Monday, May 16, 2011

The importance of play time

Cats, especially single cats and cats that live in small houses or apartments, and especially indoor cats, NEED interactive play time. Play time and exercise is essential to a happy, well behaved cat.

Did you know that many behavioral problems in cats can easily be solved with exercise and play?

Taking the responsibility to own a cat means more than just feeding him or her. If you are new to interactive play time or play time at all, I would start out with a basic laser pointer and some sort of feather on a fishing pole toy. I don't have a brand preference for the laser toy, but I hear the green lasers are better for cats to see.

I will HIGHLY recommend to you "Da Bird", by Go-Cat. I swear by this toy, and I have tested it against many other feather attachment toys, this is by far the best. We use this toy twice a day. The feather attachments need to be replaced every so often, but they are fairly cheap, especially on the website and in bulk! The cats love the sound "Da Bird" makes, and when you fly it through the air, it spins! It really looks like a real bird. Go-Cat makes quite a few other products that we have tried out too! All fun.

I personally play with my cats for 15-30 minutes at a time, once or twice a day. Cat professionals tend to recommend 15 minutes of play time, twice a day. You have to see what is best for your cat. Some people may have a very sedentary cat, they may not be up for a full 15 minutes. You have to try different things to see what your cat likes best. Try to make your cat run back and forth, and up and down your cat tree. Have him/her jump on the bed. Wear them out, they will let you know when they are tired!

Have fun with play time. If you make it a chore, it gets boring and you will eventually stop doing it. Make it fun and make it a "must before bed". It has become such a big part of our night time routine, I would feel guilty if we didn't play!

Orange Tabby Getting ready to play..
White Cat Watching the laser!
White cat laser Pouncing on the laser! Dutch's favorite toy is the laser.
cat and da bird Leo's favorite is "Da Bird". Find what your cat likes best.
cat and da bird
cat and da birdGet it!
White cat plays. Dutch enjoys "Da Bird" too.
white cat plays...not like Leo!

1 comment:

  1. Dutch and Leo, it's great to see you have trained your Mum to play with you so skillfully. We may ask to borrow her when our Mum's arm gets tired.

    Whicky Wuudler