of giving your feline friend somewhere to scratch that’s not your furniture! Some have a high platform area where they can relax or simply sit and watch the world go by. Others also have toys added to them, such as a ball or tunnel.
There are numerous chase toys on the market, coming in various options, but sometimes something as simple as dragging a piece of string along can encourage a cat to engage in play!
If your cat doesn’t play, it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to. It could be that they don’t understand how to, or that they don’t like that particular toy. Whilst catnip is adored by most, some don’t like it, so do try varied toys to see which is preferred.
Some cats are more food driven than toy driven, so this could be an opportunity to do some training activities or to create food puzzles and fun ways to get their daily rations. Instead of a ball in the box, try some dry food and watch them pounce, bat and capture it!!
Here at Leading the Way, we offer a range of services that include (but aren’t limited to) dog walking, enrichment activities for cats and small animals and comforting home visits to spend precious time with your pets and to oversee their daily needs such as emptying litter trays, changing water bowls and feeding.
If you would like more information on any of the services that Leading the Way Pet Care provides, please contact us via please contact us via email or phone us on 0800 027 9846.