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Thread: Any ideas for how to play with cats?

  1. #1
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    Default Any ideas for how to play with cats?

    Hi,

    We have two cats who are not related but they are both FIV+ (feline form of Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Our female cat is about 3 years old and the male is about 11. They are both healthy but we can't let them outside since they could possibly infect other cats via scratch or bite. We adopted them at different times and they get along great; however, we're a bit out of ideas on how to play with them. The kitty fishing pole is mostly boring for them and there's only so much they can climb their scratching post or crawl through boxes. I've also started taking them in a carrier to the pet store on occasion just so they can get out of the house. Neither cat particularly likes to chase things except the occasional roach!

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! I know that folks sometimes say that cats don't need as much attention as dogs but I can guarantee this is not true!

  2. #2
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Aww That's sad they both have FIV

    Will they be able to have a long life or not?

    What I found...
    You can make your catís life more fun if:
    - Install a window perch with a view of the birdfeeder,
    - Provide a goldfish bowl or an aquarium to watch when the birds are not at the feeder.
    - Provide your feline with some cat furniture - something great to climb, perch on, and to scratch.
    - Some cats are entranced by the television. If your cat seems to like watching TV you might consider videotapes of birds or mice.
    Your cat love to play with you. If you notice your cat hopping about sideways or racing around the house, chances are itís in the mood for some fun. Here a few games to try that will keep both you and your cat entertained.
    - Flash a beam of light on the walls and floor of a dimly-lit room (use a flashlight or a laser pointer). Cats love to chase the light across the floor, over furniture and up walls.
    - Chase the ball or string. Some cats may even retrieve the items for you.
    - Put an empty grocery paper bag on the floor and see what happens.
    - Hide and see. Cats love hide-outs.

    Your can see if your cat likes particular game by checking its pupils. If they are dilated, your cat is having a great time

    Games cats can play on their own
    Cats can and will amuse themselves for hours inventing their own games. All you need do is provide something to play with - ping-pong balls, a ball of wool, or catnip toys. If you use a catnip toy, remember to replace it when your cat loses interest, because catnip loses its scent after a while. Some cats like to eat wool, so if you give her a ball of wool, make sure she's playing not eating.
    Most cats will enjoy playing with a catnip toy or cat goodie in an old cardboard tube. Your cat will play with it until she gets the goodie out and claims her reward.

    Cardboard boxes
    The humble cardboard box can be a great gift for your cat. She might hide things inside, or hide inside it herself. If you have two cats, you may even discover them playing hide and seek. Make sure the box is fairly sturdy so that your cat can climb out after she climbs in, and check she hasn't been chewing it as well as playing in it.

    Fake mice
    Try putting a little fuzzy thing on a string and dangling it in front of your cat. She'll know it's not a mouse, but she may be willing to pretend it is to play a game with you. It's her chance to indulge in fantasies of being a ferocious hunter out stalking prey and this game can keep your cat amused and active for quite a while. Dangle the fake mouse in the air, or drag it along the ground. Just make sure you move your hand away quickly so you don't get scratched. Feathers and other objects your cat can bat at will work well too.
    A ball of rolled-up tin foil might also entice your cat to play. Be sure it's rolled up tightly enough that she doesn't chew it or swallow parts of it.
    If your cat seems to like sniffing your leather shoes, she might like her own leather toy to sniff and play with.

    Other toy ideas
    Some cats like to rustle under newspapers because they like the sound and feel of rustling paper. If your cat's one of these, a large paper bag might keep her amused for a while. Putting some toys inside will make it even more fun.
    Other ideas for improvised toys include sturdy corks; empty wrapping paper rolls with a long piece of colourful string attached; empty lipstick containers; old tennis balls; fabric stuffed with old stockings.
    If you can, it's a good idea to provide places for your cat to climb inside. Scratching posts and climbing frames give her an excellent opportunity for exercise and stimulation.

