We all love our pets immensely and want them to be happy. But let’s face it: everyone gets busy with the demands of daily life and might not offer them as much one-on-one play as we might wish we did. But not to worry or feel guilty, because there are plenty of ways to integrate a little more attention and play into your pets’ day even when you’re swamped for time. It helps them stay sharp and fit in addition to entertained. (It’s good for you too!)
While new toys are often a hit, you don’t always need to buy something new for your pets to play with. Let’s first take a look at ways to sneak in extra playtime for cats, and then we’ll visit ideas for dogs in our next post.
Enroll your cat in sports
Some cats, believe it or not, like to fetch. Try throwing a crumple of paper or small cat toy across the room, and see if your cat brings it back to you. If she does, reward her with a treat. If she doesn’t, you can be the fetcher and just keep tossing it to her. Some cats will even bat it right back to you (the pitcher). Cats who like hopping into the bathtub might enjoy a pingpong ball to chase around the slick tub.
Point the way
A common source of joy for many cats and even dogs, a laser pointer is a cheap and easy way to entertain not just your pet but you and your family as you watch them scramble around and stumble over themselves trying to reach the elusive dot. Just make sure not to shine it in or near their eyes, and finish up the fun by allowing them to catch a real object so they can have the satisfaction.
Let your tablet entertain your cat
If you can steal your iPad or tablet away from your child or grandchild for a few minutes, your cat can use it for entertainment too (and the little one might be even more entertained)! There are apps available where your kitty can bat and chase moving graphics of animals. Even cats who don’t notice the TV might enjoy a tablet on a flat surface where they can paw at things moving around. Just make sure they can’t knock it off the counter!
Check your recycle bin
Grab a cardboard box, cut some small holes on a couple sides, and let your cat bat a toy, feathers, or string through the “windows.” You can also try a paper bag and poke the sides with your fingers while your cat is inside and laugh as they try to catch the movement. If your cat doesn’t seem to want to go inside a box or bag, try letting her stalk a toy as you move it around under a sheet on the floor or bed.
Make them work for their food
Put a treat into a paper cup, and let your cat tip it over or paw inside to retrieve the treat. You can also feed them by tossing them bits of kibble at a time or use a food-dispensing ball they have to roll around and eat as the food falls out. This will not only exercise your cat’s mind but also his body and help prevent overeating.
And remember 2 Paws Up is here to assist you in giving your pets lots of love, attention, exercise, and play when you simply can’t be home, whether you’re on a trip or have long work days. We will help your pet stay stimulated enough so they feel fulfilled and also don’t succumb to troublesome behavior out of boredom. Give us a call at 770.695.3096, or contact us today to request a quote or become a client!
Stay tuned for our next post where we offer some fun ideas to entertain your dogs…