Your cat’s speed, vision and pouncing ability puts it amongst nature’s greatest hunters, just like its big cat cousins. In fact, you’ll be able to see plenty of big cat characteristics in your small cat’s everyday behaviour, particularly when they play using toys as ‘prey’.
Play is not only important for your small cat to express its natural instincts, but it keeps your furry friend fit too. Here’s how you can make playtime perfect.
When hunting, cats like to remain unseen until the moment they pounce. If you are enticing your cat with a toy, try using it in an area where there are chairs or other objects your cat can hide behind and pounce from.
The best toys for hunting games are ones that wiggle and move. And they're simple to make! Tying a piece of string to an old toy could turn an ordinary plaything into your cat's natural toy of choice.
Cats love cardboard boxes. So why not make it extra fun by combining several boxes together to create your very own feline fort? Each box could have different textures, games or treats inside, making it your cat's favourite play place.
Always use a toy to prevent your cat pouncing on your hand when the game is over. You could hide your hands under a paper bag and rustle it, making it fun and keeping your hands from being seen as 'prey'.
In nature, your cat's hunting instinct is often rewarded with a treat. WHISKAS® DREAMIES® make the perfect reward for a successful 'catch', but make sure any treats are calculated as part of your cat's total daily food allowance and don’t reward every game with a snack.
Cats like to hunt slowly and cautiously, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce. Drag a toy slowly across the floor in front of your cat, stopping occasionally to tempt your feline friend. Remember: they prefer subtle movements.
In the wild, hunting isn't easy. So when you play, make it a challenge for your cat to catch the object you're playing with. Encourage them to earn the catch. That's how it would be in the wild.
Always end your playtime with something tangible that your cat can bite and scratch - something like a mouse toy. There’s no fun in missing out on satisfaction after enjoying the tease of the game.