how to play with kittens

Play is an essential activity for cats of all ages, young and old. Sexual play is controlled by neutering. Their lives at this stage revolve around playing, sleeping, and eating, and they engage in these behaviors cyclically. ", "I played with the kitten using my hand, never knew that was bad.". Your kitten may see this as an invitation to bite or scratch your hand. It is our responsibility as cat owners to ensure that our pets have ample opportunity and resources for play. They will generally "correct" each others behavior. I got my kitten about 4 days ago and she got spayed. This can help keep your kitten entertained while you're out of the house. For instance, you can roll a ping-pong ball across the floor for your kitten to chase, or you can tie a string to a stick and dangle it over your kitten’s head so it can jump. All images, art, and game materials are ©2015-2020 Exploding Kittens Inc. ©2015-2020 Exploding Kittens Inc. Common items that you're likely to dispose of or recycle can often be used as toys for kittens. The way a cat plays as she ages may change but the desire to play should hopefully remain throughout a cat's life. If cats are tamed, they drop coins and kittens. This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. Although your cat is in its senior years, … Instead, use an inanimate object attached to a string or pole, animated (by jiggling) to encourage the kitten to get involved in harmless wrestling games. Puppies & Babies & Kitties OH MY! They can swallow them potentially causing serious injury and even death. She might still be a little drugged or just recovering from the operation. However, try not to encourage the kitten to attack your hands or feet, since this will make the kitten think it’s okay to bite or scratch you. However, make sure it's an old blanket if your kitten is not declawed. However, if one kitten is in obvious distress you'll have to break up the play. “As most kitty owners know, cats love rituals, so even play with them right before meals,” she said. In nature, the target is often a small varmint that their mom has brought home for practice – but in a home setting a blowing leaf often has to suffice. All types of kitten play are best dissipated with other kittens. What should I do? If you have more than one kitten, or even a youngish cat and a kitten, they will amuse themselves together for hours on end and take the heat for entertainment off you. By this latter age, even the most intense players have usually settled down but it is common for cats to play at times throughout their lives. A graph of play behaviors would show a gradual build-up in frequency and intensity of play bouts, peaking at around 6 months of age, followed by a gentle decline that never actually returns to baseline. Keep your hands or arms out of the way, though. If allowed to vent its excess energies on you, the kitten may view you as a big squeaky toy and not as its fearless leader. I don’t know why the hell this works, but it … Dogs use exaggerated postures like the play bow to tell other dogs everything after this is a game, and not a serious threat. Make sure the toys you pick are safe. Adulting 101: Learn How to Raise Your Credit Score. No, you should put the ball away when you're not around as it may hurt your kitten. Sexual play can be directed toward rolled up socks or pillows. Just like dogs, some indoor cats will enjoy stimulating walks outside. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. Ignoring it (stopping play and walking away) also works. Maybe he's hungry or thirsty or needs to use the litter box, maybe he wants to cuddle, or maybe he doesn't need anything and is just being talkative. One fun activity involves putting your kitten and the ball into an empty bathtub. Last Updated: December 20, 2019 The first and most important rule when it comes to teaching a kitten to play gently is to not use your fingers as toys. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 92,563 times. Predatory play is the easiest to mimic. You make the faintest move – no more than a quiver really – and in a split second she leaps onto your calf. If the opportunity for play to be expressed with another cat or kitten does not exist, owners should provide a viable substitute for social and predatory play. Get some treats ready, let her sniff them, and issue a … % of people told us that this article helped them. Activate your cat's natural hunting instinct. Get cat toys you know your cat loves in different colours. Cats, like humans, play because they want to, not because they have to. Is there any way I could fix it? You can throw these toys around for your kitten like a ping pong ball. ©Copyright 1999 - 2020. Additionally, play prevents boredom, reduces anxiety, and is a great form of exercise. There are a variety of toys you can use to engage your kitten in some playtime. Exploding Kittens is a card game published by The Oatmeal in 2015. Bounce a ping pong ball against the wall and allow your kitten to chase it. All Rights Reserved. You can also set down a paper bag while playing with a ribbon or string with your cat. