We bet you’ve heard it before: keep your cats active. But then, you come home from work and see your cats lounging in their tree or bed or on top of a kitchen cabinet (or anywhere really) just being their lovely, lazy selves, and you think to yourself, “Maybe my cat just isn’t the playful type?”
It’s true that cats have evolved to become our household companions, and most cats (in the US at least) live comfortably with human families inside human homes. Gone are the days of living in the wild and hunting for food. And therefore, Inadvertently, gone too are cats’ primary source of exercise: hunting. So while we humans are tasked with providing the obvious essentials like warm beds and punctual mealtimes that help maintain a cat’s physical and emotional health, we’re also responsible for replicating hunting time in order to keep our cats in their prime state of physical and mental health. Thankfully, that can be done through playtime.
Besides an obvious reason like preventing extra weight gain, keeping your cat active keeps him or her from getting bored. A bored cat can become easily depressed. And a depressed cat can actually lay around more and consume more calories leading to, you guessed it, weight gain. Playtime also allows a cat to express their natural hunting instinct, and below we have some tips on just how to play with your cat to ensure that they stay mentally alert, always curious, and emotionally fulfilled.
Tip 1: Curiosity Makes The Cat
Cats are super curious, so giving them a range of cat toys and activities helps keep them interested and active. Cats are also super smart, and they know when a toy gets old. Besides that one favorite they may have, it’s vital to switch up your cat’s toys so they don’t lose interest. Revolve your toys by splitting them into groups and storing the ones not in use. This not only assists with keeping a safe environment for your cat or preventing the creation of a “klepto-kitty” (cats are notoriously good hiders) but can also keep your cat engaged and interested when a “new” set of toys are brought out again.
Tip 2: Mimic the Hunt
Dribble. Cats enjoy swatting and dribbling with toys that can move easily across the floor. If you’re constantly losing their toys under the furniture you can put the toy in a large cardboard box so that your cat can play with it in a controlled space. We all know how cats love a good cardboard box. Or you can purchase our Jumbo Bora Springs which are extra-large so they’re harder to lose. They also have no sharp edges (safety is always a priority) and are customized for the perfect bounce.
Chase. Our Small Felt Balls and Farmer’s Market Haul will turn even the laziest kitty into a hunter! Our wool balls are made with 100% natural wool and AZO-free dyes so they can be enjoyed safely. For extra stimulation, our Small Wool Ball and Farmer’s Market Haul set comes with a USA farm-sourced organic catnip and silvervine teabag. Throw/roll our Farmer’s Market Haul and Felt Balls across the floor for cats to chase. When the ball or toy comes to a standstill, roll it again to keep your kitties’ interest and to pique their curiosity.
Jump. Cats are natural jumpers and love to jump into the air to catch toys. Use our Feather Teasers from our Jump collection to help your cat work those legs and get plenty of exercise (perhaps lose extra calories if necessary)! Our Feather Teasers are handmade, durable, with easy clip-on clasps and have no jagged edges.
Bunny Kick. Grabbing and bunny kicking a catnip kicker mimics a cat’s natural hunting instinct for catching prey in the wild. Scratching keeps a cat’s claws sharp and tones their shoulder/back muscles. Our Bunny Kickers collection will meet this need – and should (hopefully) save some of your furniture, too! Our Bunny Kickers Collection include various Catnip Kickers and Large Wool Balls. Our Catnip Kickers contain 2 grams of USA farm sourced catnip and our Large Wool Balls are made out of 100% natural wool and use natural AZO-free dyes so that they can be enjoyed safely.