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Burning Off Excess Energy?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by Misprints, May 8, 2019.

  1. Misprints

    Misprints Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 7, 2019
    New Jersey
    Hi, all!

    I'm in a bit of a quandary. I've been struggling to find ways to tire out my kitten, Rollo (neutered 7-month-old), after my sister moved away with his puppy buddy. The two used to wrestle and take turns chasing each other around the house, sometimes for hours on end. I did try running after him, but he just stares at me! :lol:

    The problem is that Rollo doesn't seem to be interested in any of his toys -- and he has many! I regularly rotate them as suggested on a few sites, and have a good variety (balls, springs, teasers, fishing rods, squeaky toys). He'll play for a few minutes at most before getting bored.

    I've tried finding other ways to tire him out, such as clicker training (I do two 10-minute sessions a day) and taking him outside on a harness (for about twenty minutes, weather permitting). He has a cat tower and perches at almost every window.

    But he's still hyper and has trouble winding down for the night. He runs up to me regularly to engage play sessions (just like he did with the puppy), but I just don't know what to do! I worry that he's bored out of his mind, and that it might add to the depression of losing his playmate -- and that this in turn might exacerbate his chewing problems (which I assume have been mostly due to teething so far).

    I do eventually want to get another playmate for him, but at the moment I can't afford to. Any ideas for how I could entertain him in the meantime -- and possibly help him cope with the loss?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: May 8, 2019

  2. Misprints

    Misprints Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 7, 2019
    New Jersey
    Some bonus pictures. :) [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    GaryT, pearl99, Graceful-Lily and 7 others purraised this.

  3. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

    Nov 25, 2013
    Awww... adorable pictures. Love the one of them both looking out the door. :heartshape:

    My first thought was getting another kitten, but I see that isn't an option right now. So "you'll" have to be his playmate until he gets a bit older and isn't quite so full of energy.

    Here's a TCS article that might have some tips for you.
    Playing With Your Cat: 10 Things You Need To Know
    calico man, PushPurrCatPaws and Misprints purraised this.

  4. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

    Dec 12, 2012
    Nebraska, USA
    Two cats really aren't any more expensive than one. you only get charged one office visit if you bring them in at the same time (which you should) you have food anyway and they don't eat THAT much, and if you get a shelter kitten they should already be neutered and have their shots. When you are ready, a male would be better, in my experience they are much better wrestling buddies than females who are the manners teachers and hissy with the boys. A younger one would be in order as kittens are much better accepted into a family. But not too young, your cat is a lot bigger and stronger. Someone around 3-5 months old. It would sure save you a lot of time and worry, and make your cat much happier. Though introductions are a little time consuming at first.
    Whatever you decide, all the luck!
    GaryT and Misprints purraised this.

  5. Misprints

    Misprints Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 7, 2019
    New Jersey
    @rubysmama Thanks! I tried taking more while they were both here, but they rarely stood still long enough for me to get a good pic. ;)

    Thanks for the link, too! Unfortunately, I've tried most of the tips in there already. Rollo just doesn't stay interested in his toys long enough for a proper play session. :( Five minutes, at most. He's used to chasing after the puppy and burning his energy off that way, so I'm guessing that's all that interests him now. He won't play chase with me, though!

    @di and bob Food costs are a concern for me, since I'm feeding Rollo premium canned (and will transition to raw soon), and I would like to feed the same to any new pet that I adopt. Rollo is currently eating about 10 oz a day! :eek2:

    I do intend to get him a playmate when I know that I can afford it. I just hope that I can find a way to entertain him in the meantime... In the week so far since the puppy has been gone, Rollo has become uncharacteristically destructive and is starting to nip when he never used to. :( I know that this could also be due to the stress of losing his playmate (and maybe teenage moodiness, since he's 7 months old), but all the pent-up energy can't be helping.
    PushPurrCatPaws and rubysmama purraised this.

