The Pace of Cat Playtime
Photo of Hope from Friskies Explorer LizzieMonaghan
My cats are the senior citizens in our household but whenever a toy makes an appearance, they astound me with their speed and agility. Even so, when I engage them in an interactive play session, I monitor the pace of the game and try to create a natural balance between mental and physical activity.
Cats have small lungs so in a natural hunting setting, they would never chase their prey over long distances. Cats are basically sprinters and not marathon runners. That’s why they make full use of their incredible stealth, excellent sensory ability, and pinpoint accuracy. When you engage your cat in an interactive play session, keep these things in mind to make the game rewarding and fun. Even though your cat may try to keep up the pace if you’re waving the toy frantically around the room, he wasn’t built for that kind of non-stop action. Playtime shouldn’t cause your cat to be exhausted with sides heaving in an effort to catch a breath.
Pace the play session so kitty has plenty of opportunities to sneak up on the toy and pounce. Much of what he enjoys is being as invisible as possible as he works his way closer and closer. Alternate between fast and slow movements when you’re using the toy. Periodically don’t move the toy at all and let it just sit there so kitty can successfully creep up and pounce.
It isn’t always the movement of the toy that attracts your cat toward playtime – it may be the sound of the toy inside an open paper bag or sight of it peeking out from behind the table leg. Your cat’s sense of hearing or sight can easily push his “play” button.
Have fun…monitor the pace…and let kitty have several successful captures. Oh, and don’t forget to let him know what a great job he did!
How do you play with your cat? Do you have any tips on how you get him interested in the game?
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