While I’d like to think I’m a great/good cat mom, there’s one area in which I’m greatly lacking. I don’t carve out playtime with my cats. I’m either too busy, get bored or figure they’ll play with each other (aka. chase after one another) for exercise. But the truth is that along with regular vet visits, preventative care and a good diet, kitty playtime is important for you and your cat(s).
Playtime is that “little extra” thing that brings joy to you and your pets and provides the opportunity for quality bonding time. Plus, toys provide the physical and mental stimulation for all cats – particularly those living indoors – to stay vital and happy!
A few considerations for feline-bonding fun-time:
- You’ll quickly learn – If you haven’t already – each cat has his or her unique way of play. Haddie is a bit of a hog and hones in when I try to engage Kip with a laser pointer or toy on a stick. While I’m sure it’s good for them to interact and wrestle around, I often wonder if I should put her in my room for quality one-on-one playtime with Kip.
Petie on the other hand, is harder to engage and requires more patience than I often have. I think his idea of play is staying stationary while his eyes follow the toy from one side of the room to the other! Once again, Haddie often jumps at the chance to “hunt” before Petie even realizes I’m trying to play with him!
- Keep things fresh through rotation. Cats, just like humans, have the tendency to bore of and ignore things that are constantly around (absence makes the heart grow founder holds true in this case!). So put cat toys into rotation. After a few weeks out-of-sight an old toy to you, is a new toy to them!
- Don’t forget to let them win. While cats enjoy the chase, let them catch the “mouse” after a few minutes so they can revel in the victory of a successful “hunt.” And while not everyone agrees on the laser as a “good” cat toy, my personal belief is that it depends on the individual cat.
My sister’s cat, for instance, gets wound-up when playing and takes a long time to come down off the ledge. My cats are not as effected. I personally like to give them a treat or three after playing with the laser as a way to reinforce to them that they did a “good job” with the red dot.
- Consider the best time of day for playtime. If your cat gets tired by play, before bedtime might be a good time while other cats may become more alert and active #notgoodforyoursleepingschedule. If your kitty has a sensitive stomach, playing immediately after eating may not be the idea #morecleanupforyou.
- Examine toys like you would a baby toy before tossing it to your cat. Make sure buttons and other do-dads are securely fastened. You don’t want there to be any chance that they’ll fall off and get swallowed by your pet!
- Treats can have a role during playtime. They can become a reward, for part of play itself when put into an interactive toy that makes them work for their prize!
And remember, you’ll find a different way to bond with each of your cats. As we all know no two cats are alike!
To celebrate those “little extras” like playtime, Hill’s is giving away goody bundles to two lucky I HAVE CAT readers (US residents only)!
Each prize includes: a stainless steel cat bowl; eight micro cans of Hill’s Science Diet Grain Free entrees a laser pointer toy; and a “Healthier Pets, Happier Lives” tote bag.
Good luck and enter now using the widget below! The giveaway ends October 8th, at 11:59pm EST! NOTE Leaving a comment through the widget is a mandatory for consideration!
PS – Hill’s is also a $10 off promotion on select Hill’s Science Diet products to everyone. Just to go to http://www.hillspet.com/healthy-cat-happy-life.html to download your rebate