UK Pet Forums Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I feel bad, my new cat seems a bit bored just now.

I work from home several days a week. Play with her a bit while working. Play a little in the mornings and before bed as well.

She has:

A tall cat tree, she climbs and scratches it, sleeps in the basket at the top and can see out the window from it
One of those balls in a circle things that they chase round with their paws
Furry rodent on a fishing rod - her favourite, we play with this a lot
Assorted textured balls
Kong bunny kicking toy
Feather on a stick - stuck under the sofa, can't get it out.
Laser pen (haven't used this yet actually)
Paper bag, cardboard tube, scrunched up paper that she enjoys pouncing on and grabbing
Youtube - I have put on some "cat tv" featuring birds hopping around etc, she enjoyed that, also videos of other cats
Access to windows, she loves watching people outside/occasionally watches the birds etc

We play together and she'll take off on her own from time to time and dribble one of the balls, pounce on stuff or just get the zoomies and rush around, bolting down the stairs etc. I want to get her a cat tunnel, I think she'd enjoy that. But I feel like she should be getting more stimulation/enrichment, she seemed fed up today and was sleeping quite a bit. I think I also feel guilty as it was a sunny day and she's stuck inside but until I get a catio built she can't go out at all. Maybe some kind of puzzles she can do? Any recs?

Thanks
 

·
Cat Chat Friend
Joined
·
21,130 Posts
You can get maze toys for feeding treats which are quite good. And more interactive ones which are harder for them to work out. Catit do a couple.

A cat tunnel or cube is a good idea too.

Lots of cats do sleep during the day as they tend to be more crepuscular - active at dawn and dusk.

Oh and I sometimes throw a twig around the kitchen floor (or a straw would work) as they can bat it around. A screwed up ball of paper works too. Tonight they have had a sprig of catmint I bought from the garden centre today. It’s now decimated all over the kitchen floor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, I'll check out the Catit website.

I got out the laser pen last night and we had lots of fun playing with it. She was still searching for the light after I'd put it away!

I have catnip too but in dried form, I could maybe grow some outside but might have more of the local felines over haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,487 Posts
My cats tend to put them in their water so they have to be watched carefully. When I make no sharp end spiders for other people, I make sure I double the pipe cleaners and cover the ends with the spider's body. They are fairly safe then but all cat toys need regular monitoring for damage depending on how rough the cat in question is with its toys.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,813 Posts
I answered this question in depth recently in another thread. This time I was smart and saved my posts......You can ignore the questions you already answered about the equipment you already have :)

Ignore the incorrect gender too I am too lazy to go through and change every he to a she.

Does he/she have places to climb and jump? Does he have a box fort and a paper bag fort? I highly recommend changing his diet to an all wet diet. I think you will find he is more interested in play if you get him off the kibble.

Watch very careful while you play with him. Cats tell us what they like and don't like but we have to learn their body language.

I made a post here a few years ago on this subject, detailed on how to do it, I wish I could remember what thread it was in. I wish I'd saved it so I could repost without having to write it all out again. Maybe I did, I'll check.

But definitely a diet improvement should help.

That's great he's on a wet diet already. I'm not a fan of "puzzle feeders" and treat ball things, so I won't comment on those.

Most kittens aren't too challenging to play with yet, because they are still go go go. Most. Adults start to think and play and strategize. I suggest you keep a really sharp eye on his play habits and as you learn his own peculiar likes and dislikes capitalize on those.

One thing I have always found key is remembering that they are cats, predators, and not the long running kind of predator. They hunt in spurts, expending a lot of energy, they don't chase down a pack for miles like a wolf, for instance, they stalk hunt kill and eat. In theory...

Some things I recommend. When playing with a string on a stick toy, try different ways and see what he likes. Does he want to chase it out in the open or would he prefer to stalk and hunt? Drag it slowly under a rug, or if he likes rustley sounds, under some brown packing paper. Watch his reactions carefully. Does he wait until only a tip of the toy is showing? Does he wait until it's all the way under and he can't see it at all before he pounces? Would he rather chase the string on a stick, or a bump under the rug? Does he want the bump under the rug to stay under the rug, or make a dash for it?

Also, set up obstacles he can jump over or hide behind during Games. Often, when a cat walks away from the game, isn't not because he's done with the Game but because he's setting himself up with his own personal strategy. We have to be detectives and figure out why he has moved over to the other side of the room, and what he wants us to do next.

Often people will think the cat has lost interest when he walks away like that, but usually he hasn't, he's just setting himself up for the hunt. In my experience, when the cat has decided the Game is over, she's more likely to flop down right in front of you than walk away.

Another example is my Mazy cat (now an Angel) She liked to play Bat The Ball from her Crow's nest, but she didn't always like the toy I was using. I'd have to go through sever different choices sometimes before I got the right one. Crumpled paper balls were her favorite.

Set up a Game of catch. Gather, say some crumpled paper balls and toss one across the room. When he chases it down, watch what he does next. Does he sit and wait? he's waiting for another. But he may want you to throw it to a certain spot, so he can chase it down, he may want you to throw it so he can leap up and catch it or bat it away. As you learn his signals the Game time will get more fun for you both, and you may find he invents new Games. Mazy cat was a really creative inventor of Games, and Queen Eva is too,

See if he likes Gravity Experiments. Line up some interesting objects on the edge of a shelf or counter or even the side of the tub. If he knocks them all down, put them back. Vary what you put there, and vary the locations.

