January is International Brain Teaser Month, and your kitty might want to get in on the celebration.
A bored cat can be a destructive cat. If you’re not challenging your cat to use their brain, chances are good that your feline companion is going to start making their own fun, and that might not be a good thing. Your cat needs mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Try keeping your kitty’s mind active with some of our favorite brain games for cats.
1. Treasure Hunt
Meal time doesn’t need to be boring. Instead of just putting down your cat’s bowl like usual, try hiding their food in a new place, or even a few different places.
This will allow your cat to use their natural hunting instincts to track down their prey, which will provide them with a stimulating challenge and keep those instincts sharp and active.
2. Puzzle Feeders
There are plenty of puzzle feeders out there on the market that will allow your kitty to use their wits to earn food. They range from simple puzzles that only require a bat of the paw to more complex ones that need more complicated behaviors before dispensing food.
Try one that can keep your cat guessing, or switch it up and get another toy when your kitty gets used to the old one.
3. Tricks For Treats
Cats are more than capable of learning tricks just like dogs. In fact, this kind of training will add a level of mental stimulation that your cat probably isn’t used to, and it will strengthen your bond.
Using treats and praise as a reward, try teaching your cat some of the basics like sit, lie down, shake, or roll over. Eventually you’ll be able to impress all your friends with a one-cat circus!
4. Fun With Boxes
There are plenty of fun games to play with boxes that go beyond just letting your kitty sit in them.
Try closing a small box and cutting a few small holes in it. Then place some treats inside and let your cat stick their paws through the openings to get at the treats. You can do the same thing with an egg carton.
This is like making your own puzzle toy, and it will challenge your cat to think before getting their food.
Who says fetch is just for dogs?
Fetch is a great way for your cat to exercise their hunting and pouncing instincts. Try tossing a toy or a ball of paper that they can comfortably pick up.
The trick is teaching them to bring the object back, which should be done with plenty of love, praise, and rewards. Your cat will appreciate the chance to keep their instincts sharp, and playing the game will keep your bond strong.
What other games do you like to play with your cat to work out their brain and use their hunting instincts? Does your kitty enjoy any brain teasers? Let us know in the comments below!