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How do I keep my cat curious?

Q:

I have a 3-year-old Siamese mix cat named Max who loves to play fetch, asks to play with "birdie" (feather on a pole), and even brings toys into my bed at night. He also goes in the pet buggy outside for a safe meet and greet. How do I keep this little Einstein intrigued and motivated?

A:

Appropriate play is a very important tool to keeping our cats happy and healthy. Self-play toys such as cat dancers will keep your pet active and occupied when you are not home. You can also construct home-made toys by using a cardboard box. Poke holes in the top and hang different toy items (a ball of tinfoil, a Q-tip with the cotton removed, or toy mice are some examples). This will keep Max happily entertained (and away from your curtains) when left to his own devices.

When you are home, consistent interactive playtime will help maintain a strong bond between the two of you. It will also ensure he is not waking you up at 3AM to play. Pole toys are excellent options because they have a tendency to mimic prey-like behavior when moved. They create high-energy playtime for your cat and act as an appropriate release for hunting behavior. You can also hide treats in self-play toys (balls) to keep Max motivated, and ensure he is rewarded for appropriate play.

Another option would be to adopt a playmate for your cat. Having another cat in the house to play and rough-house with will definitely keep your cat happy and occupied. Play between two cats is not only fun, it’s a learning experience. It is a way for cats to learn that biting and scratching hurts. In addition, cats will correct each other for inappropriate or rough play behavior, which can also help with appropriate interactions with people.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Dorit Shevach

 

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