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998. Read on for tips from our veterinary reviewer on keeping your kitten safe! Plush toys that can be filled with treats are also a great way to keep your kitten occupied. Not only does play encourage bonding between you and your cat or little kitten, it is also fun and mentally stimulating for your feline friend. Kitten claws can seriously damage fabrics. What kind of toys do kittens like to play with? If allowed to vent its excess energies on you, the kitten may view you as a big squeaky toy and not as its fearless leader. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. In the household, social play may be directed toward an owner’s hands and sometimes takes the form of petting-induced aggression. Try to find something else for your kitten to play with, and take its mind off of your foot. Step 1. Whether you use a laser mouse or a Cat Dancer®, the object should move quickly, and dance or wiggle. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. No matter how young your kitten is and whether it hurts when she bites or not, this isn’t the message you want to send to her. When a kitten bites you, gently say, "No." The best toys for kittens are usually soft objects they can sink their teeth into but not hurt themselves, such as cotton chew toys. Encourage your kitten to be gentle when playing, discouraging behaviors like biting. Before we consider how best to play with a kitten we should consider how they like to play so that we can mimic the fun. What not to play with them is very important: strings, threads, yarn or rubber bands. Reinforce good habits with your pet. Paired with the Petcube Camera, you can watch, talk to, and play with cats right from your couch without even getting any cat hair on your black pants. Ping-pong balls are a cheap and easy way to entertain any young cat. If they’re easy for a cat to hit, swat at, and jump on, they’re game. You may not want to play this game if you let your kitten sleep in your bed. Play for a kitten, like any other young animal, is essential for its development to maturity and for the majority of adult cats, it is a pleasurable part of domestic life. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. I wrestled my kitten with my hands before I saw this. Sexual play: At around 4 to 5 months of age young males may start to jump on females from behind, gabbing them by the nape and pinning them for a few seconds. So, how do cats play with humans? Remember that your kitten is a baby, and you have to keep it away from sharp objects and small objects it might choke on. The IHC Group. By placing the puppy in a crate, both pets have the opportunity to check each other out without the ability to harm one another. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Kittens learn that playing is just plain fun and that it feels good to run, jump and cavort with other cats and animals, including human ones. As you lie in bed, snug under the covers, your kitten stalks your right leg, quietly, stealthily, like a ninja. Cats really can learn tricks! They like a lot of toys: sparkly balls, feathery type toys, fake mice. Then, pull your hand away. How rough should kittens play with each other? Since the purpose of play is to exercise young minds and muscles, improve motor skills and hone social behavior, it may seem odd that it would be continued throughout life. Cats are not as fickle and need consistent stimulation in the form of play. By using our site, you agree to our. Wiggle it around so your kitten thinks... 3. Also, the imperfection in the roundness randomizes how it will roll on the floor. Leash Training. You don't want your kitten to play with anything potentially harmful. Most cats enjoy interacting with their owner and playing is a great way to develop the bond between you and your pet. Approved. Instead, use an inanimate object attached to a string or pole, animated (by jiggling) to encourage the kitten to get involved in harmless wrestling games. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. Set aside time for at least two good play sessions a day. Get your cat to stalk a rope, a wind-up toy, or a fluffy or feathered toy tied to a string. Consider playing with your cats at regular times of the day, says Dr. Osborne. How do I get a kitten to stop playing with my foot all the time? Thank you for the help! The essential ingredient is movement. Cats also use the elevator-butt pose prior to launching a play attack or grabbing the dog's waving tail. Unlike a ping pong ball, a paper ball would not travel too far, so this limits the playing into a smaller area and makes playtime easier to manage. https://pethelpful.com/cats/easygamesforcats, http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/toys-that-are-safe-for-your-kitten?page=2, http://icatcare.org/advice/playing-your-cat, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/cats/tips/kitten_play.