Cats seem to be creatures of leisure – they certainly don’t run around the yard with wild abandon like their dog counterparts. Most cats are quite content to sit on a windowsill all day long, taking naps and watching the world go by. But that doesn’t mean cats don’t need or enjoy playing games with their owners. Cats love to be mentally and physically stimulated, and they love to spend time playing with you!
When it comes to cats, however, play isn’t just about fun and games. For cats in the wild, the act of play is a serious business that helps kittens learn important survival skills like stalking, chasing, and trapping prey. Even if your cat never ventures out beyond your home, this basic instinct to hunt can remain strong, which is why it is important to give our cats the opportunity to express this natural behavior through play.
Play = Exercise!
Along with satisfying your cat’s natural instinct, play is also important to keep your pet healthy and happy. Play provides important exercise for cats, especially those that are housebound. Regular play can help prolong your cat’s life by keeping her active and helping to maintain a healthy weight. Interactive play between you and your cat may also prevent behavior problems that can arise from boredom or misdirected aggression at other pets or people in the household. Finally, play is simply a great way to interact with your cat and strengthen the loving bond between you.
Exercising your cat’s body as well as her mind is equally important. Of course, cats love movement and they are attracted to it. Global Pet Foods carries many different types of cat toys to help keep your cat busy and occupied.
Tip #1: It is important to check that the toys selected are safe and appropriate for your particular pet. Be sure that any toy your cat plays with is large enough that it cannot be swallowed. Make sure the toys do not have any small parts, strings, buttons, or bells that a cat might think is a treat and want to eat.
Tip #2: With a little help from you, your cat will feel like she’s hunting prey. Drag the end of the toy on the floor for your cat to chase, varying the speed and direction. Don’t make catching the toy too easy, but let her win once in awhile to make her feel like a good hunter. Be sure to praise her too!
Tip #3: Many cats love rolling toys that are lightweight and easy to bat around. Feeder toys, which dispense food treats as the cat plays with it, are also great devices that encourage play by rewarding your cat for her hard work. Toys filled with catnip can also keep your kitty occupied for hours.
Tip #4: To keep your cat interested in play, put her toys away when playtime is over. If a toy is always available, your kitty might become bored with it. Try to set aside some time each day, at least 20 minutes for interactive play with your cat. If she wants to play more, indulge her! If you have more than one cat, ensure that all cats have an equal opportunity to participate in the activity with you!
You’ll find everything you need in Global Pet Foods stores across Canada that will help to keep your cats warm active, happy and healthy! To find a Global Pet Foods store near you, visit www.globalpetfoods.com.
Encouraging play with your cat is an important part of keeping her healthy and happy. By helping your cat to remain “as playful as a kitten,” you not only help her have fun but also improve her muscle tone, agility, and stamina – and strengthen the bond that you already share.