Chapter 9: Play time with your kitten

You have fed your kitten and cleaned his litter and now your kitty is looking at you with a look that it says: “Can you play with me, please?” But… how should you play with him? Which are the best toys to play with for him?

Well, when we got Otto, after few days he has been with us, we started to spend some time playing with him because we really wanted to bond with him and help to grow healthy and happy. Before his arrival in our home we bought some toys as a ball with a bell inside that makes sound when it rolls and a small plush mouse, just to have something to entertainer him a bit.

On the adoption day, the breeder also suggested to buy a cat teaser because Otto and his sibilings were enjoying playing with it. So we decided to have look on different websites to find a good cat teaser and after a while we found a really good one on amazon and we bought it ((https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07TLJ1B1G/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

It’s a retractable cat teaser wand that comes with 6 different coloured worms with bell. It also included a toy ball with a mouse stuck on top which it went straitght in to the bin because its tails was made with feathers and Otto was trying to eat them as soon we opened the box! Otto enjoys playing with it and running behind it and catch his prey!

Play time is very important in the kittens growth. The life of the kitten is in fact all about playing and having fun. The kitten starts to play from an early age, from the first weeks of life, where he plays with his brothers. With the passing of the weeks, the kittens then begin to play with items which they stalk, pounce on, bat, grasp and bite.

In this way the kittens do nothing but follow their natural instinct of hunters and develop the skills for hunting, exactly what they would do if they lived in the wild. The game plays a really important role in the physical and psychological growth of the cat for two reasons:

  1. It helps the cat to grow healthy, active and stay in shape: thanks to the game, the cat gets active and fit, does exercise, keep the muscles toned and strong.
  2. It helps the kitten in socializing: thanks to the game, the cat is able to learn socializing and developing social and communication skills

In this way the cat not only grows healthy, fit, also manages to download his predatory instincts, it allows the cat to do exercise which reduces weight gain and future health problems, prevents behavior problems and also relieves boredom which is very important especially important if your cat lives indoor and doesn’t have any access to the outside world!

The game is also an important way to improve your bond with the cat. Just don’t forget that when you play with your kitty, you have a crucial role by giving him lots of attention, so play with him as much as you can.

So if you really want to bod with your cat, this is some suggestions to follow when you play with him:

  1. Play for a few short sessions with your kitten every day.
  2. Provide a variety of toys: cat loves toys they can play with on their own and those that you use to play with them but also items for your cat to explore, such as cardboard boxes, shopping bags, packing paper and toys that encourage them to investigate various holes with their paws.
  3. Try to use, during play-time, motorized toys as remoted controll mice. They are are great for capturing your cat’s attention and then getting them to stalk, pounce and chase. Even cat teaser with feather toys attached to the end of a wand or string, are good bird replicas for your kitty to play the hunt game and catch his prey. Using these types of toys makes you and your cat interact more as you are playing together at the same game and it will make you bond even more!
  4. Make him play with interactive toys. These challenge the cat to get to treats through different openings and can keep your kitty entertained and mentally stimulated. Also, in the end he will be happy to get his reward and enjoy to eat his treats!
  5. Don’t forget to introduce every now and then new toys, to keep your cat from becoming bored.
  6. Make sure you will let him catch the “prey” from time to time. This will keep playtime interesting for your kitty.
  7. Have fun and enjoy spending time playing with your cat!

For us, playing with Otto is just one of the most amazing, fun way to spend time with him. He loves playing with the cat teaser. He always hides himself behind a curtain or a pillow on the sofa or inside his sleeping bed, or behind the door and wait there for the right moment to jump out and catch his prey! We have so much fun all togheter! He also enjoys playing with his plush mouse! He is so funny when he carries it around the house and at bed time he just arrives on our bed with his mouse in his mouth, proud to have catched it, showing his trophy to us!

After a while Otto have been playing with the same toys, we decided to break the routine with another toy and we opted for an interactive one that he could also play with on his own even when we weren’t at home.

We found this intersting sense play circuit by Catit on zooplus (https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/cat_toys/catit_design_senses/133881). It’s basically a circuit with holes in the track so that the cat can see, catch and chase the ball. It includes one ball and also you can expand buying other attachments!

It looked like a really good toy and all the reviews were super positive. So we though to give it a go and we also decided to buy a different ball from the one inclueded in the toy. This one was lighting up as you touched! When finally the order came and the circuit was build up, Otto started to play with it almost instanlty. He was enjoying putting his paws in the holes and trying to catch the balls and he was so captured by the other ball lighting up when it was running in the circuit truck! The first day he played with it for more than one hour no stop! Paws up from Otto for the toy!

And even now he plays a lot with it and he always play with it before he comes to sleep on our bed!

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