Your cat loves to play at hunting, but they also enjoys exploring their territory. By providing your cat with places to climb inside the house, you’ll be giving them plenty of opportunities for exercise and stimulation, even when there are no toys around. Scratching posts and climbing frames are great for this too.
Your cat might even encourage you to chase them around. Some cats do this every day at a certain time – usually at night, when they're just waking up properly. If your cat runs past you and hides behind the curtains, chase after them, peek behind the curtain and watch what they do. There’s every chance they'll dash off to hide somewhere else, then peek out at you. And so the game of chase-me begins!
Some cats actually enjoy a game of “fetch” just as much as dogs – maybe your cat is one of them! Even if they aren't, there’s every chance they'll enjoy a more feline version of this traditionally doggy game. Here’s how to do it:
- Pick a small, light toy that your cat really likes
- Call your cat's name while tossing the toy up and down in your hand
- Let them see that you’re having some fun with their toy
- Keeping the toy visible, sit in a chair and throw the toy so that it lands near your cat, letting them play with it
- Just as your cat’s about to get bored, call their name and pick up the toy again
- From your chair, do the throwing routine again
- Repeat this for about ten minutes, twice a day – with luck, your cat will get the idea and start bringing the toy back to you
Once your cat’s got the hang of the game, you can start to mix things up. For example, try throwing your cat’s toy behind the furniture to bring out their natural hunting instinct!