As cat owners, it is our duty to show our pets how much we love them as much as possible. There are a multitude of ways to stimulate your cat’s mind and keep him purring. Over a lifetime of cat ownership, here are ways that have worked well for me.
If you want to make your cat’s day, just go get a cardboard box and put it in front of him. He’ll really be in kitty bliss if you give him two or more. There is something about cardboard that just attracts cats like a a magnet. In pet stores, you’ll see cat scratchers made out of cardboard, permeated with catnip. Anything with cardboard is a hit with most cats. Have you ever seen your cat try to squish his big, furry body into a small box? Why they like to do this, I’ll never know, but it is really funny to watch. Whenever I order anything from Amazon, the product inside is for me, and the three cats fight over who gets the box. Whether tipped on its side or upright, it doesn’t matter. If they can sink their claws or their bodies into them, they will be very happy.
Cats love to chase anything, it’s in their instinct. If you start wiggling the light of a laser pointer on the wall, expect kitty to come charging, in full “hunt” mode. My deaf cat, Beau, is sensitive to shadows and light. He watches anything moving on the wall with total interest. He will jump and dance against the walls for hours trying to get that laser light, if allowed to. Make sure not to shine the laser light in your cat’s eyes, though, because it can hurt him. Just shine it on the wall and watch the cat version of the “Nutcracker Ballet” begin.
Dried catnip is ok, but a whole plant is even better and fresher. The thing is, you will have to put a cage around it until it grows big enough to survive the assault of a hungry cat. Put it in a pot or garden, anchor the cage around it, and pick fresh leaves off to give to your cat. If winter is coming and you are in a cold climate, cut the plant back somewhat and hang the stems upside down, to dry them indoors. Put them up high and out of reach of your cat, or he will most definitely come when you aren’t looking and chow the whole thing down in one attempt.
Remotely controlled toy cars
On Ebay, I found a small, remote-controlled version of a Mini Cooper and bought it, to amuse the cats. And did it ever deliver. This little toy traveled fast, and the cats followed along, eyes bugging out of their heads, totally awestruck that this new thing was loose in the house! They are never bored whenever we get the toy car out; it’s something we do occaisionally, to keep them completely entertained. Whatever the remote controlled toy, choose one that cannot hurt your pet. The smaller, the better. The car toy we have is only about two inches long. Little, but mighty.
On hard surfaces, super balls can’t be beat. Make sure to only use ones that are big enough, smaller ones could be swallowed by your pet, so get one that is bigger than his mouth. Fast movement is seductive to cats, they see something small moving fast, and they think “prey!”
Those really big rubber bands for workouts – not regular rubber bands!
You can buy huge rubber bands for working out your legs, sold in the exercise equipment areas of stores or online. Just shoot the band across the room like you would a little rubber band, and watch kitty go after it. My one cat used to fetch it, just like a dog, and bring it back to me. He loved it, dragged it all around the apartment and talked with it still in his mouth. He felt like “big cat of the jungle” when carrying it. Great toy but get only the big rubber bands, don’t ever use little ones, since they can be swallowed. When considering toys, always keep the safety of your pet in the front of your mind. Some toys are best used only when you are present. Better to be safe than sorry.
Cat condos, also called cat trees, are great for any cat who likes to climb to the highest point in any room. To keep kitty from balancing himself on the refrigerator, stereo speakers or worse, try a cat condo. My one cat used to get himself into trouble by knocking things off of shelves, or trying to jump up on the kitchen range hood. To combat this, I got the tallest, most sturdy cat condo possible on Ebay. As I put it together, all three cats gathered to watch. Somehow they knew this thing was theirs. And now, it is a cat magnet. There is at least one cat on it at all times. Get one with the largest surfaces possible. My cat sleeps at the top, or as we call it, the “penthouse,” with his tail hanging off the edge. Maybe sometimes a foot hangs off. Sometimes paws are sticking out in all directions. If your cats are big, it is important to make sure they can sleep like this on the top of the tree without being too cramped. They will love you for it.
Try a few new enhancements to your cat’s life. If they get tired of a toy, then put it away for awhile, then bring it back later. Chances are, they just needed a little variety. My cats’ toys are brought out at different times, so they don’t tire of them. It works to do this, my 15-year old cat still loves to play like a kitten.
The best way to spoil your cat, of course, is to give him your attention. Skritch his head, behind his ears and talk to him. He will melt like butter. By trying different methods of entertainment for your cat, you are adding to his life and to your own. Be creative and think of other ways that will give kitty a little “quality time.” In the end, you will have a purring, happy cat for the duration of his furry little life.