Fur the love of pets

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Ways to Play With Your Cat

Cats will stay healthy and happy if you keep them active and engaged. Just a few minutes of play every day will make a huge difference in their behavior and their overall health.

Use what works

You can get every pricey trinket in the cat aisle, and, like most pet parents, you'll look back at some point and notice that most were ignored. Every cat is different. For some, an old shoestring or a wadded up piece of paper works just fine. When you do hit the toy aisles, look for things that give you bang for the buck—feather wands and plastic balls for kitties to chase keep them engaged and energized. Just be sure if playthings are small or supple enough to be chewed and ingested—like string, ribbon or feathers—that playtime happens only under your supervision.

Most cats can be taught to fetch. Once they find a toy they like to chase, patiently keep tossing it. Eventually, they'll start bringing it back to you for more.

Some cats are more finicky. A bouncy sock or a cardboard box, or that old reliable Cat Dancer can also capture their interest. For older, more sedate cats, try catnip-infused toys to spark their playful side.

The runaround

Cats have an innate love of the chase. Kittens in a frisky mood can often be chased merrily around the house. They'll burn off so much of that energy you'll soon find them tired out and snoozing away. Sometimes right where they were just standing!

Whether kittens or mature cats, any kind of activity is healthy for them. Many pet parents find as the years go by that their cats are a little rounder than they should be. Extra weight puts strain on their system and makes it hard for them to move around. In time, this can create unpleasant hygiene issues.

Don't skimp on playtime with your kitties. The exercise is good for them, it keeps them happy and socialized, and the time together creates enjoyable bonding moments for the both of you.