  6. Jem

    Jem TCS Member Top Cat

    Aug 6, 2018
    If he likes to chase "live animals" . One thing that my cat used to love doing was to chase "the mouse" under a blanket.
    Lay out a heavy enough (not thick/puffy) blanket on the ground, and drag a string toy (make your own, so much cheaper) under the blanket. It looks like a small animal scurrying around.
    And as I mentioned, make your own toy. I used a "practice golf ball", the plastic ones with holes in them, and a long strong satin ribbon. What was good about using the plastic ball and satin was it was smooth so did not create as much drag and friction so it slid nicely under the blanket.
    It's so fun to watch them jump and pounce!
    Misprints, pearl99, calico man and 1 other person purraised this.

  7. Suljas

    Suljas TCS Member Young Cat

    May 1, 2019
    Will it be cost effective to adopt from local shelter of you want another partner for Rollo? That's a nice looking kitten you have. What breed is it as I have almost a similar one?

  8. war&wisdom

    war&wisdom TCS Member Super Cat

    Aug 2, 2018
    Baltimore, MD
    Do you have Da Bird?

  9. war&wisdom

    war&wisdom TCS Member Super Cat

    Aug 2, 2018
    Baltimore, MD
    Here's a link, just in case:

  10. Suru

    Suru TCS Member Adult Cat

    Nov 2, 2018
    My cat needs to be chased around or have something to chase. I’m pretty lazy andOne thing I’ve found that worked is to put him into my hammock and poke/scratch him from underneath the material. He has a crazy fun time trying to catch my hand! It’s like play fighting but without putting my limbs at risk.

    you can probably do something similar with a blanket or a rug. my cat also likes attacking me when he sees movement under the quilt.
    Misprints purraised this.

  11. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

    Mar 27, 2017
    My hyper boy gets play dates with his brother. Since a second cat isn’t an option right now I will tell you what I do with my boy:

    A bird feeder is a must! I have mine outside the sliding glass door of my apartment. I have a bird feeder, humming bird feeder and even a cylinder of fruit/nuts/grub worms to help feed the scrub jays in my area. Weather permitting I open the sliding glass door and let him look outside through the screen door to watch the birds/squirrels in the morning.

    I let him have an hour outside with his 26 foot lead leash attached to the arm of my chair. He gets to hunt bugs, lizards and to pretend he can catch the birds/squirrels.

    I wrestle with him. I put my hand/forearm under a thick blanket and play wrestle with him. I wiggle my fingers and let him catch me. I just have to let him win most of the time.

    Laser pointer, wand toys and he loves the petfit4life fishing pole toy with the tail toys are his favorite. I lead him up and down furniture/his cat tree and get him jumping.

    Fetch! He loves it when I throw his long haired rabbit fur toy mice in one direction and then the other when he brings them back.


    You are in the hype test phase of his life. It will get better. What have you clicker trained him to do?

    Attached Files:

  12. Diana Faye

    Diana Faye Always and Forever, Irving Adult Cat

    Sep 10, 2018
    Don't give up, you'll find something that clicks.

    My one kitten is a ball of energy, but was "lazy" or not very engaged when I initiate play. He would play with toys on his own, play with the other kitten, tear through the house, but just didn't seem to get that into the wand toy I had. The laser pointer was a big help, just to get him moving/ chasing something, but I don't like to overdo it since they can't really "catch" it. Mostly he just drives me nuts trying to get into mischief.

    He seems to like the little stuffed animal toys, and I just found a wand with a toy mouse with ribbons for the tail. Idk if he's changed his mind or if I finally found the right thing, but he goes nuts leaping for this thing. Just keep trying and learning what his preferences are. I've also accepted that I'm just never going to be able to tire him out, but I can direct his bursts of energy. I'f he's already keeping me up at night, I might as well play for a few minutes to take the edge off.
    Misprints purraised this.

