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Games to play with your cat: 10 awesome indoor activities to do with your feline friend

By Evan Williams, Hannah Loskamp

Cats can get a little bored sometimes, and when they do, you’re in for some drama. Want to prevent your cat from going crazy? So how about declaring playtime and entertaining your cat with fun and games!

Playing is important for a cat’s health! © Unsplash / Biel Morro

Cats are famous for drama, but those scratched walls, torn curtains, and wrecked sofas are all avoidable. It’s actually quite simple, really – just like you and me, these fluffy little guys need some playtime in their lives.

Playing together helps form a better bond between cat and human, provides exercise that prevents physical problems and is also important for their mental health.

And there’s even better news: it’s pretty easy to entertain a cat.

TAG24’s Cat Guide features 10 fun games to play with your cat.

From warding off boredom to strengthening your bond with your pet, these suggestions are just what the doctor ordered!

Keep your cat busy with fun games!

Cats can get a little bored when they’re all locked indoors. When these little furballs spend their entire lives between these four walls, things get a little disastrous. You may have noticed a bit of restless behavior, maybe a bit of destruction and a lot of sadness. So what should you do?

The key to having a healthy and happy cat is keeping it entertained. This means good food, comfortable places to nap and, of course, some kind of exercise. If your cat doesn’t have this outdoor adventure, you’ll need to recreate it inside your home with creative play.

Great indoor cat games

There are a wide variety of games you can play with your cat, none of which require you to invest a lot of time or money. In fact, there are simple household items that you can use for fun.

The goal is to provide activities that allow cats to practice their hunting skills, challenge their intelligence and stimulate their natural instincts. There are no limits to the creativity you can use, so let’s go.

Fun games for cats | Hunting and racing

Cats love games that test their hunting skills.

Cats love games that test their hunting skills. © Unsplash / Ferenc Horvath

Cats need to run, hunt, hunt and exercise their natural instincts. Keeping them repressed indoors all day isn’t natural, so here are some games to help exercise those needs.

Try these five cat chase and run games:

1. Play ball: Use a cat ball with a clink to encourage your cat to run and jump. Avoid small objects like a marble, as you don’t want it to choke.

2. Flying Food: Drag treats or dry food across the floor for your cat to chase before it swoops down.

3. Follow the light: Use a flashlight or laser pointer while seated to have your cat chase light around your home. Do not shine it in the cat’s eyes, as it may be harmful.

4. Crumpled paper: Crumple some paper into a ball and roll it on the floor. Feel free to throw it away too. Many cats will love the sound of paper crackling.

5. Human Tail: Tie a string to a stick and guide it through the apartment pretending it’s your tail. If you have a small comforter (and disposable), ideally in the shape of a mouse, you can attach it to the end of the string. Cats love it!

Fun games for cats | Intelligence and hide-and-seek

Older cats are often much calmer and lazier than younger cats, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to play with you once in a while. Try these few games to exercise their intelligence and instincts, and play a little hide and seek with them.

Here are some other games to play with your cat:

6. Hide and Seek Cat: Hide treats around the house, perhaps under newspapers and rags. Make sure your kitty sees you hiding them there, then let them search for their rewards.

7. Water games: Not all cats hate water. In fact, some cats love to swim, but most will be intrigued by floating objects. Put a bowl of water on the ground and place a bouncy ball in it. Your cat will try to fish it out of the bowl!

8. Treat Fishing: Poke holes in an old cardboard box and drop treats in there for your cat to try to extract. You can also do this with toys or drop things into empty toilet paper rolls.

9. Seize treats: Take an empty egg carton and hide treats in the hollows where the eggs were. It will be even more fun for the cat if you cover the treats, so the cat has to find a way over an obstacle before it can nibble.

10. Catch: Grab a blanket or towel that you don’t mind damaging and put your hand or foot under it. Move your fingers or toes and laugh as your feline friend leaps furiously over and over and over again.

Play with your cat and it will be much happier and more peaceful.

Play with your cat and it will be much happier and more peaceful. © Unsplash / Milada Vigerova

Health benefits of cat games

All responsible cat owners should ensure that they play with their cat regularly. Good games for cats increase their confidence, health and mental well-being, and prevent them from being shy around you. It’s also great for you too!

Here are some other reasons why you should play with your cat regularly:

  • Trust: Cats will have a sense of accomplishment playing with you and successfully “catching” their prey. If you play with your cat regularly, he will become more confident, comfortable and happy.
  • Learning and development: Kittens especially need to play, as they will learn from this playfulness. This will help train their dexterity and reflexes, eye-paw coordination and physical fitness.
  • Reduce agitation: Cats can become very restless if they don’t exercise regularly. This especially applies to indoor cats, which are given everything on a tray and cannot hunt. Your hands and feet can end up becoming an outlet for this particular instinct, so it’s best to play with them and have a little fun instead!
  • Health: Playing time has a very positive impact on their mental and physical health. The games that cats love will help keep them physically fit and prevent them from getting too fat or developing arthritis and joint pain as they get older.

Fun and games make a cat happy

Playing with your fluffy companion is an integral part of building a good human-cat relationship. It not only provides health benefits for the cat, but also essential pleasure and bonding for the owner.

With these indoor games, plus lots of love and attention, you and your cat should be set for life!

Cover photo: Unsplash / Biel Morro

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