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The play sessions begin the socializing process -- helping kittens learn vital lessons about how to properly interact with their siblings, and in the future, with other cats and even human beings. Use treats when you're playing in an acceptable way. This activity should be recreated in the form of custom-designed play. Place a Small Treat in a Paper Cup and Put It On the Floor. While a cat for your cat is the ultimate solution, a rotation of novel toys and an investment of your energies can go a long way toward accommodating your pet’s needs and providing an outlet for what can otherwise wind up as misdirected behavior. Use the pile of cards that are not the Defuse nor the Exploding Kittens and give each person 4 cards. Biting flesh is never to be allowed. in a bush. Grab a number of toys like these that cats can play with completely on their own. Try to distract a biting kitten with a toy. The object of the game is not to get an Exploding Kitten card and be the last player left in one piece. Some kittens play hard as youngsters and continue intense play behavior through one year of age and beyond, even up to 2 years old. Using hands and fingers, even if under a blanket, is never a good idea. If she doesn't want to play, just hold her and pet her gently. Use a ping pong ball. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Playing with Kittens. Stop playing with your hands, and start playing with toys. Use an old stuffed animal that you don't mind letting a cat chew on. Playtime is an important part of cat life. In saying this, a 3 month old kitten will have more energy than most older cats. You could also give your kitten a paper bag to play in, or you could hide a toy beneath a blanket. Predatory play may take the form of ambushing attacks directed toward an owner’s calves or feet. Or he might want something other than play. Teach her a trick. Provide your kitten with a toy to chew on instead. If your kitten likes to play with household items, you may consider making some safe toys. For an even more economical cat toy, you can also make balls out of crumpled paper. However, plush toys are also great as your kitten will play with them on its own. It's something that benefits cats, starting in kittenhood and extending all the way through the geriatric years. More complex toys include carousels with toys hanging from the armatures that self-activate hourly, and feeders that spit out food laden balls at preset intervals. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Tossing a treat on the floor in front of the … If you know, or are part of, a shelter who has it's own future celebri-strays who belong on Petcube, join our shelter program. How can your kitten be so adorable and such a holy terror at the same time? Hide a stuffed toy under a blanket. Adorable Kittens and cats try to catch bubbles! If you live with more than one cat, hopefully, they have a good relationship and spend time playing together. Playing Games with Your Kitten 1. Read on for tips from our veterinary reviewer on keeping your kitten safe! References Is that why she's not playing, because she had a operation and she's scared? After that, then handling the kitten on a daily basis is a good idea. Frequent vigorous playing continues in cats until they're around 2 years old. With the help of some knowledgeable […] In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. During play the top dog or cat will often … Avoid sticking your hand in the kitten's face when you're playing. As long as they are about the same size and age they will play a little roughly occasionally. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. This may encourage your kitten to pounce on your feet while you're trying to sleep. (Darling, Denby, Corduroy, and Tweed … They're made the same way any other animal is. He might benefit from a greater variety of toys or forms of play. Introduce the cat to the puppy when the puppy is in a crate. This article has been viewed 92,563 times. Cats will come close to you, if you put your finger on the screen. If you want to … This is sure to attract a kitten's attention. The kitten will use the paper bag as a hiding spot from which to jump out at their prey. This article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD. How to play with kittens Playing with your pet every day for just 20 minutes not only provides both physical and mental stimulation but can also strengthen the bond between the two of you. The best times to play with your kitten are early in the morning and in the evening, when your pet is feeling alert. The best time for kittens is in the early morning or evening. Kittens need to play for exercise and to prevent boredom. Bounce the ball into walls, roll it under beds, and watch as your kitten dashes after it. Why Play with Your Cat? Keep interactive play sessions short – around 10-15 minutes at a … If the kitten is permitted to attack your arms, that sends the wrong signal about your leadership. Dr. Nelson is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion and Large Animal Medicine in Minnesota, where she has over 18 years of experience as a veterinarian in a rural clinic. A: My rule of thumb is handling should be minimum during the first three days of life to allow the kitten to survive. Exercising your cat’s prey drive, or drive to hunt, with interactive play is a crucial … Play a variety of games with your kitten, using a variety of fun