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4 tips to play safely with your cat

If you need some inspiration to safely play with and stimulate your cat, you're in the right place. Here are 4 top tips on playing with your cat.
Cat playing by Johner, Agria

4 tips for safe mischief with your cat

  • Safety above all - make sure play doesn't include small toys that your cat can swallow or injure themselves on.
  • Make time - set aside some time each day for stimulation and play. It helps you - and cats like fixed routines.
  • Toys, toys, toys - toys for cats are like prey animals that can't be eaten. Make sure the toys lively and interesting for your cat, circulate between them to prevent boredom. Toys on a thick string are especially good. Make it move, like a rat on the ground or a bird in the air. Don't leave your cat alone with string as it can get caught or injured.
  • Feed your cat through food stimulation toys - cats are hunters and meant to spend hours hunting daily. So house cats can get bored if they only get their food served in a bowl.

Miwert - the cat who left the tap on

Miwert was a super-fast, young neutered male cat. Miwert managed to cost his owners a new wooden floor when he turned on a tap - but "forgot" to turn it off. He was an indoor cat who lived with a busy family with children in a big city with a lot of traffic.

When the cat entertains itself

Cats that suddenly become more active may have problems with their metabolism, so should be checked by a vet. Miwert had been examined and was healthy but his family was busy and didn't have time to play with him every day.

A young and healthy cat, who has nothing to do, is likely to make their own entertainment. They could climb the curtains, knock over bins, or even play with the taps. Miwert liked to drink the running water and splash in the water with his paws.

The family cared a lot about Miwert and had bought a lot of toys, but as they lay on the floor still, he wasn't interested. Toys that just lie on the floor and don't move are boring, so cats can quickly lose interest.

Stimulating your cat

Stimulation your cat can be likened to hunting and should include all the senses to keep your cat occupied. It's a fun was to spend some time with your cat, and can really improve your bond - so it's not just for indoor cats.

Technical solutions

Sometimes behavioural issues require a technical solution. Miwert's owner chose to buy a new water faucet with a motion sensor that shut off the water in case he had the nerve to turn the faucet back on and risk another kitchen floor.

About the Author

Anna Jönsson Bergstedt is a registered veterinary nurse and certified cat nurse with special skills and certification in cat behaviour.

More articles from Anna Jönsson Bergstedt

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