It’s easy to have fun with a kitten, but once your cat grows up, you may find yourself settling into a routine that’s, well, boring—for you and your cat. Luckily, it’s easy to liven things up with our 4 ways to have more fun with your adult cat.
1. Play with toys.
Be honest: How often do you actually play with your adult cat? If the answer is “at least once a day, for about 15 minutes,” you get a gold star. If not, it’s time to have more fun with your cat. Interactive wand toys that let you control streamers, balls, feathers, etc. are a must-have in any cat household. Don’t feel like spending a ton of money on toys? Check out our guide to the 10 best homemade cat toys!
2. Be the prey.
Toys are a great start—but it’s how you play that really matters. The key to making playtime with your cat extra fun is to remember that your cat is a natural predator, so you need to be the prey. Think like a mouse, and make the cat toy hide, creep, dart, and jump. The harder your cat has to work to catch the toy, the more fun you’ll both have.
3. Teach your adult cat some new tricks.
Cats are smart, and many of them enjoy doing things to please their pet parents. (Believe it or not.) Teaching your cat a simple trick, like shaking hands or giving a high five, is a fun challenge for both of you. Get your cat’s favorite treats ready, and break the trick down into tiny steps, rewarding your cat along the way. For more info, check out this step-by-step guide to teaching your cat to shake hands.
4. Get some fresh air.
Outdoor walks with a leash aren’t just for dogs! With a little patience and persistence, most adult cats can be trained to take walks with a leash and harness. Taking a walk is a great way to get some exercise and have more fun with your cat. To learn how to teach your cat to walk with a leash, check out this guide from the ASPCA.
If pet parenting has gotten dull, put some extra effort into having more fun with your adult cat. It will pay off for both of you! What are some of your favorite ways to have fun with your cat? We’d love to hear from you!
Don’t underestimate the power of play. Cats need play sessions to engage their minds and exercise their bodies. We all know cats enjoy a good catnip-filled mouse now and then, but those stuffed toys can get old fast. If you want to shake things up a bit, here are some fun new ways to play with your cat.
Hide one of your kitty’s toys under a blanket and watch her try to uncover the hidden gem. Try attaching the toy to a string so you can wiggle it under the blanket.
Have a singing contest.
When she meows, try to respond with the same sound. She’ll most likely meow back. Keep echoing her as she meows back and forth with you.
Teach her a trick.
Cats really can learn tricks! Get some treats ready, let her sniff them, and issue a command (like shake). If your cat does what you ask, give her a treat. Repeat. If she is still interested, try to get your cat to do the trick 5-10 times in a row to reinforce the behavior.
Make her work for her food.
Place a treat under an upside-down plastic cup. Your kitty will have to figure out how to knock over the cup to get to the treat.
Give her an empty box.
You know how everyone says toddlers enjoy the box their expensive new toy came in better than the toy itself? Cats are the same way. Open up a box and place a ball inside for her to bat around.
Take your cat outside in an enclosed area and blow her bubbles to chase using a non-toxic bubble solution. Your cat will have fun trying to catch the bubbles and popping them instead.
Set up a treasure hunt.
Hide treats in safe, but hard-to-reach spots throughout your home. You could place them on top of a tall sturdy shelf, or wherever else your cat might look. Then watch her as she goes on the hunt!
Start a game of tag.
Chase your kitty around the house in a fun and playful way. When you catch up with her, “tag” her and see if she’ll chase you back. To make sure she’s enjoying the game (and not running in fear), watch that her tail stays up, not down.
Use your smartphone.
Go online and download a fun cat app. Then set the phone down on a flat surface and watch your cat start pawing away.
Don’t get stuck in the ‘same mouse, different day’ routine. Make things interesting when you play with your cat to keep her healthy and happy.
