How to play with your Cat?

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How to avoid cat boredom? Why are cats bored? Are cats bored at all?

Most owners consider the cat to be “maintenance free”. That it is enough to pour him food into a bowl and that’s it. If it is a cat that can leave the house, it will use up its energy. He will be physically and mentally stimulated. But if it is an indoor cat, if we do not stimulate it, we will lead to two extreme behaviors: gaining its weight or he will start to destroy our house. The cat looks nice on the couch at home, but it is worse when it leaves the couch, because such situations also happen. If the animal has already switched from its natural instincts to cooperate and function in harmony with humans, because it is not as active at night as it is in nature.

How to encourage your cat to play?

Each cat is motivated to play differently. For one, playing with the hand is enough, which is not recommended as it can turn into aggression on the hand, but there are plenty of toys that we can make ourselves or buy. Interactive toys or special lasers help us “tire” the cat. However, not all cats like active, spontaneous play, but prefer to sit and watch. So you can reconcile it and invest in an aquarium, which will act as a cat’s TV: the pet will sit and watch the fish. Of course, we have to secure the tank so that the cat does not get inside. If we have a balcony or a house with a garden, we can try to install a feeder for the same purpose. Thanks to this, we will be able to get to know our cat better by observing how it behaves in frustration when the prey is not achievable. This causes mental fatigue. In this way, problems with settling in the litter box and aggression problems can (but do not have to) be solved. Teaching a cat the right behavior is more difficult than teaching a dog, but through patience and play, you can get great results.

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Many people buy expensive toys for their cats: houses, fancy scratchers, tunnels, but it often turns out that it is money spent on nothing, because cat does not approach it at all, is not interested. We try to force him, we get nervous, the cat gets angry because he is doing something against his will. Can we somehow encourage the cat to be interested in these things?

This is similar to the situation where the father who has his firstborn automatically buys the first toys that he once did not have. If we approach the cat this way, we will spend a lot of money on a cute toy that the cat will not be interested in. Each cat is different, so you need to match these toys to his interest. And we don’t have to spend money on colorful toys. Often, two or three boxes with cut-out holes are enough, a bag (with ears cut off to prevent the cat from getting tangled and choking), a ball of yarn for the cat to spend time having fun. Cats are very smart, but assuming that we are smarter, it is our responsibility to match the toy to the cat’s needs, so as not to force him to use the toys that we like.

It is becoming more and more popular to keep more than one pet at home. Dogs and cats can come to a common language and play with each other. What is the difference in playing when there is only one cat in the house, and when we have more of these cats and they play with each other, not needing human interference?

This situation often leads to the owner feeling rejected. Cats have a great time together and sometimes they don’t need human for that. Let us respect the fact that when we take more than one animal home, we are actually just observers. We can involve cats in play, but let’s not be ambitious about it, because playing within one species is definitely more pleasant and natural for these animals than playing with us. The point is to adapt to the animals we have and to fit into this animal duo or trio, so that we are only part of this group to play with.

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During play, cats often behave aggressively, they squeak, scratch, chase each other, and then lick and cuddle each other. When and when should we react and stop playing at all? Should we interfere with the fun or rely on nature?

Each answer to this question has its supporters and opponents. In my opinion, animals know what they are doing. In play, no holds barred, both in dogs and cats. The moment we start to intervene, we can become a bone of contention. In the case of dogs, we can strengthen the weaker, more submissive individual, and when we interfere in an inappropriate way, we shake what the dogs have so far “agreed”: who is more important, who can afford what. It is the same with cats.

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About this category

Animal at home is a project derived from the Polish portal dedicated to domestic pets, which I run. This blog category features the best articles I have created with pet experts. Together, we help educate their current and future owners.

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Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewicz
Hi, I am the author of the blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.