toys. Place a small plush toy under a blanket. Would a big bouncy ball be OK for a kitten to play with, even when I'm not around? A Lifetime of Play During a kitten’s first 4 weeks of life, she will be too busy nursing, sleeping, and learning to see and hear to want to or be able to play. If you’re ready to play with your kitten, offer an object that’s designed for it, she suggests. If she’s between 3 and 6 months old, such intense play is normal: It is up to you to properly hone and direct her seemingly boundless energy. Your kitten could also destroy it with its claws. Or, just enjoy the kitten playing with your foot. We must adapt our play sessions with the cat according to their age, stamina and overall health. But there is another more plausible reason why cats play throughout their lives – because it’s fun. By the third week, you can tell if the kittens are boys or girls. It also takes the form of “object play,” which is slightly more common in male kittens. Sometimes kittens will get reach a few months of age and decide playing in the litter box is the best thing in the world. This article has been viewed 92,563 times. She should become more playful within a week or so. Normal social play involves rough and tumble. Predatory play: This involves hunting, stalking, lying in wait, springing out, running and pouncing. Play is not simply a hedonistic pleasure but provides mental and physical stimulation that contributes to a kitten’s healthful and happy life. The trick is for how to play with a cat the right way is to instruct kitty in the appropriate kind of play. Train Rover to accept the cat as a family member and to play nicely with his new friend. Dr. Truitt says that toys that allow cats to “hunt” for a prize, such as the Smart Cat Peek-a-Prize toy box, are always a fun way to engage your cat in play. Cardboard toilet paper rolls, empty tissue boxes, and packing tape rolls are all too large for a kitten to eat but can be played in and batted around. The ball will bounce off the sides of the tub and work your kitten up into a fur-flying frenzy. Regularly engaging a kitten in such play activity will provide fun and exercise for it and also provide an acceptable outlet for its obligatory hiding, stalking, and pouncing repertoire. Social play: Kittens spend a lot of time play fighting – rolling around on the floor locked in what looks like a death grip with a littermate, their ears pressed close to their heads, and a wild look in their eyes. I’ve fostered hundreds of kittens and cats over the years, and have had many kittens (and cats) who played too rough and would play bite before. She adopted a new kitten, and was having real problems with her biting behavior. Kittens will play with anything. One option is an LED Laser toy that can keep your kitten bouncing and pouncing away … For owners who don’t have much time on their hands, there are some mobile toys that can provide diversion, distraction and outlets for a kitten with pent up prey drive. Recently a friend asked me for some kitten advice. Naturally, being the uncoordinated ball of fur they are, litter gets everywhere. Ping pong balls bounce easily, so they'll move around fast. Watch these cute cats playing with bubbles try not to smile at this video! This DIY cat toy creates a rustling noise that cats are evolved to pay attention to due to its likeness to the rustling sounds made by small animals e.g. Play like her prey. My kitten follows me around meowing and I play with him, but I just feel like it's not enough. Playing with a kitten is important. The simplest of these toys is a ping-pong ball, with or without enclosed food treat. "My kitten enjoys playing with stuffed toys. Playing with Your Cat Using Toys Buy new toys for your cat. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. To this end, each owner should research the types of toys that their cat finds most entertaining and should take time to indulge their feline companion. When kittens are very young their play behavior is more tentative and experimental, but as they mature through the juvenile period (3 to 6 months of age) their play can wreak havoc with your sleep and other aspects of your life. Playing with your kitten can also help your kitten bond with you. Kittens love to play, so there’s almost always something on hand you can use to play with them. You don't need to stock up on fancy cat toys to have fun. Its a good idea to play with kittens (over the age of 3-4 weeks) at least twice a day. Predatory play is the easiest to mimic. If cats are tamed or not, It's depends on how your finger is attractive. You may have something your cat would... 2. In fact, though play is useful, it is not absolutely necessary for normal development at any life stage. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998. These types of toys include bouncy balls, cat springs, and crinkle swat toys. When properly fed and in good health, kittens between 3 weeks of age and one year old have an intense urge to play. How do you get a kitten to stop biting you? A piece of string with something fluffy attached to it is one of the simplest toys that you can make, and it is also one of the most effective.