Have the doldrums of boredom found you and your cat? When all familiar activities and toys have lost their luster, boredom can reduce humans and cats to pure laziness. But there are tons of clever ways to keep you and kitty from falling to tedium. From DIY to bubbles, check out these 11 fun ways to keep your cat entertained and you’ll find yourself amused too.
DIY Activities to Keep Your Cat Entertained
1. Build a Cat Playground with Boxes
In our world of online shopping and free shipping, we tend to collect boxes. Turn this to your cat’s favor by creating an ultimate playground of cardboard. Your creativity will love this opportunity too.
Imagine a kitty palace…
Or a cardboard mountain with caverns aplenty…
Anything you can see in cardboard, you can build. Use tape and scissors to engineer, and if using glue too, make sure its not where your cat can get into the sticky stuff. Be sure the glue is dry before unleashing kitty dear on their new fort.
Also, be sure your contraptions are sturdy and can support the weight of a curious cat.
Gain some cardboard insight with the Honest Kitchen’s cat castle tutorial.
2. New Toys from Old T-shirts
When the wand toy or the crinkle bag just aren’t cutting it, make your cat some new toys!
If you’ve got old t-shirts stuffed in a drawer, then you’ve got the makings for some new toys that will keep your cat entertained.
All you need are a few t-shirts, scissors, and a ruler.
Simply cut your shirts into equal-sized strips and knot a pile of the strips together. That easy, you’ve made a new cat toy! Muslin & Merlot offers a step-by-step guide with photos for making t-shirt toys.
For even more fun, tie a couple of the t-shirt toys on some string. Either drag it around for your cat or suspend the string from a door frame and watch kitty go crazy!
3. Create a Cat Puzzle to Keep Your Cat Entertained
Creating a cat puzzle from a disposable food container can keep your cat entertained for hours. Fill it with toys and treats and your cat won’t be able to resist it!
Check out The Glam Cat’s full instructions for this DIY Cat Puzzle Tutorial.
High-Tech Options to Keep Your Cat Entertained
4. Cat-Friendly Apps to Keep Paws Busy
In this tech-heavy world, apps are available for all aspects of life, including apps designed to engage cats. Keep your cat entertained by downloading apps to stimulate their brains and paws.
Friskies offers two apps for kitties to play catch. Whether your cat prefers fish or bugs, he’ll be happy to pounce the critters skittering across the screen.
If digital catch isn’t your cat’s bag, then maybe download a pond app for serene watching. There’s a number of these Zen apps across the market so you can keep your cat entertained with whichever water-feature app keeps his attention best.
Beyond apps for play, your cat can unlock their inner Picasso with Paint for Cats. While chasing a digital mouse across the screen, kitty’s prints and swipes are laid down in ink colors and pen styles of your choice. You can then share your cat’s masterpiece via email and social media. It’s some of the best couple of bucks you’ll ever spend and you’ll combat human and cat boredom.
5. Selfies for Your Cat Superstar
Spending hours capturing the purrfect pictures and videos of your cat is easy to do. After all, there’s no one more photogenic than our cats! Keep your cat entertained, and yourself as well, with a fun photoshoot.
Dig out some fun items that can serve as props. Need an example? Cats are adorable in hats!
Things like decorative pillows and blankets serve as great backdrops too. Treats and toys are key for keeping kitty’s attention. Open your blinds to catch your little meowdel in ideal natural lighting.
And once you have a camera roll of cat pics galore, start an Instagram page and introduce your cat superstar to the world!
Keep Kitty Sharp by Learning New Things
6. Teach Your Cat to Walk on a Leash
Indoor cats don’t often get a chance to explore the great outdoors, but with a leash, the world becomes theirs for the conquering.
Dr. Frank McMillan, veterinarian and director of animal well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, reports, “Walking outside can be great fun for cats — it gives them new things to see and sniff out.”
And the backyard is a great place to begin leashed explorations.