~more~
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,813 Posts
My cats have all stayed active and playful all their lives. Even in their last days, they are still playing (modified) versions of their favorite Games. It takes a lot of work, especially after they get older, but it is so worth it.

Queen Eva is just past 12 years old. She plays several sessions a day with me, about 5 minutes at a time.

She Thunders Around the House on her own a few times a day and has her own Solitaire Games too of course. She hasn't been playing those since Mazy cat left us, but I know she'll start up again after awhile, it's only been 3 1/2 months.

We've just had one of her favorites, which she invented years ago. I place the cube in the middle of the kitchen floor with the holes set the right way and then come into the living room. Queen Eva skulks around putting herself into position in one place or another. I fling the cap, she bolts after it. She loves running through the cube on her way, sometimes she jumps over it, as she chases the cap down.

I follow her in and pick up the cap (or fish it out from under an appliance) while she sets herself up again, then I toss it back through into the living room. She chases it down that way and we start all over.

One of Mazy cat's favorite Games she invented was the Sliding Game. Flat smallish cardboard boxes, low sides with the flap torn off, work best for this.(or the flat cardboard case canned cat food comes in maybe). I'd dangle the string-on-a-stick toy she liked for this Game in the box. (She liked the Red Dot for this game too). When Mazy cat heard the little sound of the bit on the end of the string hit the box she would start setting herself up.

Sometimes it took a few tries on my part to find the right way. Sometimes she wanted it lying still on the floor of the box. Sometimes she wanted it creeping over the edge, slowly, either over from the inside or over from the outside of it, and so on.

At the right moment she made a dash to the prey and leap with her front feet landing in the box. While her hind feet were still in the air she would go sliding across the floor! She and I both loved that Game. Queen Eva, whilst she did take over several of Mazy cat's Games (and she took Jennie's too, when Jennie left us) she doesn't play the Sliding Game.

I mentioned crumpled paper balls. Even these a cat can feel very specific about. Mazy cat liked them made from envelopes, the kind with the cellophane window. She liked the crinkle of the cellophane. She liked them freshly made when ever possible. She wanted to see AND hear me me tear off the strip of paper and crumple it up.

She liked them smaller rather than larger, but not always. Sometimes she would fancy a half envelope size, sometimes half that.

Mazy cat had an Airborne Game she played with Crumpled Paper Balls. There's a thread around here somewhere on it. She played that Game all her life, even in her last few months.

Another thing I've always arranged my home so the cats have multiple levels around the room. They can fly from bookcase to couch to chair to cat tower without ever touching the floor. It's part of what I call Thundering Around the house.

In my old lace I had to stairs and steps book cases in the bedroom, when I bought this house it turned out I don't have the right configuration to recreate it here but I did a modified version.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,813 Posts
One more thing. When I rescued my Jennie (Angel) she was between 2-3 years old vet thought. It took me quite a while to figure out her Game. The main thing she liked to to was bust up Games when I was playing with the others. Any time I was on the floor playing with them she would watch, and start skulking and slink around and then suddenly burst out into the middle of the game scattering the other cats and feeling very pleased with herself. I did finally learn her Game. She liked to play on the bed. She had an old boot lace which was her String Game and she liked being patted with the fly swatter.

She was so happy when I finally figured it out. She still always enjoyed busting up the other Games though, and then she would sit on the Playhouse and wait her turn, sometimes howling to remind me she was patiently waiting. :D

She liked her String Game in various ways. She liked the down comforter to be puffed up and the string dragged behind it so she could pounce and land in a cloud. She also liked the duvet to be spread out so she could skid over the surface of it when she chased ( I have one cover that is smooth and slippery to cat feet if they keep their claws in). She liked to have just the bottom sheet on the bed and she would get under it and wait for me to toss a toy onto the bed in front of her, and she would chase it across the bed, her under the sheet, the toy on top of the sheet. And so on.....
 

·
Mentored by Meeko
Joined
·
26,584 Posts
No cats toy box should be without these...............


This is a pack with springs and " boinks " and would do to start with but if they go down well I would shop around for individual packs of each as they have a nasty habit of disappearing under stuff .
Keeps Meeko amused for ages although it usually needs a human to join in occasionally
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Go for a walk in the park or country and pick up any stray pigeon flight feathers. My cats love them...they find them in the garden and bring them in like they are proper prey, and play with them for ages, even the 5 year old. And they are eaten a little bit too!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
425 Posts
Playing is all well and good and definitely important but if you have an indoor cat it's about creating an environment where they can exercise their natural Instincts a little bit and I'm talking about height climbing and jumping.


If you don't mind spending quite a bit of money the possibilities are endless. Create a run that is up in the air and goes 360° all around a room.

Staggered shelving ramps things like that.


Example

Building Wood Interior design Living room Picture frame
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
869 Posts
Ah that's brilliant! Her previous home had shelving dotted about/baskets up high for them to relax in. Is it really expensive? I need to get a catio as well for her.
Have a look on Amazon. There’s various options at various prices.
This is a four piece set at £89 but you can buy single elements cheaper such as a set of little wall steps.

Probably a case of deciding what look/elements you want and buying a few different bits.
Or if you’re okay with DIY, nothing to stop you buying and putting up ordinary shelving.

Try and create a ‘course’ so she can get around the room (or rooms) without needing to be on the floor.

 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top