By Charmaine Ng
Playtime equals exercise; which is something every pet requires. Activities help to maintain healthy body weight and function; it keeps the muscles toned and strong, and the mind alert. Unlike dogs, cats can’t be strapped to a harness or a leash and forced to go on walks or exercise. (Caveat: some cats may be able to do so but need to be trained from kittenhood.) Depending on your cat’s age, weight, temperament, and interests, you can set up an area at home where he or she is able to romp around, climb and play.
1. Treat dispensers
These are a great way to keep Kitty entertained when you’re busy. Treat dispensers such as the KONG Cat Wobbler can provide beneficial mental and physical stimulation for all indoor cats. With its unpredictable wobbling action, the Wobbler makes playtime fun and rewarding by dispensing small treats. It can also be used as mealtime feeders, where it can slow rapid eating thus fighting obesity and boredom by encouraging cats to work for their food.
2. Soft Toys with Stuffable Catnip
Soft toys are great comfort toys, and coupled with catnip can drive cats crazy. Soft toys should be small enough for your cat to carry around. Some felines may prefer to wrestle with it, so you may want to opt for a larger size (one that is the same size as the cat would be good).
3. Feather toys, wands, teasers, ribbons, yarn or shoelaces
These types of dangly toys all share a unique feature that make playtime so enticing for cats. All of them allow you to make the “prey” behave the way a live one would – you can make it crawl, climb, or fly through the air, much to Kitty’s delight.
4. Beams of Light/Laser Pointers
*Currently not for sale in Singapore*
Much like the way teaser toys work, laser pointers or beams of light can be used in a way to frustrate and tease cats into playtime – but without the tactile sensation of a physical catch.
5. Boxes, boxes, boxes
Why do cats love boxes? Many cat owners say it’s because boxes offer security. The confined space provides some protection from predators, and is a great way to stalk prey while remaining hidden. The safety boxes offer is also why they often fall asleep in them – so place boxes in areas of your home where it is quiet. You can also line it with towels or blankets or toys, which make perfect napping spots for felines who sleep 18-20 hours a day.
6. Scratching posts and cat trees
Cat trees and scratching posts are great options for Kitty to sharpen her nails. Good ones will last several years and often the length of a cat’s life. Cat trees are great for adding vertical territory for your cat at home and are especially great for homes with multiple felines. Owners do have to ensure the posts are high enough for their cats to be fully stretched when using it.