But the slow training actually starts indoors. Start by showing your cat the new harness and leash combo. You know how cats are, their curiosity drives them to sniff and eyeball all new things. After lots of sweet words of encouragement, coax her into the new harness. Once she’s in, praise her with hugs and treats.
Next, open the back door and let her lead. Chances are, she will slowly inch out the door with more careful sniffing and watching. Don’t force your cat outside if she does not want to go. Remember, leash training should be fun and never stressful. This is a practice in patience and may take some time to make it out the door. While you hold the leash, your cat sets the pace.
Eventually, you and your cat will be exploring the back yard like champs while keeping kitty dear safe on a harness and leash.
For a full tutorial, check out AdventureCat.org for a full tutorial on training cats to walk on a leash.
7. Teach Kitty Some New Tricks
Cats are brilliant beings that require mental stimulation. From sit to roll over, teaching your cat some new tricks will help keep his mind sharp. And because cats love food, using treats to encourage learning new feats provides great positive motivation.
Consider clicker training to help your cat learn, and clicker apps are available for download.
Cat Care can be Fun Too
8. Brushing for Bonding and Heath
Cats are excellent groomers, but its good for us to help them out. Regular brushings mean less shedding, quicker action against fleas, and easing senior cat joint pain. PreventiveVet.com also points out, grooming serves as a bonding exercise between cats. So, by grooming your cat, you’re helping to strengthen the bond between you and your cat.
Add a kitty massage and turn a must-do care action into a luxurious treat.
Okay, your cat probably doesn’t think of nail trims as a fun activity, but it does keep our fur babies healthy. Check out Fetch by WebMD’s instructions on how to trim cat nails.
Super Silliness to Keep Your Cat Entertained
10. Bubble Fun
Blowing bubbles is fun and if you happen to have a bottle of bubble soap around, it can be even more fun when your cat is involved. Cats love to chase and catch and the bubbles gliding and bouncing from a bubble wand provide great targets for kitty paws.
Obviously, don’t let your cat drink bubble soap, but the little bit a cat may catch on their tongue won’t do harm. Bubble soaps are typically labeled as non-toxic, but as with all things, keep an eye on your cat while blowing bubbles and keep the bottle out of their paws.
To really drive kitty wild, grab some catnip bubbles for your kitty.
If All Else Fails…
11. Make new cat toys out of toilet paper rolls!
Some people tend to think that, just because they enjoy sleeping a lot, cats aren’t active animals. However, if you have a pet cat, you’ll know that this simply isn’t true and, to the contrary, they can actually be quite playful. However, many people don’t know how to play with their cat without sustaining any injuries caused by accidental scratching. If you want to have a fun time with your pet without being scratched, keep reading this OneHowTo article on how to play with your cat without toys correctly.
Playing with your cat is very important for bonding, physical exercise and, therefore, boosting health and well-being. This is particularly important if you have a a neutered cat as they tend to become lethargic and gain weight. If you don’t want to spend too much money on toys, here are some homemade alternatives!
Cats are natural hunters, so games which encourages them to catch pray are their favorite. One of the most famous is the ball of yarn or any other thread- see if your cat enjoys it.
Buy lint-free, strong yarn, making sure that your cat’s claws do not become stuck. Loosen a little of the yarn, keeping the end in your hand. Place it on the floor and move back and forth, inviting your cat to chase after it. It will love this game!
Though you can simply use object like yarn, we’d also like to give you some DIY ideas with things you will probably have at home.
For example, a tube of toilet paper could be transformed into ‘prey’, attaching it to a piece of string and moving it around for it to chase. If you want the cat to pay more attention to this homemade toy, you can put a bit of colored cloth. Avoid painting the tube as this could be toxic and harm your feline friend.
You can also create a small prey for your cat to play with out of an object as simple as a sock. This is perfect to play with your cat without toys, as everyone has these materials at home.
You simply need to fill in the sock with either cotton wool or another sock and sew it. Don’t fill it to the top in order to sew it halfway and create a tail with the remaining sock fabric. You can also sew in some eyes and nose if you want to use the discarded part of the sock.
