Cat play. two types.

Some cat-play is purely for my entertainment. The other type is so I can sleep past 5 am. 

Doodled cat is not impressed

Sometimes when I play with Blue, it’s all for me. I think Blue would prefer not to be doted on like she’s a toy or a human baby, so this type of play is to keep me entertained. Blue isn’t a huge fan of her pink frilly dress, being wrapped in a burrito blanket, and will only tolerate bouts of extreme cuddling and face mushing. But she has no choice as that’s the fee she pays for a lifetime of poopscooping and two meals a day.  As you can see, doodling on my cat also falls into the first type.

Otherwise, besides Blue’s endless pile of cat mice, feathers, her scratching post, and tree we also engage in the type of play that Blue loves. Blue loves to chase, catch, wrestle, and fight with things that fight back. Since we are currently a one cat home, I become the other cat/mouse/monster. mewr!

Finally and most importantly, it seems that exercise could make your cat smarter. NY Times just published a great article that found that mice who exercised performed better on cognitive tests compared to mice that did not.  Even mice with a rich and varied diet and lots of fun colorful toys which they loved did not matter as much. So, whatever methods you use to play with your cat, make them work for it!

So, at the risk of exposing all the embarrassing things I do with my cat,  here are the 4 games that Blue loves to play.

4: Reverse Peek a Boo.
Demonstrated very clearly in the YouTube sensation ninjacat, cats love to play with eye contact. If I’m looking at Blue, and she is in an inquisitive mood, eye contact is not an optional requirement. If I hold my palm up to block her view of my eyes, or move in a way so that there is an object between our line of sight, she will move just enough to regain eye contact. So, with dodging and moving, I can make her move all around and eventually come so close that she’s in my face. Doesn’t matter that she can see the rest of my body, somehow the rule of the game is eye contact, and she will win.

3. Monster.
This is when go “rawr” and chase her like I want to eat her. At first Blue was terrified and simply hid under the bed, but when I then ran away, she started to catch on that it was a game. Now she loves to tear back and forth around the house between chasing me and being chased. I just wish she wouldn’t initiate play with a hearty chomp to the ankles.

2. Pet my belly. not!
This one is when she rolls over and bares her belly acting oh-so-submissive and cute. Then, as you coo and lean down to rub her inviting belly, she will attack/kick/ bite in glee, and wrestle with you as you try to touch her from all sides. Biting too hard will promptly stop the game so she has learned to be gentle.

1. Hide and seek.
An adapted method of monster, this is where you chase your cat, and she will hide under the table. You run and hide behind the door. She will come out to chase you, only to find that you have vanished in thin air. Extra points if your appearance causes her to jump backwards before she charges off again. Extra extra points if she’s smart and learns to use the new hiding spot after you use it. Extra extra extra points if you scare her so much that her tail puffs up to twice its size!

* A few people have shared various methods to keep kitty alseep at normal human hours, and I think I finally hit upon a good method. Will post on this topic next once I run a few more ‘test trials’ to confirm validity. Seems that this is an issue that we don’t fight alone!

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15 Responses to Cat play. two types.

  1. Dianda says:

    Hahaha, I know game 1, and game two! My cat Suki loves game 3. But now that she gotten older she doesn’t want to play it much anymore.

  2. I am going to try out the Monster game on Jaqui. I think she’s going to love it. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Hah! Yes, sleeping through the night – my main motivation for the catnip party last night 🙂 Otherwise my two always decide to play quite loudly at 3am!

  4. PlumaBlanca the working cat here, “I like playing “Tag, you’re it” I will chase you then reverse course and you have to chase me. It’s fun.”

    • happycatgirl says:

      Hi PumaBlanca, You look like a fluffy marshmallow! I bet you have admirers aplenty! Blue would love to play tag with you, she says I’m too slow to catch her.

  5. Robin says:

    I saw you liked my post and had to come peek even though I have been cutting my blog hopping. Those are all games played in this house to varying degrees. My black cat, Raven, believes chasing me to be beneath his dignity. My cat, Espe, however, has figured out the best way to get me to laugh and chase her is to jump out in front of me, hop up on her toes, and poof herself, Halloween style.

    You should consider more cats. They keep each other busy/company and don’t destroy like you think they would. I believe it’s because they can go pounce on somebody that will play back. I couldn’t imagine a house with only 1 cat in it. I usually have three. You can learn to sleep through the shennanigans, mostly. Just say, “Oh, that’s the cat. It’s okay.” and lay back down. Eventually your brain will identify the noise as ‘ok’ and let you sleep through it. Now if they decide to run over top of your head, well, that’s a whole ‘nother thing. Enjoy your cat!

    • happycatgirl says:

      Espe seems like quite the comedian, I can almost see the scene play out! Besides the kittes, I liked your post especially because of the husband baking brownies and hotchoco/armaretto/marshmallows. Yum indeed! More cats are definitely in the plans, but right now its not fair to the housemates given our small Manhattan apartment. We have been able to reset her circadium rhythm in the past, it just takes determination not to give her a snack which is the one thing that puts her back into nap mode. Ear plugs are a godsend!

  6. Oldcat says:

    The way I trained my cats to not wake me up is that they get ‘doodled’ when they do. But if they let me wake up on my own they can sit on me or by me without being grabbed. When I got my newest cat the other two quickly let her know that waking me up was bad, so now all of them follow the rules.

  7. Hi. You have just received a ‘One Lovely Blog’ award. What a great blog 🙂
    http://pantryobsession.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/and-the-award-goes-to/

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