5 games to play with your cat to keep them entertained
From ‘fetch’ to ‘hide and seek’, check out some of our favourite games to play with your cat.
Cats may not be as easily pleased as dogs, but they’re curious creatures and many love to play with their humans! Not only is it a whole bunch of fun for all involved, but it keeps your cat stimulated and active, and allows them to express their true quirky self.
Not sure how to play with your cat? All cats are unique, so it’s all about finding what style of play makes them tick! Have a go at some of these games to play with cats to see if any get their fun juices flowing.
How to play with your cat
Cats are natural predators, so they go wild for the opportunity to express their instincts. Stalking, chasing, pouncing, attacking, you name it, they love it. It’s also not uncommon to catch a cheeky kitten play biting from time to time! To save your fingers, avoid playing with your hands or body. Instead, try out a variety of toys that your cat can treat as their “prey”. Toys that mimic mice or birds are a great choice, but you might be surprised to hear cats enjoy playing with balls too. Check out our article on [finding the right toys for your cat] for our top tips.
Combining food and play
If your cat is motivated by food, get some treats involved in the fun! Treats like DREAMIES™ work perfectly as incentives and rewards for your cat playing nicely. And food can even become the game itself too. Puzzle feeders that you fill with food for your cat to ‘unlock’ with their paws and tongues are great for keeping their brains active. You can even make your own puzzles from simple household items, like toilet rolls and egg boxes! Alternatively, you could set up a scavenger hunt with treats by hiding them around the home for your furry friend to hunt for.
Games to play with your cat
We know what you’re thinking, ‘Fetch’ is for dogs! But, believe it or not, many cats love it too. Well, their own version of ‘Fetch’ anyway. Because, let’s face it, if there’s one thing we all know about cats, it’s that they live by their own rules. So, yes, many cats love playing with balls, but you can’t always rely on them bringing it back. Find a ball that’s just the right size for their tiny paws and roll or toss it for them to pounce on. Balls with bells inside are also a good choice, especially if your cat is older or visually impaired.
Chase the “mouse”
Awaken your cat’s natural instincts by mimicking their prey, such as a mouse or bird. No, we don’t mean act like an animal yourself, we mean use a toy that resembles something they may want to hunt! “Chase the mouse” games for cats let them use their hunting skills and burn off excess energy by chasing, pouncing and attacking the toy. It’s also perfect for building speed and agility. Choose a toy attached to a string, stick or fishing rod, so you can move it around, without your hands becoming collateral damage!
Hide and Seek
Getting your cat to play hide and seek will really put their senses to the test and it’s the perfect game to play with a cat, without toys. We doubt we need to explain the rules of ‘hide and seek’, but just in case, the idea is to hide and wait for them to find you. You could duck behind the sofa, curtain or anything that does the trick, then call out to them and wait for them to playfully stalk you. Some cats also love to switch roles and do the hiding themselves, which they’re pretty good at!
Teach them a trick
Yep, cats can learn tricks! And it can be a really amazing way to bond with them too. Get some treats at the ready - and some patience - and begin with something straightforward like the ‘sit’ or ‘paw’ command. Place a treat in your hand and allow your cat to give it a good sniff, then keep hold of it while you repeat the command until they perform the action. Make sure you reward them with the treat whenever they get it right (while they’re performing the trick, rather than after) and hopefully after a while they’ll get the hang of it! Never force it though - tricks aren’t for every cat, and it’s supposed to be fun!
If your furry friend is partial to a bit of catnip, it could be what you need to take playtime up a gear. Known to have a mood-boosting effect on lots of cats, catnip can bring out the fun-loving side of your fluff ball. Just give them a couple of [DREAMIES™ catnip treats], a catnip toy to toss around or even some fresh or dry catnip sprinkled on the floor for them to sniff and roll around in. Check out our article on the [effects of catnip] if you want to know a little bit more about it.
What to do if your cat wants to play all the time?
If you’ve got an excitable kitty cat on your hands, they can feel like quite a handful at times! While it’s [important to play with your cat] every day, we’ve all got lives to get on with.
By creating a fun environment for them at home, they’ll hopefully find fun in their own company. Scratching posts,maze toys and cat trees are great for keeping them entertained. You’d also be amazed how many hours of fun a cat can get out of a cardboard box! So if you buy your DREAMIES™ in bulk, you basically get a free toy for your cat, as they can play with the box it comes in!
Now you’ve got a few ideas up your sleeve, it’s time to put them into practice. Grab a bag of DREAMIES™ and get playtime started!