Originally Posted by TheCatCoach
Make sure you provide plenty of environmental enrichment for the cats when you're at work... again... vertical territory, tall cat trees are needed. Has Mika been hurt?
You may also want to consider playing with the cats in a way that imitates the hunt before going to work:
Use a fishing pole toy (make sure to put it away when you're not there to supervise it). Pretend the animal on the other end of the pole is a wounded animal. Have it go under couches, in bags etc... When you are ready to stop, don't just stop playing. Instead, slow it down, it's as if the toy is getting tired and dying. Finally let Bijou catch it one last time. Immediately feed him. He'll eat, groom and then go to sleep.
This technique is from my friend and mentor Pam Johnson-Bennett.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
We have a great cat tree that hubby made with 2 little houses as well as several platforms. Mika usually sleeps on the top platform during the day. During their play when Bijou chases Mika she often goes into one of the houses and they bat at each other through the opening. Mika has not been hurt by Bijou and I've seen her hide and jump out at Bijou and then take off running, so I'm wondering if this isn't a game they like to play. I just worry that because he is so much bigger than her that he may hurt her.
As for playing with the cats before work, I don't even get up in time for breakfast since I don't feel like eating until after I've been up for at least an hour. I grab breakfast on the way in to work. I don't have a dog because I know I'd never get up earlier in the morning to walk it, so I can't see me getting up early to play with the cats, especially since Bijou is quite content to sleep with me as long as I feel like sleeping.