  13. Spookyandsammy

    Spookyandsammy Spookys human Alpha Cat

    Apr 14, 2019
    Boston ma
    I let Sandwich and spooky play together so she will sleep shes wild by herself

  14. pearl99

    pearl99 TCS Member Adult Cat

    Aug 28, 2016
    Lakewod, Colorado
    Yup to Danteshuman ideas- I wore Mooshoo out by playing Fetch with a little corduroy toy mouse, I got to sit. And wiggling fingers and toes under a blanket for her to attack, she would go for a long time doing those things.
    Those are adorable pictures!
    Misprints purraised this.

  15. KittyCatCove

    KittyCatCove Daddy of 3 Adult Cat

    May 8, 2019
    Let a real mouse go in your house... they'll all burn energy like crazy.

    Misprints and Diana Faye purraised this.

  16. Spookyandsammy

    Spookyandsammy Spookys human Alpha Cat

    Apr 14, 2019
    Boston ma
    Their was one in our house Sandwich took care of that and now she loves playing with ants and eating them I made my own toy by tieing a ball with a bell in it on a shoe string she goes wild
    Misprints purraised this.

  17. duncanmac

    duncanmac TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Feb 22, 2017
    I found that combining stairs and play is very effective in tiring out kittens. Run a wand toy up and down the stairs (or on and off the bed or other furniture). Make the kitty run up and down the stairs and he will be panting in short order. The trick is finding the right toy. In our house, it seems to be real fur animals tied to a string on a stick.

    Also, try playing hide and see with the toys - around a corner, under a box or towel - have it peek out and retreat. Drives all my guys crazy.
    Misprints purraised this.

  18. Misprints

    Misprints Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 7, 2019
    New Jersey
    Oof. Sorry for the delayed responses, everyone! I've been running around like crazy lately.

    Thanks for the idea! He does like chasing things under blankets, but unfortunately doesn't stay interested in that for very long. :(


    Rollo is a Ragdoll. :) When I do get a buddy for him, I do intend to adopt a shelter pet. I can't afford another pet at the moment, though.


    Da Bird is actually one of the first toys that I bought for him! He used to go crazy for it, but even after rotating regularly, it's been difficult to get Rollo interested in it again. :(


    So far, Rollo knows how to "sit," "down," "high-five," "spin," "jump," and "off." We're working on "roll over" and following me on walks. :D

    I've tried taking him outside for longer, but most of the time the longer he's outside the more restless he is when he comes back inside! :( It's very difficult to engage him in play. I've tried following some suggestions, such as improvising with toys under blankets and making him fish some out of cut-outs in boxes, but he gets bored of any activity very quickly.

    I don't have a bird feeder, but there are always birds and squirrels on the lawn for him to watch. He has plenty of windows to look out of and three dedicated window perches (Kitty Cot) which I placed in locations that I noticed he liked to hang out the most.


    @Diana Faye
    I'm trying not to give up, but nothing that I have bought or improvised seems to be working, and it's becoming incredibly frustrating -- especially now that he's chewing everything up. :(


    Thanks for the idea! I tried dragging some of his furrier toys up and down the stairs and he ran after it a few times, but he quickly grew wise to what I was trying to do and just... stopped. When I tried again the next day (and then again a few days later), he just wouldn't engage anymore. :(

    He likes playing hide-and-seek with me but, as is the case with any other game or toy I use, he loses interest quickly.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    danteshuman purraised this.

  19. Misprints

    Misprints Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    Jan 7, 2019
    New Jersey
    There is one toy that he hasn't tired of yet -- plastic springs. When he was younger, he would bat them around and chase after them for hours at a time. I'm hesitant to leave him unsupervised with them now, though, since he's suddenly gotten into the habit of chewing them apart (and even eating pieces) in the seconds that I don't have my eyes on him. :(

    I want to teach him how to play fetch with a soft toy, but I haven't had much success so far. And, given that he loses interest quickly when I throw and toys for him (as with anything else, it seems), I doubt it would help much.
    danteshuman purraised this.

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