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Play is essential for your cat; from kittenhood right through to old age, they'll love batting, chasing and pouncing on all kinds of things! In fact, playing with your cat is one of the most enjoyable things about having them around the house.

The experts from our Purina petcare brand have shared a list of games that will enrich your cat's life, provide stimulation and strengthen the bond you share.

1. Chase the prey

Use a toy to simulate the movement of prey. By dragging a toy across the ground on a string, pausing periodically like an animal might, you are encouraging your cat to stalk and pounce like they would in the wild. This will increase their speed and agility and stimulate their hunting instincts. It is a good idea to keep the toy hidden until playtime in order to keep them interested in it.

cat playing chase and prey

2. Catnip fun

Stuffing catnip, a natural herb, into a toy or ball (or buying one that already has catnip in it) can stimulate your cat's interest in a toy. Keep in mind, however, that not all cats are attracted to catnip.

cat playing with toy

3. Run and fetch

It is surprising, but many cats love to play fetch – or at least, chase after and catch a ball that you throw. Ball toys simulate the quick, unexpected movements of prey. Put a bell inside to get your cat's attention, and roll or toss the ball so that she can see and chase it. Some cats respond particularly well when a ball is rolled or tossed into another room or around a corner.

cat playing

4. Play with your food

Puzzle feeders and food distributor balls are toys that incorporate your cat's food into a compartment inside. By rolling or pouncing on the toy, your cat can make it release a few pieces of food at a time. Using a puzzle feeder stimulates your cat's desire to hunt and work for food. Do not forget to account for the food inside a puzzle feeder when determining your cat's daily nutrition allowances.

Remember

Encourage your cat to play at least 20 minutes a day to improve fitness. Playtime with your cat is not just a luxury – it is a necessity for your pet's health and general wellbeing. But whatever happens, and whatever your pet's unique personality, playtime should never feel like a chore. Be creative, have fun, and see how it benefits you both!

For more tips and tricks for cat owners, head over to the articles section on the Purina website.