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Playtime: Games to help your cat play and learn

Playtime: Games to help your cat play and learn

Games to help your cat play:

Interacting with your cat through play is great for many reasons. Your cat has exercise, you both enjoy interacting with each other and you strengthen the bond between owner and pet. Cats are independent creatures and will only join in to play on their terms and their timeline!  They will initiate play when they fell like it, often by batting a pen you are trying to write with or rubbing around your legs when you are trying to get jobs done!
 

Ideas for games to play with your cat:

• Ping ping balls
• Dry leaves to chase and catch
• Rolled up balls of newspaper
• Laser toys shone around a room … cats can become frustrated with these because they never ‘catch’ the light so use them in short bursts
• Puzzle feeding toys – rewarding cats as they bat them around a room
• Interactive toys on strings (supervised play only)

A word of warning. Cats are often seen playing with balls of wool or string, whilst there is no doubt that cats love chasing pieces of string as they are dragged along the floor, it can also be highly dangerous.  String or wool, or toys dangling from string are for supervised play sessions only and must be kept out of your cats reach when you are not playing together.  Cats like to roll around and kick string with their paws, if they happen to become tangled up in string or wool it can pose a strangulation risk so please, never leave your cat alone with toys like this.
 

Why do cats need to play?

For a cat, playing isn’t just for fun, it’s a chance to fulfil natural instincts as well as learn and hone survival skills such as stalking, chasing, catching.  It’s also great physical exercise and importantly, it is mentally stimulating and it allows them to practise their motor skills.  Interactive play with their owner is also great for bonding and fun!

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