Buttons and I have a game. Whenever I head to the laundry room, I usually close the door behind me to prevent a Pied Piper trail of cats from getting in my way. (I’m preettty sure they are onto the fact that we keep their food and treats in there and it arouses their curiosity EVERY time!)
One day as I was folding laundry I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A very small, white paw was outstretched under the door, begging. “Awww….so sweet” I thought. And then it dawned on me – she really was hoping for a treat! I pulled the bag from the shelf and dropped two within her reach. They disappeared quickly. Well, one did. The other was pushed back under the door for me! I pushed it back. This play continued until finally the treat disappeared for good – and then the paw came back. : ) This game became a thing between Buttons and I and now I find myself looking forward to it!
Weezy, our paper balls girl has her own game. Unfortunately it is not as fun – for us, that is. She LOVES to play hockey with her little ball, kicking and bouncing it off baseboards all the way to the ‘goal’ — which is under the stove! How she figured this out I will never know, but we are then left with the duty of retrieving them (yes she wants them back!) by laying on the floor on our stomach with a stick to fetch them out! She ‘reminds’ us by laying on the floor herself, paw outstretched under the stove as if reaaaaching for the paper ball she knows she can’t get! Thelma’s playtime is usually chasing random lights from the sun or a reflection on the walls, something that doesn’t usually require our participation.
Playtime is an important time for cats, especially for exercise and development. It is their nature to hunt and chase, so if they can’t get their fulfillment outdoors, then it is even more important to engage them as often as you can. Just like setting up scratching posts around the house, you can easily create play areas with various toys – just make sure that the toys are safe to play with unsupervised, as some can be choking hazards or dangerous because of small parts.
There are times I catch myself ogling Pinterest pics of fantasy cat houses and imagining how much fun they would have in something like that. In the meantime, as long as Buttons gets her treats and Weezy her paper balls, I must say they seem pretty happy!