Your Cat

Bringing the outdoors in

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I would suggest using toys that mimic the look, feel and movement of a cat’s natural prey. Fishing rod toys with feathers on the end can be ‘flown’ around to replicate a bird or, if your cat is frightened by this type of movement, you could take the other end of the rod, place it under a rug or any other item on the floor, with just its tip showing.Then slowly withdraw the tip so that it’s hidden then randomly reveal different lengths of it from different angles. Granted, this probably doesn’t look like any prey that your cat has ever seen, but in my experience, it seems to do the trick. Likewise, you can attach a feather or any small toy to the end of a shoelace or piece of string and trail it across the floor, allowing it to ‘stop’ momentaril­y just as his prey would.

Ideally indoor cats should be played with at least twice daily with sessions lasting as long as your cat is interested! Once his enthusiasm starts to wilt, it’s time to stop the game.

Cats also enjoy playing alone with toys they can pick up, toss in the air, and pounce on.To maximise the chances of your cat liking at least one of the toys he’s given, it’s a good idea initially to provide a variety.You’ll soon learn which types of toys he predictabl­y favours and those which don’t float his boat.Toys that are covered in real fur can be a good alternativ­e to what your indoor cat might find outside, or if this is a step too far, then there are some lovely realistic faux fur-covered toys available. Scent-enriched toys such as those containing catnip, valerian, silver vine and Tatarian honeysuckl­e, can give your cat a temporary ‘high’ and after what is usually a frenetic session either drooling on, kicking, or rubbing the toy, it’s not unusual for a cat to indulge in a lovely natural and deep sleep.Whatever toys you make available for him, ensure that you rotate them daily so that his interest in them is maintained.

While your cat might be able to view the world outside through a window, these days he can also experience his prey at close hand through the plethora of wildlife videos now available online that are designed especially to pique your cat’s interest. Turn the volume up and let your cat absorb the movements and sounds of a vast variety of furry and feathered creatures. However, it’s important that

 ?? ?? Indoor cats might enjoy a nature video.
Indoor cats might enjoy a nature video.

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