And the Winner Is...

An excerpt from Cat vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat

Wind the Action Down Gradually

The one thing you don't want to do is leave your cat revved up at the end of the game. If you suddenly just stop playing and put the toy away, you'll leave the cat in an excited state. From his point of view the hunt may not have been over. When you know you want to end the game, wind the action down gradually, almost as if the prey is injured. If you're using Da Bird, keep the movements on the ground, maybe as if the bird has a broken wing. This will enable your cat to have one final grand capture. Then, if he's food-motivated, you can offer him a treat. Winding down will help your cat settle back to normal. Having satisfied both the mental and physical aspects of his prey drive, he'll be more likely to be relaxed.

If you don't want to give treats to your cats, you can schedule the play sessions before dinner so the cats experience a hunt before the feast. If you leave dry food out for free-choice feeding, freshen up the food and water after a play session.

Next step:

Don't send mixed messages to your cat

Reprinted from Cat vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett © 2004. Permission granted by Penguin Putnam.

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