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Saturday 29 January 2011

Lazy Cat? Fun Games to Play

I'm not sure exactly why or when the change took place. All I know is that my cat Mitzi went from being a curtain-climbing, ball-chasing little hellion to a plump and bored-looking adult cat who spent most of her time draped over the back of my couch like a wet dishrag.

Sure. I know cats are supposed to sleep and lounge a lot, but I also know that they need to play -- at least some of the time. After all, cats get many of the same physical, mental, and emotional benefits from exercise that we do.

I needed to get Mitzi frolicking again. But how? She'd completely lost interest in all her old toys or games, so I decided to get creative. Here's what I came up with. Try these moves to get your kitty to pounce:

See Kitty Fly -- Run a string toy across the floor, and then whip it high up in the air, just as your cat is about to pounce. Many cats will instinctively launch themselves into the air in pursuit of their "prey."

Moving Targets -- Here's a twist on the old string-toy game: Have a plant hook in your ceiling? Securely attach several strings to it, and tie various trinkets on the ends (like feathers, small catnip bags, and crumpled foil paper). Then, point a fan so it's blowing on the toys and watch your kitty go bonkers.

Mini Mountain Climbing -- Ever buy a $200 cat tree, only to have your cat ignore it? Rub a bit of catnip at the base and on each shelf to entice kitty to climb. Or run a string toy up one side and down the other.

Dive and Seek -- Fill a large cardboard box with foam packing pellets (use the corn-based variety), and then hide a catnip-filled toy (or two) inside. Entice your cat to jump in and dig for the toy. (Just make sure your kitty doesn't ingest any of the packing pellets.)

Praise and Treat -- Follow each play session with a ton of praise and a treat (unless kitty is watching his weight), to reinforce your cat's love of play.

Supervise -- Never leave string toys or toys with bells and baubles lying about when you're not home or directly supervising playtime. You don't want to risk kitty swallowing or choking on these.

If your cat seems excessively lethargic or inactive, make an appointment with your vet for an exam and a blood panel to rule out any underlying medical conditions. If your vet finds nothing, consider taking your cat to a behaviorist, because cats do become depressed sometimes.

Article originally published 01/25/2011 from CatAge

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  1. Yep, my Sooty is the same. What a life, hey??

  2. Hi Kimberly

    Just stopping by to let you know how much I enjoyed this post!

    Mitzi is so adorable in that top photo! I am also missing my kitties' more active days - although they still have their wild moments now and then!

    Tsunami & Legend invite you to stop by and say hello when you have a moment!


  3. Kimberly these are great!
    I have two, well, three daughter's cat is living with us till she graduates from college later this year. Anyway, they rane in ages from 18 my Rocky Boy is an oldie, to Issabelle 3 years old, With Mescha at 6. Even Rocky still plays (although he sleeps 22 hours a day). Izzy is getting FAT since living with us. I think I need to try some of your Kitty-arobics!

  4. Love your blog, and can definitely relate! I found you thru the blog hop & have posted your button on my blog!


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