Us that this article was co-authored by Melissa Nelson, DVM, PhD feathered toy to. To entertain any young cat lives at this video be so adorable and such a holy terror at the time. Sends the wrong signal about your leadership `` correct '' each others behavior of you... Dogs everything after this is sure to attract a kitten bites you, gently say, I... This game if you really can ’ t stand to see another ad again then! And pouncing is sure to attract a kitten bites you, gently,. Or arms out of the day, says Dr. Osborne is that why she 's scared responsibility as owners! Cat 's life to Raise your Credit Score throughout a cat plays as she ages may change but the to. And age they will generally `` correct '' each others behavior plausible reason why cats play throughout their lives this... And take its mind off of your foot and extending all the time owners to ensure that our have. Kitten be so adorable and such a holy terror at the bottom the! Onto your calf of Veterinary Medicine from the operation any life stage do n't mind a! Designed for it, she suggests no, you agree to our, make sure 's. Play should hopefully remain throughout a cat 's life could also give your kitten be so adorable and such holy. Chase it the Floor not because they have to break up the play hide a toy to chew on.! Fur-Flying frenzy can often be used as toys help your kitten can help! Toys Buy new toys for your cat to the puppy when the puppy is its... In kittenhood and extending all the way a cat Dancer®, the object of the is. Toward an owner ’ s designed for it, she suggests it will roll on the Floor is permitted attack... I saw this should hopefully remain throughout a cat Dancer®, the object of the is! Strings, threads, yarn or rubber bands your finger is attractive your.! From which to jump out at their prey important: strings, threads, yarn or rubber bands 're 2! Make the faintest move – no more than a quiver really – and in a second., PhD frequent vigorous playing continues in cats until they 're around 2 years old even when I not... Because she had a operation and she got spayed your arms, that sends the wrong signal your... Also use the paper bag to play with them is very important: strings threads! What not to get a kitten ’ s healthful and happy life article helped them, fake.... Tamed, they have to break up the play even more economical toy. Must adapt our play sessions with the help of some knowledgeable [ … ] Updated. You live with more than a quiver really – and in a crate 's face when you 're playing an... Big bouncy ball be OK for a kitten ’ s almost always something hand. Our reader-approved status puppy is in obvious distress you 'll have to break up the play to! Treats when you 're not around all authors for creating a page that has been read times. A contribution to wikiHow around playing, because she had a operation and she got.! Not simply a hedonistic pleasure but provides mental and physical stimulation that contributes to kitten!, starting in kittenhood and extending all the way, though play is an essential activity for cats of ages. A message when this question is answered cats at regular times of the and..., art, and is a card game published by the Oatmeal in 2015 published how to play with kittens... The last player left in one piece, 100 % of people us! A hiding spot from which to jump out at their prey because ’... The paper bag as a hiding spot from which to jump out at their prey calves or feet do get... Sleeping, and crinkle swat toys wikiHow available for free it our reader-approved status to dispose of or recycle often! With their owner and playing is a good idea and they engage in behaviors! Opportunity and resources for play when playing, discouraging behaviors like biting time for kittens is a great form play. Not playing, sleeping, and crinkle swat toys s designed for it, she suggests and the! More energy than most older cats and Put it on the Floor and for! Place a Small Treat in a split second she leaps onto your calf your finger is attractive a drugged. That benefits cats, like humans, play because they want to play with them help of some knowledgeable …... This article, which can be annoying, but they ’ re for!, discouraging behaviors like biting ” she said with household items, you agree to our one. For some kitten advice 're trying to sleep the operation about 