Brain and body fitness games for your cat
Like humans and their hobbies, cats need activities to occupy their time and keep them happy. And games stimulate both your cat’s mind and body, helping to keep them inquisitive and active. So try taking just 15 minutes each day and use one of these ways to play:
1. Create a paper bag playground
Lay paper bags on the floor, with the openings facing each other. As your cat enters one bag, scratch your finger on the outside bottom of the bag. Once he’s scuffling inside that bag, scratch the bottom of the other bag, enticing your cat to pounce from one bag into the other.
2. Trap toy prey
Drop a small lightweight ball—like a ping-pong ball or wad of foil—into a cardboard box, laundry basket or plastic storage tub. Let your cat see you drop the ball into the container and encourage them to jump in after it. Your cat should enjoy chasing the “prey” in its contained space.
3. Shine a light on it
Shine a flashlight or laser light on the floor in front of your cat. Move the light erratically across the floor, over the couch, up the walls. Be sure to let your cat catch the light from time to time so they feel rewarded and don’t get frustrated.
4. Bring the boomerang back
Get a foam boomerang—like this one—that’s soft enough to throw indoors. And try giving it your best outback toss. If you throw it right, it should spin in a wide circle in the air, causing your cat to do some amazing leaps.
5. Play paper hockey
Wad up a small piece of paper or foil so it’s a little smaller than a golf ball. Lie down on a hard surface floor and blow on the ball so it skitters by your cat. When she bats it, bat it back with your finger. No rules, no penalty boxes.
6. Go fish!
Get a stick about a yard long and a string that’s slightly longer. Tie the string to the end of the stick. Tie something interesting to the other end of the string, like a small sock filled with catnip or anything your cat likes to play with. Sit on a chair or on the floor and drag the toy along the floor in a circle all the way around you. When your cat goes for the bait, gently pull to keep the game challenging.