Cats need stimulation - they are hunters and their instinct is to hunt down and catch their prey. Cats are not big into running - they can only manage short bursts at a time - they will sit for hours watching their prey and will only pounce when they are 100% sure of the kill. Therefore if your cat is ‘watching’ the toy - this is enough - it is stimulating her mind into prey mode - she will only go for the kill when she is certain. Also - don’t put toys right in to her face - prey does not come up and say ‘Hi!’ ‘thought I’d just pop in your mouth! - prey is watched from afar with the cat moving in bit by bit.
Think about what you are playing with and move it in a way that makes the cat react. Watch its body language - is it crouched down low in a pounce position? If it is - then you’ve got it right. If she’s looking at you as if you are some kind of nut case going berserk on the end of a ‘wiggle waggler’ - you are wasting your time! You must interact with your cat at least twice a day with play sessions. She might love the little furry mouse you bought her, but that is in effect ‘dead’.
Playtime, Stimulating your Cat with ToysShe needs something to move to get her ‘excited’.
Different cats have different toys - some like mice like toys, others feathers - you need to find what excites your cat.
Do not give her all the toys at once - just a couple and then change them every few days.
Toys can be made more interesting by rubbing them with catnip leaves.
Never leave a cat alone with an interactive toy - anything on a string or elastic must be played with under supervision. Take care they do not get entangled otherwise they will run off with the ‘wand’ chasing them - that will not help your relationship with her!
She will tell you when she’s had enough - try not to cut off the game just as she’s getting interested.
Ensure that the cat cannot access the toy once the game is over!
For an elderly cat, even just pawing at a feather for a few minutes can help to stimulate him.
Timid cats can often be brought out of their shells with play as the instinct overcomes the fear. Persevere - do not think after just one session - oh she’s not bothered - just watching will be making her stimulated and less anxious.
Most cats, but in particular aggressive cats, should be played with from arms length so there is no danger of you being swiped, instead of the little mouse! This allows the aggressive cat to divert its aggression on to the toy and away from you.
If your cat sprays in a certain area - try having your play time in that specific area - or keep a couple of toys in your pocket as a means of distraction. The Cat Dancer is good one for that as it rolls up quite small and if you think the cat is about to spray dangle it towards him to get him interested and then have a small play session. Once the cat starts spraying you’ll have to leave him - its too late then to distract him.
WE CANNOT IMPRESS ON YOU ENOUGH THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAYING WITH YOUR CAT. FROM TINY KITTENS TO ADULTS, TO THE ELDERLY - THEY ALL NEED SOME KIND OF STIMULATION - JUST SEVERAL SHORT SESSIONS A DAY WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE TO YOUR CATS LIFE! PLEASE MAKE THE EFFORT.
Also try the following below
Reference CAT DETECTIVE by Vicky Halls
Vicky’s books have a great insight into cat behavior. Her books are highly recommended and available from all good books stores or online here http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_ss_w_h_/026-8564421-8663645?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=vicky+halls&Go.x=10&Go.y=13
Her lastest book Cat Counsellor: How Your Cat Really Relates to You is now out.
Vicky is currently tutoring the Intermediate and Advanced Feline Psychology courses for the Animal Care College and continues to lecture throughout the UK and Europe on various aspects of Feline behaviour.
Please visit her website here http://www.vickyhalls.net/Predatory play
Fishing-rod toys are ideal to simulate the movement of prey. These can be highly entertaining for your cat with the minimum of effort on your part.
The toy should be agitated in front of the cat (not in a rhythmical swing but with a random movement) in such a way as to allow the cat to catch it from time to time.
Cats will often watch avidly and only pounce when the object of their attention is still, so remember to stop the thing moving occasionally.
There are a number of good fishing-rod toys on the market but it is best to avoid those with large heavy objects on the end, you don't want to render your cat unconscious with an over-enthusiastic swing. These toys are best stored away when they are not being used because your cat might just get tangled in one if he tries to play with it when you are not there.
If you fancy a bit of DIY why don't you try making your own fishing-rod toy?
Here are a few suggestions:
Use a garden bamboo cane for the rod. Attach string or fine elastic to the end o£ the cane using a very sticky adhesive tape, such as carpet- or duct-sealing tape. Some cats will like the string on its own without anything attached.
Have a variety of small items that can be attached at different times to maintain the novelty of the toy.
Try a twisted cellophane sweet paper (this looks like a butterfly)
Try two feathers (this can be made to `fly' above your cat; very tantalizing).
Try a small strip of fake fur or a small commercially made fur mouse (approximately 2 centimeters long). •
Try four pipe cleaners bent around each other to form a spider.
Try attaching a thin strip (approximately 1 centimeter wide X 1 meter long) of thick fleece material instead of the string; or attach this to another cane as a separate toy.
Many cats enjoy retrieval games, which can represent an opportunity for social contact as well as play. The elasticated towelling hair bands are just the right size for a cat to pick up and they seem to be very popular. The younger your cat is when you start the better, but even adults can get the idea that the game will continue if they bring the hair band back to you.Toys
It is also useful to have toys that your cat can play with when he is on his own. Toys soon become predictable and boring if they are allowed to remain motionless in the same place all the time, so think twice before you place a basket of cat toys in the corner of the room.
Toys made out of natural fur and feather of a similar size to prey animals are popular but many owners find the use of real fur rather distasteful. It will not encourage your cat to go out and kill anything remotely furry bear in mind that this is basically what they are designed to do anyway. Many commercially available toys are made from fur that is a by-product of a food source, which may make the non-vegetarians among you feel a little easier about purchasing them.
Toys should be stored away in a self-sealed polythene bag with a small pinch of catnip inside if your cat is susceptible to the charms of this amazing herb. A random selection can then be brought out daily to main¬tain their novelty. Small toys (like fur mice) can even be placed. inside the food foraging receptacles for a bit of added interest. (A word of warning regarding small fur mice: some have plastic noses and eyes and these are best removed before your cat plays with them.)
Here is a selection of rubbish that your cat may find fascinating and won't cost you a penny.
A scrunched-up piece of paper thrown across the floor (tin foil works just as well).
A cork (champagne, of course!).
The plastic seal on the top of a milk container (under supervision only, as this is quite small and could be swallowed).
Supermarket carriers (handles removed)
A walnut (they make a great sound).
An empty crisp packet tied into a knot.Novel items
Your cat now has a multitude of high resting places, beds, scratching posts and feeding stations but even these, after a while, will be predictable and potentially boring. Whilst a degree of predictability is very reassuring it is still important to challenge your cat with exciting new experiences.
Anything that comes in through the front door is worthy of investigation because it will be laden with a host of different aromas that are well worth a good sniff. New items should therefore be brought into the house on a regular basis to challenge the cat's sense of smell and desire to explore novel things. Wood, stone, plants, cardboard boxes, paper bags, etc. can be placed in various locations and left for your cat to explore.
It is important that your cat is regularly vaccinated and treated for parasites if items could potentially have been in contact with other cats outside.
Purrs Members also recommend
Some shop brought toys to try:-
Remote control mouse
Kitty Bubble maker (or manual bubbles if ya have the puff
) (please ensure the bubble liquid is cat safe ans non toxic to cats ie as in products out in shops with catnip infused bubble liquid)
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