When your cat normally sleeps 16 hours a day, and spends all their time inside the house, it’s good to get them up and moving. One of the best ways to do that is with interactive games.
There are many catnip toys available that your cat may relish. For instance, lure toys scented with catnip can be tied to the end of a fishing pole toy. When you play with your cat they will associate the fun feeling of the catnip with interacting with you. Catnip can light the fuse to get your sedentary cat playing again.
But most cats prefer the status quo. You can put a bit of catnip surprise into the routine for added fun, and use familiar toys your cat already loves. Here’s how to make old, familiar toys a happy new surprise.
Buy loose catnip
Acquire a supply of fresh catnip. You can either buy the dried herb or grow the plant with a kit. The fresher the plant, the more your cat will enjoy the treat.
Grab a bag
Fill a plastic bag with the catnip. Make sure it’s not totally full, so there’s room for maneuverability.
Add a few of your cat’s favorite toys to the bag of catnip. Soft fabric or furry toys like fake mice that absorb scent work best.
Seal and shake
Seal the bag with the toys and catnip inside. Crush the leaves over and around the toys, massaging them into the fabric or fur. Leave the toys in the bag for at least 24-48 hours.
Scatter for a surprise
Remove the catnip-impregnated toys. Hide them in typical places for your cat to find, in their bed, beneath the cat tree, on a favorite blanket. A favorite cat playpen is the empty bathtub because your pet can roll around and toss the toy without losing it underneath furniture. You can refresh the toys in the catnip seal-and-shake bag whenever they lose potency and your cat needs a pick me up.
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.