In this case, if you want your cat to be more attracted to the mouse, you can also put a pinch of catnip in it before sewing it together.
Any nontoxic object lying about your home could make a good ‘prey’. However it is important that the cat has at least one toy bought from a pet shop so that it can enjoy when it’s left alone in the house.
Play with your pet daily, especially if it’s young. Spend quality time together and you’ll notice how your cat repays you with love and affection.
It is very important that, when you play with your cat, you take he following into account:
- Never touch the animal on the parts of your body that you know that it dislikes. Many cats hate to be touched on their bellies, and tails, etc. Avoid bothering your cat.
- Never corner your cat as it may feel trapped and scratch you to escape.
- Do not make sudden movements that might frighten our pat and cause it to lash out in fear.
- Don’t practice games where your cat needs to jump in the air. Cats are used to hunting prey that crawls on the floor. Making it chase things in the air could frustrate your cat and make it anxious.
- Never use your hands or feet when playing with your cat, as it will get used to it and may attack you at times when you are not playing and thus harm you.
If you want to read similar articles to How To Play With Your Cat Without Toys, we recommend you visit our Pets category.
So you want to get away from it all this summer, but you don’t want to leave your cat behind. The good news is — with more and more places becoming pet-friendly — you can take a relaxing break and bring your cat along, too! We have several ideas that could make summer travel a ton of fun for both of you.
Preparing for Your Trip
Before you go anywhere, make sure your cat’s shots are up to date, and that she fits comfortably inside her carrier. Bring a towel in case your cat gets wet or muddy. Don’t forget medications, a portable litter box, litter, food, special treats, grooming tools, and comfort items such as a favorite blanket or bed.
Finally, do a search for “cat-friendly” hotels, restaurants, attractions, etc., for the destinations you’re considering. Learn what kind of accommodations they provide as well.
Traveling with your cat is better than ever now that cities are more pet-friendly. Many cities feature pet-friendly parks, boutiques and retail stores dedicated to pets, as well as pet-friendly amenities and accommodations. Some popular locations are Colorado Springs, Albuquerque, Austin, and Orlando.
If you need a night out on the town for yourself or want to go somewhere cats aren’t allowed, a pet sitter can make sure your cat is having a lovely time, too.
Ready to take that road trip you’ve always dreamed of? Map your journey ahead of time and draw up a list of all of the places near your route that you could enjoy with your cat. Call ahead to hotels, parks, beaches and roadside attractions to make sure cats are welcome.
There are several hotel chains that are cat-friendly: La Quinta, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Clarion, Comfort Inn, EconoLodge, Motel 6, and Red Roof Inn, to name a few. Not every hotel in every chain is cat-friendly, so call ahead.
There is at least one major cruise line that accommodates cats, Cunard, on all rips between New York and Southampton, England, on the Queen Mary II. The ship’s kennel master feeds the cats and keeps the kennels clean. Every animal guest receives a gift pack that includes toys, a food dish, a name tag, and more.
You’re allowed to spend plenty of time with your cat during visiting hours, but she can’t sleep with you or spend time with you outside of designated pet areas. Important Cunard tips: Call far enough ahead of time to make sure your cat gets a spot in the kennel, because space is limited. You’ll need to meet all pet travel requirements and obtain a pet passport, too.
Wherever you choose to travel with your cat this summer, a little planning ahead of time will ensure a fun and safe summer vacation for you and your cat.
You’re not the only one who needs to work out. Exercise is important to your cat’s overall health. Movement, especially the kind that uses their hunting skills, can keep their weight down and help them work off extra energy. Playtime is crucial for their mental well-being, too — it can help stop depression and boredom, which can lead to bigger health and behavior issues.
With a little help from you, your kitty can stay healthy and active — and have a little more fun, too.
