Games to play with your cat: 10 great indoor games for cats

Cats can get a little bored sometimes, and when they do, you're in for some drama. Do you want to avoid your cat going berserk? Then how about declaring play time and entertaining your cat with some fun and games!

Playing is important for a cat's health!
Playing is important for a cat's health!  © Unsplash / Biel Morro

Cats are famous for the drama, but those scratched walls, torn curtains, and wrecked couches are all avoidable. It's actually pretty simple, really – just like you and me, these fluffy little fellows need some playtime in their lives.

Playing together helps form a better bond between the kitty and the human, ensures exercise that prevents physical issues, and is important for its mental health as well.

And there's even better news: it's easy enough to keep a cat entertained.

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TAG24's cat guide has 10 fun games for you to play with your cat.

From keeping boredom away to strengthening your bond with your pet, these suggestions are just what the doctor ordered!

Keep your cat busy with some fun games!

Cats can get a bit bored when they're all penned-up inside. When these little fuzzballs spend their entire existence within those four walls, though, things get a little bit dire. You might have noticed a bit of restless behavior, maybe a bit of destruction, and a lot of unhappiness. So what should you to do?

The key to having a healthy and happy cat is to keep it entertained. That means good food, comfortable places to nap and, of course, some kind of exercise. If your cat isn't getting that adventure from the great outdoors, then you'll need to recreate it inside your home with some creative games.

Great games for indoor cats

There's a huge variety of games that you can play with your cat, none of which require you to invest much time or money. In fact, there are simple household items that you can use to have a ball with.

The point is to come up with activities that let cats practice their hunting skills, challenge their intelligence, and stimulate their natural instincts. There are no limits to the creativity you can employ, so let's jump in.

Fun games for cats | Hunting and racing

Cats love games that test their hunting abilities.
Cats love games that test their hunting abilities.  © Unsplash / Ferenc Horvath

Cats need to run, hunt, chase, and exercise those natural instincts of theirs. Keeping them pent-up inside all day is unnatural, so here are a few games to help exercise these needs.

Try out these five hunting and racing games for cats:

1. Play ball: Use a cat ball with a jingling sound to encourage your cat to run and jump. Avoid small objects like a marble, as you don't want it to choke.

2. Flying food: Flick treats or dry food along the floor, getting your cat to chase them before it chows down.

3. Follow the light: Use a flashlight or laser pointer whilst sitting to get your cat to chase the light around your house. Don't shine it in the cat's eyes, though, as this can be harmful.

4. Crinkly paper: Crumple up some paper into a ball and roll it along the ground. Feel free to throw it as well. Many cats will love the sound of crackling paper crackles.

5. Human tail: Attach a string to a stick and lead it through the apartment, pretending that it's your tail. If you have a small (and disposable) cuddly toy, ideally shaped like a mouse, you could attach it to the end of the string. Cats love this!

Fun games for cats | Intelligence and hide-and-seek

Older cats are often far quieter and lazier than younger cats, but that doesn't mean that they don't want to play with you from time to time. Try these couple of games to exercise their intelligence and instincts, and play a bit of hide-and-seek with them.

Here are a few more games to play with your cat:

6. Kitty hide-and-seek: Hide treats around the house, perhaps under newspapers and cloths. Make sure that your kitty sees you hiding them there, and then let them search for their rewards.

7. Water games: Not all cats hate water. In fact, some cats love to swim, but most will be intrigued by floating objects. Put a bowl of water on the floor and plop a bouncy ball in it. Your cat will try to fish it out of the bowl!

8. Fishing for treats: Cut holes in an old cardboard box and drop treats through them so that your cat can try and extract them. You can also do this with toys or drop things inside empty toilet paper rolls.

9. Grabbing treats: Take an empty egg carton and hide treats in the hollows where the eggs used to be. It will be even more fun for the cat if you cover up the treats, so that the cat has to find a way past an obstacle before it can munch away.

10. Catch: Grab a blanket or towel that you don't mind damaging and put your hand or foot under it. Move your fingers or toes around and have a laugh as your feline friend furiously pounces again, and again, and again.

Get playful with your kitty and it will be far more happy and peaceful.
Get playful with your kitty and it will be far more happy and peaceful.  © Unsplash / Milada Vigerova

Health benefits of games for cats

All responsible cat owners should make sure that they regularly play with their cat. Great games for cats increase their confidence, health, and mental wellbeing, and stop them from being shy around you. It's also great for you too!

Here are some other reasons why you should play with your cat regularly:

  • Confidence: Cats will get a feeling of accomplishment from playing games with you and managing to "catch" their prey. If you play with your cat regularly, it will become more confident, comfortable, and happy.
  • Learning and development: Kittens especially need to play, as they will learn from this playfulness. This will help to train their dexterity and reflexes, paw-eye coordination, and fitness.
  • Reducing restlessness: Cats can get very restless if they don't exercise regularly. This goes especially for indoor cats, who get everything served up on a platter and can't hunt. Your hands and feet may end up becoming an outlet for that particular instinct, so it's best to play with them and have a bit of fun instead!
  • Health: Playtime have a seriously positive impact on their mental and physical health. Games that cats love will help keep them physically fit and will stop them from becoming too fat or developing arthritis and joint pains when they get older.

Fun and games make for a happy cat

Playing with your fluffy fellow is integral to building a good relationship between humans and cats. It provides not only health benefits to the cat, but essential fun and bonding for the owner as well.

With these indoor games, plus a lot of love and attention, you and your cat should be set for life!

Cover photo: Unsplash / Biel Morro

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