Teach Your Cat to Play

Can you teach a cat to play?

To get your cat more comfortable with playtime, try using something extremely nonthreatening, such as a peacock feather. You can even cut off the toy at the end of the fishing pole and just entice your cat with the string (for supervised play only of course). I had to do this with one of my formerly feral cats. She was very jumpy whenever she saw the toy, so I cut it off and just used the string. I also made my movements very slow and made sure the cat had plenty of hiding places. Make sure you don't dangle the string directly in front of the cat because that can be a very threatening move. Just slide the string along the carpet slowly, stopping periodically to let your kitty investigate. She may then start pawing at it and realize it's nothing to be afraid of. With my cat Bebe, my movements had to be gradual and gentle, as we were building trust. I had to work within her comfort zone. Gradually, she became more and more comfortable and is now a champion at capturing the interactive toys. Hopefully, your kitty will soon be enjoying playtime also.

Best,
Pam Johnson-Bennett

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