Aim to play with your cat for around 10 to 15 minutes at a time. If they don’t enjoy it, they’ll let you know. When they get bored, put the toys away and offer some praise and a few treats.
Introduce some new toys. You probably already know that cats are fond of feathers and strings. But you can watch them while they play to find out what kinds of objects they like best. Try out a toy shaped like a bird, then one that looks like a mouse, and another that resembles a bug. The plaything she likes most can help you figure out what kind to buy in the future.
Be prepared for the kill. Cats are especially satisfied when they can get their teeth and claws solidly into their playthings. Let them do it, and be ready to offer replacement toys and feathers when old ones get worn out.
Add some new levels to your games. Get a multi-story cat tree and put it near an open floor space where your cat can run, then jump onto it.
Get your cat a piñata. Cats love to bat things that hang overhead. Food inside will offer even more motivation. To make a piñata, use a plastic container, like an old yogurt or sour cream cup with a lid. Cut a small hole in the bottom of it. Put a treat or two inside and hang it up with a string where your cat can reach it. If they hit it the right way, the treats will fall out.
Put on a tail. If you tuck a string or a long piece of cloth into the back of your pants, your cat can chase it as you walk around the house. But don’t leave the string out if you’re not supervising. If your cat swallows the string, it can be life threatening.
Take a hike. Just like dogs, cats can learn to walk on a leash, though it’s best if you can teach them how while they are young. Strolls outside are best suited to cats who aren’t shy. Use a harness instead of just a collar and the leash. Before you go outside together, make sure there aren’t any loose neighborhood dogs that might spook them.
Don’t forget the lasers. A laser pointer can provide endless entertainment and, yes, exercise, as your cat chases it. Take care not to shine the laser directly into the cat’s or anyone else’s eyes.
Put playtime on the calendar. Carve out a spot in your schedule for you and kitty to have some fun every day. Cats are most active at dawn and dusk, so the evening or early morning would be ideal. You might also work in a play session before their meals to give them the thrill of the hunt as the cat “catches” their food.
The Humane Society of the United States: “10 Tips to Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors.”
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University: “Providing the Perfect Playtime for Your Cats.”
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine: “Bringing Cats Indoors,” “Identifying Prey Preference.”
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: “Are You Giving Cats the Workout of Their Lives?”
Your cat also needs to have fun and have a good time in the summer! As part of the family, and while everyone is on vacation, he continues with a normal life, without changes and, now that we have more time, it is the perfect time to share activities with our furry.
You can take advantage of his great agility, his hunting instinct and his curiosity to involve him in a playful activity that means exercise and stimulation for him.
Playing some games, not only brings benefits to your furry, but sharing them will make you have fun times in which the rest of the family can also participate. Of course we always have to bear in mind that we must avoid games in which the cat is put in danger, ridiculed or that can generate stress and anxiety.
There are objects that cost nothing and tend to attract them a lot, such as a tube or a cardboard box. You can make a tunnel by joining several boxes, inserting tubes, with openings along it so that it passes through it, tries to exit through one or another window, slide and run. You can attract him with a treat to encourage him to enter. When he’s inside, gently turn the building to one side or the other or tap the walls gently to challenge him and make the activity more stimulating. In addition, building this structure can be an activity to share with the rest of the family and in which the little ones can also contribute their ideas.
Chasing things is a way to stimulate your hunting instinct. A very easy way to create a toy for this purpose is to tie a bright and noisy object with a thread and pass it near the cat, shaking it to arouse curiosity. This will launch him in hot pursuit and the two of you can go long stretches until he catches up with him. Also in this activity, involving more family members who carry other objects can make our furry friend try to reach two or three objects simultaneously and make the game more fun and inclusive for the rest of the family. When he manages to catch one, give him a big caress as a reward. A variant is to make him run on furniture or jump among some of them in pursuit of his prey. This will give you a lot more exercise.
