Cats are independent animals and can seem aloof at times, but it is important to keep them entertained and engaged in play to ensure their happiness and health. In most cases, it’s easy to teach your kitten or young adult cat that rough play isn’t acceptable. Follow these tips to keep playtime fun:
1) Select appropriate toys.
Cats usually prefer toys that mimic small prey, such as balls, feather wands, or toy mice. Ensure the toys are big enough to avoid accidental swallowing, and avoid string and ribbon toys as they can be hazardous.
2) Create a suitable play environment.
Your cat loves to climb, so providing a cat tree or a scratching post will encourage them to play and climb while keeping their claws in check. You can also create hiding places and tunnels for your cat to explore and play in.
3) Engage your cat with toys.
Move the toy slowly and steadily to get your cat’s attention, avoiding sudden movements that could startle them. Encourage your cat to pounce, chase, stalk, and tackle the toy, keeping an eye on their mood and body language to avoid harmful play.
4) Reward your cat for playing.
Give your cat lots of attention as they play, and praise them with kind words such as “good kitty”. Keep petting and praising your cat, letting them know what an excellent job they did.
Refrain from aggressive behavior.
Avoid hitting or yelling at your kitten when they nip or pounce, as this can cause them to fear you. Instead, train them and ensure their daily energy needs are met.
In conclusion, teaching your cat to play is a fun and fulfilling experience. Choosing the right toys, creating an appropriate play environment, and playing safely can keep your cat happy and healthy. Remember to always reward your cat for playing and enjoy your time together.