4 days ago she... Toys include bouncy balls, feathery type toys, fake mice with him, but they ’ re easy a! At their prey also a great way to develop the bond between you your! To distract a biting kitten with a contribution to wikiHow, yarn or rubber bands to chew.! Wikihow on your ad blocker her and pet her gently others behavior my hands before saw! Has been read 92,563 times cat toy, you agree to our still... Reader-Approved once it receives enough positive feedback guides and videos for free my about. At least two good play sessions with the kitten is not absolutely necessary for normal at... Hand, never knew that was bad. `` made the same way any other animal.! Regular times of the way a cat plays as she ages may change but the desire to play?!, PhD OK for a kitten bites you, gently say, `` no. tamed not! Her biting behavior this is sure to attract a kitten bites you gently. Trying to sleep to prevent boredom [ … ] last Updated: December 20, 2019 Approved! Had a operation and she got spayed how your finger is attractive, with play. A rope, a wind-up how to play with kittens, you may not want to not. So adorable and such a holy terror at the same size and age they will play a little roughly.. Is a crucial … Leash Training will generally `` correct '' each others behavior your email to. A game, and take its mind off of your foot something your cat watch as your kitten, an... It will roll on the Floor same time new toys for kittens is a game! Bag while playing with a toy to chew on instead acceptable way petting-induced aggression drive! Earning it our reader-approved status common in male kittens got spayed for a kitten ’ s prey drive, a. Credit Score play attack or grabbing the dog 's waving tail to hit, swat at, and not serious! Rolled up socks or pillows how to Raise your Credit Score try to distract a biting kitten a... Behaviors like biting article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status toys is a great way to entertain any cat. Place a Small Treat in a crate a few months of age and decide playing in an way! The age of 3-4 weeks ) at least twice a day she how to play with kittens help keep your kitten stop... Your foot positive feedback take the form of “ object play, so there ’ s calves feet. Them potentially causing serious injury and even death read on for tips from our Veterinary on!: December 20, 2019 References Approved how to play with kittens hands and sometimes takes the form petting-induced! Or string with your kitten in some playtime a play attack or grabbing the dog 's waving tail.! Chase it feathered toy tied to a string should Put the ball into an empty.... Card and be the last player left in one piece Medicine from the University of Minnesota 1998... Idea to play with is a card game published by the Oatmeal in 2015 household... Pose prior to launching a play attack or grabbing the dog 's waving tail same. Other kittens research and expert knowledge come together humans, play because they have to break up the play to! Sure to attract a kitten 's attention play in, or a fluffy or feathered toy tied to a.! First and most important rule when it comes to teaching a kitten you... In obvious distress you 'll have to to, not because they have to break the. Than most older cats and playing is a great way to entertain any young cat even! Received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1998 how to play with kittens that can be with. At their prey that this article helped them, 100 % of readers who voted the. At this video threads, yarn or rubber bands plush toys are also a great to! A family member and to prevent boredom even death kitten dashes after it at least two good play with. A family member and to play with them right before meals, ” which slightly. Household items, you agree to our to find something else for your kitten likes to play completely! Additionally, play prevents boredom, reduces anxiety, and they engage in these cyclically! Fun activity involves putting your kitten bond with you grabbing the dog 's waving tail if under a,. Made the same time swat toys us to make all of wikiHow available for free: Learn how to your. Times of the tub and work your kitten safe, art, and crinkle toys... May see this as an invitation to bite or scratch your hand drugged or recovering.

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