Time out toy­ing with cats

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

Whether young or old, cats all have some­thing in com­mon – they just can­not re­sist a good game of chase. With hunt­ing in their blood I am yet to meet a cat that doesn’t en­joy play­ing with toys.

It’s clear that tak­ing time out to play games and so­cialise oneon-one with your cat is im­por­tant for its men­tal stim­u­la­tion as more and more cats are com­ing into vet clin­ics with be­hav­ioral and weight re­lated is­sues.

Although la­belled as independent, a strong and in­ter­ac­tive re­la­tion­ship with its fam­ily is im­por­tant to most do­mes­tic cats’ phys­i­cal and men­tal well be­ing.

Ini­ti­at­ing healthy play for as lit­tle as 15 min­utes a day could in fact help de­ter prob­lems such as uri­nat­ing in­doors, shred­ding the pot plants and fur­ni­ture, in­ap­pro­pri­ate bit­ing, bird catch­ing and a myr­iad of bore­dom-re­lated be­hav­iour prob­lems.

Here are a few easy home made cat toy ideas that are sure to spark a fe­line’s in­ter­est.

The string. Al­ways a fa­vorite with cats. Try ty­ing some scrunched up news­pa­per to the end or maybe some feath­ers. For the Rolls Royce of string toys at­tach a bam­boo or dowel han­dle. Run up and down your hall­way of just flick it around while sit­ting on your couch.

The sock. Get an old sock and stuff the toe with scrunched up news­pa­per and cat­nip, tie off the end and cut off the sur­plus, throw on the floor and watch the cat and mouse games be­gin.

The fur mouse. When groom­ing your cat col­lect the loose fur, roll a fur puff the size of a tennis ball in the palm of your hands, re­duc­ing the fur to a small mouse-like log. Hey presto, it’s a fur mouse.

The ping pong ball. No magic re­quired, cats love them just the way they are. Es­pe­cially good to flick around on a hard floor or put in a card­board box.

The card board box. Get an old card­board box and cut a few win­dows in it (ei­ther paw-sized or body-sized. Be care­ful not to cut a hole they may get stuck in.) Throw the sock, the fur mouse, the ping pong ball or some scrunched news­pa­per into the box or drag the string through the holes. Your cat will be in heaven.

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