Playing With Your Kitten, Toys
The following articles are currently available —
• How NOT To Play With Your Cat
& HOW To Play With You Cat
• The 10 Best Homemade Cat Toys
• Ragdoll Cats Play With A Homemade Cat Wand Toy
Articles will continue to be added
How NOT To Play With Your Cat
& HOW To Play With Your Cat
by Dr. Marty Goldstein
Did you know there’s a WRONG way to play with your cat? You see, sometimes cat parents (that’s us) think they’re playing in a way that’s entertaining for their furry friend…when in reality, their cat isn’t having much fun. For instance, here are two common playtime “mistakes” some cat parents can make:
Wiggling the toy in your cat’s face
While this may seem like a good way to get your cat’s attention, chances are they’ll get confused or even annoyed. You see, out in the wild, your cat would be stalking and catching real, live prey which usually hides. So, try to be more subtle and move the toy just out of their claw’s reach instead.
Playing in wide-open spaces
Some confident felines won’t have an issue playing in exposed spaces, like in the center of your living room or in your hallway. But, many kitties LOVE to stealthily hide behind objects and sneak up on the toy… so, try playing in an area with plenty of spots to hide in and see if your cat likes this new “terrain” more.
* * *
Now that I’ve covered the “don’ts”... let me show you a game that both you AND your furry friend will find fun. It’s all comes down to stimulating your cat’s natural hunter instinct…by recreating “the chase.”
This way, you can help stimulate your kitty’s mind and their natural instincts AND give them a fun workout.
Here’s how to play:
You will need:
• A wand toy — I recommend using an interactive wand toy with a feather or “teaser” at the end because they’re easy to control.
• 3-4 obstacles — Things like pillows, paper bags or empty boxes can make great hiding spots for your kitty so they can sneak up on their “prey.”
Step #1: Pick a distraction-free room to play, then arrange the obstacles a few feet away from each other. (If your cat is super curious like mine are, this will likely be enough to get them to come over to explore.)
Step #2: Grab the wand and “scurry” it around on the ground a few feet away from your cat to get their attention.
Step #3: At this point, your cat’s eyes will probably look larger as they stare down their “prey” which, in this case, means they’re excited.
Next, hide the toy behind some furniture or one of the obstacles and move the wand around to make “scampering” sounds (which will mimic the way prey would hide from your cat).
Step #4: After a few seconds, present the toy again and let your cat stalk the toy by slightly moving it in place. Your stealthy cat will likely sneak around the furniture or obstacles you’ve set up to move closer to the toy.
Step #5: It’s time for the chase! Keep the toy just out of their full grasp and let your cat chase and bat it.
Step #6: When you see them crouched low to the ground, wiggling their behind, this means your cat is ready to pounce. At this point, let them fully grab the toy.
Step #7: If your cat catches and intentionally releases the toy, this means they want to keep up the chase! If that’s the case, repeat steps 2-6.
For your feline friend, the “thrill of the hunt” is just as fun as successfully catching the prey, which can explain this “catch and release” behavior.
Step #8: Once your cat refuses to let go, or even tries to carry the toy off, let go of the toy so they can enjoy their “reward” and feel satisfied with their catch.
Some people will end playtime before their cat properly snatches the toy…which can leave their cat feeling dissatisfied, frustrated and all worked up with no way to burn off their energy. So, make sure to always let your cat win before ending the game.
After you’ve played a complete round with your furry pal, try rearranging the obstacles and play again. I think you’ll find this game can help keep your cat from getting bored AND give them a great workout. Plus, by imitating a real hunt during your next playtime, both you AND your whiskered pal will have a lot more fun together.
THE 10 BEST
HOMEMADE CAT TOYS
Feeling crafty? Homemade cat toys are an inexpensive, creative way to keep your cat amused—and they can be way better than anything you buy in a store! We’ve assembled the best homemade cat toys on the web.
In no particular order, here are 10 easy DIY cat toys you can make with items around your house —
1. HOMEMADE CATNIP YARN BALLS:
The classic yarn ball, reimagined. Now you can create a yarn ball that won’t unravel and that’s infused with catnip to keep your cat transfixed! All you need is glue, catnip, yarn and Styrofoam balls to create these irresistible homemade cat toys. See the tutorial.
2. HOMEMADE TOILET PAPER ROLL CAT TOY:
Don’t toss the tubes from your toilet paper rolls. Save them to repurpose as cat toys! Use toilet paper rolls, a hot glue gun and your cat’s favorite treats to create anything from a cool sphere to a rattle or treat puzzle. Find out how.
3. FEATHER CAT POUNCE TOY:
For a more elegant craft, try making these felt feathers with bells attached. And, if your cat isn’t a fan, they’re beautiful enough to use as décor! Make your own.
4. DIY WHACK-A-MOLE CAT TOY
Have an extra soda or cardboard box laying around? Turn it into a whack-a-mole game for your cat! Just a few added craft supplies and you’ll have the perfect toy for some DIY cat enrichment. Here’s how.
5. SOCK TOYS FOR CATS
Finally, a use for all those lone socks who’ve lost their mates. Your cat will flip for these crinkly fish sock toys! Get DIYing.
6. CARDBOARD CAT PALACE:
Take your cat’s love of a good cardboard box to the next level by using one to create the ultimate cardboard cat house. Add extra boxes to make it multiple stories! See the tutorial.
7. CARDBOARD MOUSE CAT TOY
These fun toys combine two cat classics—mice and cardboard. Just download the template, break out the cardboard and scissors,and voila! Hours of cat entertainment. Get the template.
8. SUPER SIMPLE PIPE CLEANER CAT TOY
This pipe cleaner cat toy is so simple, your kids can make it! All you need are a few pipe cleaners (the shinier the better) and your cat will be entertained for hours. Learn how.
9. FELT EMOJI CAT TOYS
Looking for something softer? Try these fun emoji cat toys you can make out of felt! Fill these expressive toys with catnip to really get your furry friend going. Check it out.
10. MENSWEAR MICE
When it comes to the best things you can make for your cat at home, this adorable mouse toy may take the cake. It’s a classic. It’s the perfect use for all those old shirts and suit jackets that don’t fit anymore! Check it out.
“Ragdoll Cats Play With A Homemade Cat Wand Toy”
Here’s another homemade cat toy...taken from YouTube.