    Will she play fetch?
    Most cats don't fetch, at least not like dogs. However, some cats do actually start spontaneously fetching toys and bringing them to their owners to throw so they can run and fetch. Other cats will have to learn a more "cat-like" version of the game. As you might expect, it will have to be done on their terms. Here's how you can coax your cat to fetch:
    Pick a small toy that your cat really likes, something small, light and easy to throw. Call your cat's name. She might pretend she doesn't know it, but she does. Throw the toy up and down a bit, catch it yourself. Play with it. Jiggle it. Have some fun with it.
    Is your cat watching? If so, keep going. If not, give the game up.
    Keep the toy visible, sit in a chair and toss the toy so that it lands near your cat. Let her play with it. Just as she's about to get bored, call her while you're still seated. If your cat looks, go to the toy, pick it up and return to your chair.
    From your chair, do the throwing routine again. Do it for about 10 minutes or so, twice a day.
    Some cats will get the idea and start bringing the toy back to you. Now they know it's a game, you can make it even more fun - for instance you could try throwing the toy behind obstacles to make her hunt for it.
    Not every cat will be enthusiastic about this. If yours isn't that thrilled by the game, at least you'll get lots of exercise trying to get her involved.

    Running games
    Sometimes, your cat will start a game in the hope you'll play it with her. A good example is when she runs round the house to try to get you to chase her. Some cats do this every day at a certain time, usually at night when you're ready to relax and go to bed! If your cat runs across the room in front of you and hides behind curtains, run after her, peek behind the curtains and watch what she does. If she then dashes off across the room to hide in a closet, and peeks out at you, this means she wants you to continue the game and run after her. This is a great way for both of you to get some exercise!

    When I had a cat she liked to play with a ball shaped piece of foil! Simple things


  3. #3
    Elite Member sweetness's Avatar
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    Aww, those sweet kitties are so lucky to have you!

    Have you thought about buying/building a kitty run, or outdoor kennel type thing? Some of them look expensive, but you could make your own out of hog wire for a pretty reasonable price. Or you could use a large dog crate to sit outside (this is what I did for my bunny so he could play outside safely).

    Amazon.com: Kittywalk Outdoor Cat Run (Deck & Patio Version): Kitchen & Dining

    As far as kitty games go, my cats love playing with feather dusters, boxes with holes cut in them (scratch on the outside of the box while they're in it and they go wild!), and those little plastic balls with the jingle bells in them.

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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    Running games
    Sometimes, your cat will start a game in the hope you'll play it with her. A good example is when she runs round the house to try to get you to chase her


    I feel like such an idiot now, my cat had been doing that for years and I never figured out what she wanted

    Buffy, you sound like a really good cat mama! I hope you find something your kitties will like. Mine can play with just about everything (including her food which is no fun when you find sardines behind the couch) so keep tossing things at them and I'm sure they'll find something that they like to chase.

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    Thank you, sweeties!!! Great advice **everyone**! I can't tell you how relieved this makes us feel but it's really CATastic! We really appreciate it and especially the kitty crew (who will definitely have nine lives). ;-)

    Eight paws up!
    Simon & Anya

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    You should post pics in the pet pic thread

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    Bronze Member zattygrrl's Avatar
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    Your kids are lucky you found them! There are some great ideas in here, stuff I will try with my girls! MEOW!

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    You guys are so sweet. What great kitty parents

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    Elite Member Soth's Avatar
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    Two words - LASER POINTER

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    Try string, about 5 feet of it. I have yet to meet a cat who won't chase string.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member crackho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soth View Post
    Two words - LASER POINTER
    That thing is KITTY CRACK to my little Molly. She gets quite agressive when she wants to follow that little red dot and I don't comply.

    My baby loves to play hide and seek. I chase her down the hall, then turn around and run back the hall and duck in one of the bedrooms. She will slowly peak around the corner into the room and I jump out and yell "boo" and she runs back into the living room and hides, and the chase begins again, and again, and again.....it must look to be a crazy site.

    Orange ping pong balls are another favorite and don't seem to break anything. Princess Molly likes it when I throw one into a little Starbucks bag. She tries to get her entire body into that little bag (the ones with the handles).

    My my, didn't we all just dip our tongues in some acid today.

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    paper bags

    my cat loves to jump into paper bags

    wrapping paper
    sit on the floor and start wrapping anything
    my cat jumps on the paper and tears it up

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soth View Post
    Two words - LASER POINTER
    Quote Originally Posted by crackho View Post
    That thing is KITTY CRACK to my little Molly. She gets quite agressive when she wants to follow that little red dot and I don't comply.
    My Elmo loves the laser pointer !!!!(oh he's a dog for those who don't know) It is like crack, he tries to eat the dot it's funny. And I don't have to run around chasing him, it's great.

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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