Games to beat animal boredom

“You wouldn’t put a dog out in this weather!” We like to use this expression when it’s snowing, raining, frosty and cold or there’s a storm raging. But in fact, house pets want to be challenged both physically and mentally – and, indeed, regardless of the weather outside. Disruptive behaviour can be the pay-back for boredom. So that it doesn’t come to this, cat owners can be brought into play. The experts at Maxi Zoo have some stimulating ideas.

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Intelligence game

Nowadays retailers offer a wide choice of board games which challenge the instincts of our four-legged friends for play and food. Cats can roll away balls; pull on a string or dig deep to get at a hidden treat.

Hide and seek

Some animals, even cats, love searching for their master or mistress. So hide yourself in another room and praise your pet when it tracks you down. You can also hide a treat or your pet’s favourite toy somewhere in the house and let them find it for themselves. Combine the rewards with specific tasks, like running through a tunnel. You can even construct one yourself using a blanket and two chairs.

Hunting games

Our feline friends love to hunt. Little wind-up mice or seesawing feathers on an angling rod will satisfy her instinct. Special “play circuits” or ball games also challenge all the senses: you let balls speed along them which your cat can glimpse through spy-holes. This promotes full concentration, trains reflexes and speed..

Clicker training

The so-called “clicking” works with cats. The animals learn, at the start, to connect the clicking, simply a specific clicking noise, with a reward. Thereafter you can teach your four-legged friend much with the help of a clicker. Instructions on this form of training can be found in courses or specialist books.

Very important

Don’t over-exert your pet when playing games! Sometimes just a few minutes, distributed throughout the day are enough. Try to get along with few words and preferably stop if thing get frustrating. If you’re using real toys, you shouldn’t leave your pet alone with them.

Training for smart moggies

Play makes you smart, particularly when the type of activity addresses the grey matter first and foremost. Our velvet-pawed friends like to be challenged on a regular basis; not just physically by chasing after little balls and pretend mice, but also mentally. A great way to motivate Felix to thoughtful and deliberated action is with intelligence games. Give it a try!

Intelligence games, also called interactive toys, mainly consist of untreated wood. These have been available for dogs for some time now, but clever cats can also get a kick out of this form of meaningful activity. The prerequisite is that Felix loves treats and is willing to stretch himself to earn them. You’ll need your pet’s favourite treats and an intelligence game. This might consist of a wooden board with several recesses to fill with treats. These recesses are then loosely closed off with wooden balls. Felix now has the task of despatching the ball with its paw in order to get at the tasty reward. That will challenge and stimulates him in every sense!

Don’t despair if it doesn’t work first time. Some little tigers need a bit of time to suss out the system. You should always play together with your cat. Afterwards, the game should be put away so that moggie can’t accidentally choke on the small parts. Guide your pet and demonstrate how it works the first time by rolling a ball to the side and letting the treat out of the recess. After watching, “learning by doing” is the order of the day and Felix can have a go himself.

Cats: eager hunters with the spirit of adventure

In the wild, cats spend the large part of the day hunting for food. Cats roam their territory, they listen, spy and concentrate. And when they find something, they lie in wait and then pounce at the speed of lightning for a double reward, the feeling of success and a full tummy. A pet cat misses out on all of this. Variety, excitement and a sense of achievement are important for a cat’s wellbeing and prevent them from becoming too inactive. It’s a good idea to challenge your feline, e.g. with a fishing game. Fill a large, shallow bowl or tub with water and a wooden board, which will float. Put a few tempting treats on the board. To get to these, kitty has to work cleverly and try to steer the board to the edge of the bowl, then carefully and quickly grab the “prey”. You should only play this game in the bathroom or in another room where the floor is allowed to get wet.

Or you could try the waterproof version: Drill small holes into a scratching post made of natural wood, then hide small treats in these for your cat to fish out with their paw.

Or try the shell game: for this you need three shells, e.g. small plastic condensed milk pots or empty single jam portions. You place the titbit under one of them. If you make little holes in the “shells”, the sense of smell then plays a part.

Exciting playtime for your cat
Any healthy cat will soon get bored of simply eating, sleeping and grooming their fur. Valerian contains essential oils and has an enticing, stimulating effect on cats. When your four-legged friend smells the irresistible scent of valerian, he will frolic around with joy, rolling and running around to his heart’s content. Cuddly cushions filled with valerian are ideal for this and are guaranteed to awaken the tiger in your cat.

Expert tip:

Exciting playtime for your cat

– Cats love and need to move!
– Valerian has an enticing, irresistible effect on lounge leopards.
– A toy filled with valerian will awaken the tiger in your cat.

Call into your local store today to discuss your cat’s personal needs with our Maxi Zoo Pet Experts.