An intelligence game can be to take some small plastic cups, which are not transparent. They can be four or five and you will place them face down with a hidden prize. It won’t take long for the cat to learn to turn a few glasses to find it. If you put it under a stationary glass, it will know soon enough and that’s when you can move it around.
Another game can be to place many objects on a long table, so that they are quite close, but allow the cat to pass. This will create a kind of obstacle course. Put the cat at the beginning and someone else should call it from the other side. The challenge will be to pass without knocking down any of them to get the prize. When he knows how to do it, you can encourage him to run across the table instead of walking.
Playing with our cats strengthens the bonds between the family and our furry animals and is a fun way to show our love, to take care of them and to ensure their health because we LOVE THEM, WE PROTECT THEM.
Your pet doesn't have to be bored while you're away
Lindsay Boyers is a writer and nutritionist based out of Massachusetts.
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The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang
Play time with your cat isn’t only fun for the both of you—it’s also an important aspect of your cat’s healthy development and making sure he or she is active and entertained. This is especially important if you have an indoor-only or solo cat who doesn’t get as much stimulation.
Different toys do different things, but one thing they all have in common is that they keep your cat’s senses sharp and help them maintain a healthy weight (especially if the toy encourages a lot of jumping and pouncing). Interactive cat toys also help you form a bond with your kitty, ensuring lots of snuggles when playtime is over. But, as any cat owner knows, cats can be beyond picky when it comes to what excites them and what bores the heck out of them.
To keep you from buying duds, we rounded up the best cat toys for keeping your kitty entertained.
Best Overall: BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy
Type: Automatic | Weight: 11.53 ounces | Material: Plastic | Lifestage: All ages
The BENTOPAL Automatic Cat Toy is a motorized, robotic toy that does it all. It has a hanging feather toy attached to two large wheels that swivel, turn, and rotate, moving the toy around the room in an erratic pattern. This toy entices your cat to stalk, chase, and pounce. There are two modes (fast and slow), so you can adjust it according to your cat’s mood and activity level. It can run on any type of floor, including carpet, thanks to its large wheels.
Plus, it has an automatic mode—it will run for 10 straight minutes, turn off for 90 minutes, and then turn back on for another 10 minutes for eight total hours—so if you have to leave the house all day, you can feel better knowing your cat will be entertained.
Best Interactive: Kong Active Feather Teaser Cat Toy
Type: Interactive | Weight: 0.96 ounces | Material: Plastic with fabric/feather toy | Lifestage: Adult
Playtime is one of the ways you can bond with your cat, and this interactive toy from KONG—a company known for making toys that last—is a great way to encourage your cat to chase, hunt, and capture this “prey.” The Dangle Feet Teaser has a character—there’s a bird, a flamingo, or an owl-like creature—attached to an 18.5 inch string that stretches, retracts, and easily swings around.
The bright feathers on the character and the crinkle sound from the filling inside entice your cat to do his best to capture the toy. Each toy is filled with premium catnip, which helps keep your cat interested, energetic, and entertained. Like all wand toys, it's best for your cat to only play with this toy while supervised, to avoid any injuries.
Best Laser: FurryFido Laser Cat Toy
Type: Interactive | Weight: Not listed | Material: Stainless steel | Lifestage: Adult
Laser toys are a cat favorite, but many of them are flimsy or require small watch batteries that most people don’t have conveniently lying around. But the FurryFido Laser Cat Toy changes the laser experience. Just keep in mind that some cats get frustrated by laser toys, so you may want to combine this activity with treats or other toys that your cat can actually catch.
This high-quality laser not only has a stainless steel finish, you can also plug it into a charger or a computer with the included USB, so you never have to change the batteries. As an added bonus, it has two additional modes–UV light and white flashlight. You can use the UV light to check for hidden pet stains on the carpet or upholstery and the flashlight to search for lost toys underneath the couch.
Never shine a laser directly into any pet or person's eyes, because it could result in vision damage.