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Caring For Your Cat With Playtime

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes to cat care, playtime is just as important to the overall wellbeing of felines as a trip to the vet. There is no need to spend a lot of money on cat toys. Most of the time, your cat will find many things in your house to play with.

The toy can be as simple as the plastic ring from the milk jug or a crumpled receipt from that day's groceries. Cats will throw their toys in the air, bat them around on the floor, pounce on them, hug them close with their front paws and kick at them with their back paws, having a blast shredding the toy to pieces.

Whether you spent a lot of money on the toy or not won't make a difference. Why buy an expensive toy when you have so many free options readily available?

Cats love to climb and rest in places where they can see a lay of the land. When one couple decided to renovate their home office, they discovered they had to throw out their cat's favorite perch, an old bookcase near a sunny window.

Since the office had to be redesigned, they built the desks and bookshelves in such a way they led to an additional shelf above each window in the office. Now the cat would have both a sunny spot to snooze and keep an eye on the front and back yards - and the cat gets some well-needed exercise jumping from shelf to shelf.

While you don't have to go to such an extreme as home renovation that caters to felines, you can make things more interesting by stacking boxes and tables for your cat to climb on.

Cats love boxes. Much like children, a cat can occupy itself for hours on end playing with a box. You can cut holes in it, line it with carpeting or old towels, and your new kitten will love it. Take a few boxes, tape them together, and build your cat a fort.

Boxes are cheap and you can get them in all different sizes. When they wear out, you can throw them in the garbage and give the kitten a new one. Add carpeting to the outside for the cat care need of scratching.

Catnip toys are easy to make too. All you need is a little bit of cloth or furry material to sew into a pouch. Fill it with catnip and stitch some Velcro on to hold it closed. You can make it into a size and shape that appeals to your cat.

Some cats like big toys, others like smaller ones that they can carry easily. Try a couple of different sizes. For cat care enthusiasts, don't worry; catnip is perfectly safe for your cat to enjoy.

Ever see a cat play fetch? Cats will do that. Some cats will start playing fetch without any prompting from you. You might be tossing their toy for them and find that they enjoy bringing it back to you to throw again.

Do you have a cat that likes to play rough? Get yourself a leather work glove and let your cat wrestle with your hand. With a glove, cats can bite and use their claws in a little bit of friendly roughhousing without tearing you up in the process.

Teach your cat care for human hands while allowing him to play, as cats will also learn not to use their claws unless you have the glove on.

If you have one of those laser pointers in your computer bag or briefcase, see what happens when you shine the red dot on the floor. The light from the laser almost looks three-dimensional, and your cat will enjoy chasing it. Just make sure that you don't shine the laser directly into your cat's eyes.

Sticks with strings are always a favorite. All you need is a thin stick and a string with an object tied to the end. This could be a small plastic ball with a bell inside or a cluster of feathers.

Your cat can chase the object while you jerk the stick to make the "prey" bounce and jump. Toys don't have to be fancy or expensive at all and aren't a reflection of your level of cat care. The only investment required is your time.
About the Author
Mike Selvon owns a number of niche portal. Please visit our cats portal for more great tips on cat care, and leave a comment at our cats blog.
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