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Games for Your Cat
by Debbie Connolly

Owners often don’t realize how much entertainment some cats need, especially when young. Bengals, particularly, can become overly demanding and even aggressive if not given enough to do. Bengals like to practice their hunting skills so anything involving furry or feathery toys is much enjoyed.

Toys on elastic which bounce around are very useful. Also walk around the house dragging them behind you. I have even tied one to my foot for one very difficult youngster who had great fun stalking the toy around the house. Bengals like fetching in the way dogs do. They don’t all do it, but lots of Bengal owners tell you that their cat retrieves. A small ball with a bell in is the best starting point. Roll it across the floor and try to get the cat to fetch it. If it isn’t sure, go to it and roll it back to your starting point.

Toys on elastic can also be tied to door handles for entertainment value. Each time someone uses the door the toy swings and attracts the cat repeatedly.

If you have ever had your cat attack your shopping then you know boxes and cellophane are no boundary. You can use this to give your cat a new toy. Get a small box and punch several holes in it. Put a small piece of ham or chicken in it and let your cat play with it on the floor. Bengals particularly love destroying things so they can let out that feeling by ripping up the box.

There are a few commercial toys on the market for cats that can help. There is a small cat treat ball. It has holes in it and you put some tasty treats in. As the cat bashes it around, food falls out randomly and the cat can play for ages trying to work out the trick. If you put some dry treats in it, also put a few tasty morsels in to keep the cat trying harder to get the better food out.

There is also a toy called a “Babble Ball”. Usually available on the internet. This is a hard plastic ball that speaks random phrases when pushed and cats love toys that do something.

Cats like climbing so scratching posts, hanging hammocks they can swing on are a must. You can also make life more interesting by buying tunnels. Most stores do these now and they are usually nylon ones, some with a side hole half way along. Buy several and watch your cat charging through them. One thing they especially like is if you pin one end to a window sill. This means they can slide down it like escaping from a plane.

If your cat is quite young, you may have to use all of these ideas to fully occupy it. Vary the toys, put some away and swap them every few days. This works better than having lots of toys always available.

Don’t forget the scratching posts! Even if your cat goes out it appreciates a good post, often several around the house. The type they can sit on with platforms are popular, it brings out the lion in them!

Cats often like the simplest things. A screwed up sweet wrapper or foil ball seems to really get some of them going. They like to play with you, so you must find time, especially for the young cat.

Use your imagination and understand that your cat will eventually grow up and calm down although that may be several years away……

About the Author:
Debbie Connolly has worked with dog and cats for 25 years in all sorts of areas. Boarding, training, rescue and behavior. She stars in the BBC TV series "Dog Borstal" and gives media interviews regarding dog issues. She is an Associate Member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and is the behavior. consultant for Bengal Cat Rescue and Zep the Dep Rottweiler Rescue.
Currently writing articles for a well known glossy Dog Magazine, she also writes about being single and has a humorous slant on most things. Originally from the North East, she is a straight talking, from the hip person and doesn't suffer fools!
Debbie loves horses but is a very nervous rider and frequently falls off. She has an ambition to own a smallholding one day and have pygmy goats. Her father was Irish by birth and she is soon to start some clinics in Southern Ireland although she would love to work in the USA. One day she would like to retire to France, "to live on wine, bread and cheese and sit in Paris cafes all day"
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Disclaimer: The information presented and the opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Pampered Pets™.com and/or its partners.