Games Cats Play

I refuse to buy any more toys for Cayenne. It's just not worth it. She'll look at them, sniff them, maybe bat them around for a minute...but then she's goes about her day.

Instead, she's more than thrilled to dump over the trash can in my craft room and play with wadded up scrapbooking paper. There's something about water bottle lids that are magnetizing to her. Better yet, she's happy batting around the little plastic rings from the top of the plastic milk jug. Sigh...

So I'm always looking for games we can play that don't require me buying a kitty tower that reaches the ceiling or putting costumes on her. (That one baffles me.)

A couple of rules first - never wake up or move a cat to play with her. Not only will she be cranky, she'll probably stalk away and go back to sleep - not fun. Also, never let a cat play with anything she could swallow, chew apart or cut herself on - also not fun. And always supervise playtime just so nothing cat-astrophic happens. (Yes...I said it!) Try these ideas instead:

* Simple toys. Crumpled up paper, a plastic shower curtain ring on a string or an empty water bottle can be irresistible. They catch her attention and bring out the stalking instinct.

* Stuff on strings. Securely tie pom poms, feathers or paper baking cups to a length of string. Whether you dangle them underneath a chair or drag them across the floor, prepare for the pounce!

* Make some noise! Curiosity gets the best of a lot of cats - scratching the couch cushion somewhere she can't see it will drive her crazy. Lay a paper sack on the floor and tap the bottom - she'll shoot inside to see what she can find. Even dragging your fingernails around the metal part that holds the pencil's eraser on will perk her ears up.

* Invisible prey. One of the most simple games that cats find addictive is running your hand underneath the blanket. Cay will pounce and chew and chase my fingers under the covers on the bed for ages - just look out for the teeth! I'm still not sure if she realizes it's me. (I wonder if she realizes I know it's her? ~Cay)

* Trick for Treat. Yes, it is possible to teach your cat tricks. I'm not really sure who's getting trained, but some cats are just as responsive for food as dogs. Cayenne will sit on command just like the girls to get her treat after dinner. What else can you convince your kitty to do on command?

* Bag O' Fun. Take some of those toys you tied to string earlier and attach them to the outside of a paper bag. Tuck a couple of paper crumples inside and let her at it. It may take her a while to understand the concept, but soon she'll play inside it, outside it, under it, maybe even drag it off. Change out the dangles so she has something interesting each time she plays with it.


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