Now that summer vacation has begun, your kids are probably going to have more time to spend at home bonding with their cat. It’s a perfect opportunity to build some memories and learn about compassion for the animals they love. There are also plenty of activities to do with cats that will fight boredom, burn off excess energy, and stay busy during the summer months. Here are seven ways kids can bond with their cats.
1. Teach A New Trick
Dogs aren’t the only pets that can learn new tricks, and several of them are easy enough for children to teach. It may require some patience, but cats are completely capable of learning to perform a lot of behaviors on command. An easy one to start with that kids will enjoy is the high five. This is a great confidence building exercise for kids, and cats will love the extra attention and rewards.
2. Make Up A New Game
Children are great at coming up with ways to keep themselves entertained, and making up new games is a fun way to do that. Encourage your child to create a fun game with the cat. It can be as active as a version of hide and seek, or as creative as a make believe session. Cats enjoy extra mental stimulation, and you will probably notice your kitty causing less trouble when they are able to use their brain to play fun games instead of destroying the house.
3. Read To The Cat
Even though your kid isn’t in class this time of year, it’s a good idea to keep up the reading skills. Cats provide a non-judgmental ear while your child practices reading out loud. In fact, cats have been used to help young adults with learning disabilities gain confidence in their reading abilities. This is a great chance to help your child build some self esteem before the start of the school year.
4. Try Walking On A Leash
Walking on a leash is not for every cat, but summer is a perfect time to try it out. Make sure you have a secure harness and that you supervise the walk to be safe. Most kids would love the idea of taking the cat for a walk and all the positive attention they’ll get from people passing by. The additional exercise will also help burn energy for your child and your cat, and they can relax together when they get home giving you some peace and quiet while they strengthen their bond.
5. Learn To “Speak Cat”
An important bonding lesson kids learn from their pets is how to communicate non-verbally. This is a lesson that can even be applied to the human world as children will be more able to socialize and relate to other people. Understanding the “language” cats use, from their body movements to their vocalizations, can be really fun, especially if you frame it as learning to “speak cat.” Here is a helpful guide on understanding the body language of cats that you can use to help your child while they’re spending more time at home over summer.
6. Build A Cat Fort
Kids have great imaginations and can use just about anything as toys. Pillows, blankets, and boxes can all be used to make a fun fort that children can share with their kitty companions. Cats actually feel safer when they have confined spaces where they can relax, and being close to the kids they love in a safe environment will only strengthen their bond. This is a chance for your children to flex their creativity while spending time with their feline friends.
7. Make Some DIY Cat Toys
Do-it-yourself cat toys can make for a fun, easy arts and crafts project, especially on a rainy day. Kids will especially love seeing their cats having a blast with the toys they made. This is another confidence boosting activity, and it will help your kid feel a sense of accomplishment. Be sure to supervise any activity with scissors and glue, and you can even get in on the action to if you want to make it an activity the whole family can enjoy. Your cat will also be happy to have a chance to play with the new toys along with your child.
What other bonding activities do your kids do over the summer with their cat? Let us know in the comments below!