5 of the Best Brain Games for Cats
Cats love to stay mentally stimulated, and you’ll soon be able to spot if your cat isn’t getting the stimulation they need. Signs that your feline is under-stimulated or bored include over or under eating, sleeping for longer periods than normal and destructive behaviors.
If you’re looking for some new ideas to keep your cat entertained, these five brain games are perfect. If you spend just ten minutes a day playing these games with your cat, they will love you forever!
Most of these games cost very little or can even be made with materials which you already have in your house. So call your purr-pal, and let’s get started!
There are so many different cat puzzles available for purchase, but you don’t need to spend a fortune on fancy toys and puzzles to keep your cat entertained.
You’ll need a cardboard box or an old Tupperware box that you don’t mind cutting into. Your monthly KitNipBox is the purrfect size for this! Place a few of your cat’s favorite toys into the box and make some small holes in the top.
Your cat will love figuring out how to get the toys out of the box. For a quick “how-to” check out this video.
To encourage the natural hunter in your kitty, rather than feeding your feline from their regular food bowl, hiding treats or dry food in spots around the kitchen can be a great way to keep their brains active.
Start off by hiding the food in plain sight in various different bowls. Your cat will enjoy going from bowl to bowl to find their food.
As they get better at the game, you can start hiding it in trickier places, such as under a kitchen chair, or next to their favorite pile of toys.
Not only will this encourage mental stimulation, but it will also keep them active and help to exercise their natural foraging instinct.
Hide and Seek
Hide and seek is a great game to play with your cat. Like most cats, your furry friend probably likes to hide a lot. You’ll likely find them on the top of your wardrobe, or snuggled up in your washing basket.
To play this game properly, you can either choose to hide yourself or a toy and then call your cat to come and seek just as you would if playing with a child. When they find you, you can give them a treat to encourage the game. Be cautious of warning signs that your cat is not having as much fun as you though, such as a bristling tail, if it seems they are not enjoying the bonding session, you should stop playing the game.
Paw Piñata Play
This simple game is really easy to make, but it will entertain your cat for ages!
You’ll need a paper bag with some small holes cut out. Fill the box with treats or toys, and hang it from a door frame, the ceiling, or a piece of furniture.
The aim of this game is for your cat to bat at the bag with their paw to release the treats. Be sure to use light items and keep the length of the string long enough that the “piñata” is just out of reach so that they do not overexert themselves trying to get at it, and to ensure the fall does not add too much inertia to the dropping booty! And remember to never leave your newly made toy out when your cat is unsupervised!
There are plenty of paid-for and free cat apps that will keep your cat entertained and mentally stimulated. Usually, these apps have a laser or a mouse which flits around on the screen that the cat has to try and bat with their paw.
Whilst this is an excellent game for a short period of time, it can become frustrating as they don’t get to physically catch anything. After playing an app game like this it is important to give them some physical play with a real toy or wand like the ones available from KitNipBox.
Which Brain Game Will You Choose?
Just as we exercise our own brains, and encourage our children to exercise theirs, it’s just as important that we do the same for our pets. Brain games give your cat the chance to use their natural instincts such as hunting, and also stop them from becoming bored and frustrated.
These simple homemade games will provide some great stimuli as well as encourage bonding time which will be appreciated even more than the occasional belly rub!