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PLAY WITH YOUR CAT!

PLAY WITH YOUR CAT!
Cats are getting fatter. About 1 in 5 cats were obese 25 years ago, now that number is almost 1 in 3. While they’ve gotten safer in the last 20 years, the typical indoor cat is bored, overweight and at risk for disease and early death.
Most dog owners know they need to walk their dogs daily. We cat guardians also need to build in daily play sessions to keep our cats healthy.
Play therapy can give cats the best of both worlds, a safe cat that is healthy mentally and physically. It’s also a fun way to strengthen the bond with your cats.

Plus play relieves boredom, improves circulation, prevents disease, builds muscle tone and can prevent or reduce behaviors that are undesirable.
Your cat’s natural instinct to hunt for prey can be turned into playtime. A good play therapy session should include:
• A cue to initiate the session
• 7-10 minutes of active play
• Limited distractions from other humans or animals
• Using a toy, not your hands or feet
• Using the toy to simulate the movements of prey
• Safe surfaces for the cat to jump, run and land
• Letting the cat catch the toy near the end of the session
• Feeding a healthy protein treat to complete the hunting sequence and end the session
• Hiding the toy when you’re finished and rotating hidden toys

Your cat will probably get bored quickly with any toy that just sits there. Who wouldn’t? Your best investment is a toy that has you on the other end of it, making playtime a partnership full of surprises. The more you play with your cat, the more your cat will want to play.
You can make your own cat toys from common materials or buy commercial ones that appeal to your cat. Experiment with different motions that imitate the movements that attract cats in nature.
You might have a cat who likes bird motions with fluttering, swooping air dynamics or you might find that scurrying a toy across the floor and hiding under furniture excites the cat’s hunting/playing instincts. Some cats like lots of rapid motion; others will be intimidated by so much activity.
Test your cat’s reaction to the following and find a few that will get your feline raring to play. We recommend and use the following toys for all our cats.
WAND TOYS
Cat Catcher, Cat Dancer, Da Bird, fishing pole designs, peacock feathers, string-on-a-stick
The idea is to find or make something that allows you to excite your cat’s hunting instincts when you wave, flutter, twitch, or circle the toy. You can get big movements and keep your hands away from the hunting cat.
If your cat isn’t going after a string toy, try snipping off the toy on the end, leaving the string. Almost all cats love a string.
Remember to put the wand away out of sight after playtime. This will keep the cat excited about the play sessions. It also keeps you a critical part of the sessions and builds your relationship. Check toys for loose parts that might be harmful if swallowed and replace as needed.
BALL TOYS
wadded-up paper, Mylar crinkle, ping-pongs, sponges, felted balls, large pom-poms
The movement of a ball along the floor mimics the scampering of small prey animals. Many cats like to bat, kick, bite, drop, and carry these toys. You can increase the attraction with balls that have bells, treats or catnip inside to stimulate the play. Some cats will learn to bounce the balls into a basket, play soccer in the tub or play fetch with you and the ball. These toys should also be rotated to keep them interesting.
TIPS
Watch the signals
Play at your cat’s pace and watch the body language so you don’t overexcite the cat. If a cat gets too worked up he or she could redirect their energy towards your hands or feet or another cat. Encourage play but be ready to take a break if things get too wild.
Don’t use your hands
If you use your hands to play with your cat you are teaching them to treat you as prey, so scratches and bites are likely to occur. You may think you can control the level of excitement but it is unfair to ask your cat to know the difference between play and affection.
You could be putting yourself, your cat and other humans at risk by teaching them to “attack” hands. Many cats end up in shelters because they were encouraged as kittens to bite hands or feet.
Pick a good time
Try to schedule playtime with your cat both in the morning and evening to find out when your cat is most receptive. If your play sessions are before mealtimes you mimic the natural prey sequence. Cats like routine so a play session each evening before meals will satisfy your cat’s natural drive to hunt and eat.
Careful with laser lights
Avoid using laser lights alone for play sessions, since many cats become frustrated or obsessed with chasing a light that they can’t ever catch. If you use a laser then transition to a toy or food that the cat can catch and bite to complete the natural prey drive.
One cat at a time
If you have more than one cat, try to play with them separately. If two excited cats are chasing a toy they could accidentally crash into each other and get hurt or frightened by the other cat. You might have to take the game into a room with one cat and close the door or keep two cats entertained with two separate toys (good exercise for humans too!).
No small or loose parts
Do check all toys for loose parts that might be harmful if swallowed and replace as needed. Swallowing string or other small parts can be very damaging or even fatal to cats.

 

20 Comments to PLAY WITH YOUR CAT!:

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make my resume for me on Tuesday, May 08, 2018 9:44 PM
I am an animal lover and I have a two dogs and two cats in our house. I agree with all the things that you said. Play with your pets because this is one of the ways that you can express your love for them. We also should monitor the food that they eat. The word healthy is our number one priority. We need to have a time for our pets because it will cause a lot of trouble if we don't have time for them. We should be responsible owners.


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My cat is so fat! I'm not sure how my cat got so big but I think it's because he eats more than he moves. Usually, he stays in his bed all day and only walks for a couple of minutes. I am very concerned about his health because he can't even climb or jump anymore. Often he would fall from the sofa and it looks very painful for him. I know I am lazy as well but I think it's about time to exercise for the sake of my cat as well.


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essayontime on Thursday, April 12, 2018 11:20 PM
I'm an animal lover and I have one dog and one cat. At first I thought that they will fight because they live in one house, but I'm wrong, they love each other like how much I love these two little babies. I agree that we should play our cats, not just cats but all our animals that we have. It is one of the ways to show that we love them. This is a nice and informative blog. I really love reading your post. I'm looking forward for more interesting topic. Thank you so much.
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I will try to play with my cat more. My cat really loves attention. What about your cat?
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best writing services online on Monday, April 30, 2018 9:52 AM
You should take care of your pets properly. Like us humans, they have a lot of needs. Especially in their diets. Domestic cats can easily gain weight since they have limited thing to do on our houses. They lose their instincts on hunting their foods since we provide it instantly for them. This article has many tips on how to train your cats to maintain their animal instincts while having a quality time with them. I'm sure a lot of animal lovers will be inspired to take care of their pets responsibly.
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The outside of my house is filled with so cats. Cats are adorable. They lay on the ground all the time and they tend to brush themselves to your feet to get attention or just being plain friendly. I don't have a cat, but I'm planning to adopt one. I think it's necessary to learn everything in this blog because if I had that cat in my home right now I want it to be as comfortable and as happy as possible.
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