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Can you teach a cat to play?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by roserivers, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. roserivers

    roserivers Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    27
    5
    Jan 25, 2017
    Our Kai was born into a madhouse of 10 cats, dogs, goats, chickens... all of whom got fed as and when the owner could feed them. So, he went hungry a lot. That showed, when my daughter got him, she had to restrain him gently and retrain him to let Kit eat and he could have what was left (not much) rather than shove Kit out of the way and eat it all. So, one very serious cat. He had never been taught to play, never given any toys. My daughter says one night at the flat she rolled a ball at him. He batted it away and turned his head  away from her and refused to look at her. His idea of 'play' is to engage Kit in mad  chases around the house, start a fight (he should have been named Scrapper) or do this fighting round doors, curtains, etc. The mouse game we bought, which Kit loves and plays with for ages, is ignored, as are all the balls with bells in (and with no bells) tassels, straws (Kit has been known to play for half an hour non stop with a straw) rolled up paper balls, etc. He will attack and bite the edge of the rug, but that's a passing fad, then he goes and lays down very quickly.

    House cats need exercise and stimulation but - all this passes Kai by. He sits sleepy eyed and watches Kit playing madly before shutting his eyes as if it's too much for him.  Neither of them like the wind up clockwork mouse, they ignore it, they do like catnip balls and toss them around sometimes, but all else - not for our Kai.

    Looking for ideas, please, on how to stimulate his interest, stop him cat napping all the time, and keep his muscles in good shape.
     

  2. margd

    margd Chula and Paul's roommate Veteran

    15,592
    7,455
    Feb 24, 2015
    Maryland USA
    Bless your daughter for rescuing Kai from such a terrible situation.  Kai must think he's in heaven compared to his previous circumstances.  .

    You might consider investing in Da Bird, a wand toy with guinea feathers at the end.  Very few cats can resist this.  When you pull the wand up and down, the feathers at the end whirl about and make a fluttery noise very like a bird.  You can also skitter it along the floor so that it resembles a small creature of prey.  Even if Kai will have nothing to do with it, Kit should love it so it's money well spent.  Hopefully, Kai will go for it, though.  A session or two a day with Da Bird can help keep their muscles in good shape.  I also find that my cats are always more energetic after a few daily sessions chasing Da Bird.  

    http://www.thecatsite.com/products/da-bird-cat-toy

    Another way to help Kai stay active is to take him on walks with a leash.  This article tells you how to harness train a cat.

    http://www.thecatsite.com/a/harness-and-leash-training-for-cats

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     

  3. roserivers

    roserivers Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    27
    5
    Jan 25, 2017
    thank you! will look out for that.

    The leash, no, he hated it to the point of sitting down and refusing to walk, so had to be carried home. He would fight not to have the harness on in the first place. He really is one difficult cat but who ever found a cat not difficult when they make up their minds to block us all the way?
     

  4. margd

    margd Chula and Paul's roommate Veteran

    15,592
    7,455
    Feb 24, 2015
    Maryland USA
    That's too bad about the leash.  My old boy, Wesley, was like that as well.  He would flip over on his back so I either had to pick him up or drag him home, which wasn't really an option.  And he was a big boy, too!

    Here is the amazon link for Da Bird:

      

    Check out the reviews for many success stories.  Of course, there are a few failures, too, but generally, it really does help get a cat's prey drive going. BTW, be sure to follow with a treat to help satisfy that drive.  

    It sounds like you have tried catnip toys, but have you ever tried those stuffed with valerian?  Some cats who don't respond to catnip will go nuts over valerian.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2017

  5. roserivers

    roserivers Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    27
    5
    Jan 25, 2017
    thank you! I will look for the valerian, the catnip does tend to send them both off their heads for half an hour, it's like they're in some other drug...

    BTW, Kai was on my bed last night, restless, turning round, so I started running my fingers down his side in a very light tickle. The little devil lifted up his back leg so I could get at his tummy!
     

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