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Encouraging play

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
When we got Carly, she really liked to play with toys. Now she does play a little but is very wary because Lucy often attacks her while she is playing. I've tried to distract Lucy when Carly is playing but Lucy is only interested in a toy (wand and laser) for about a minute.

How can I get Carly comfortable about playing again? She needs the exercise.
post #2 of 4
First of all I strongly encourage you, to never use a laser when playing with a cat. Cats are sensuous, need to feed whatever it is they are playing with or hunting under their paws. Laser pointers leave cats frustrated.

I recommend that you separate the two cats and play with them separately. Use a fishing pole toy, imitate the hunt, as described in a couple of the other threads.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
post #3 of 4
Marilyn, just as an FYI, there have been quite a few debates here on TCS about the use of laser toys. While many feel as you have described, as someone who lives in a really rural area and has both indoor (all rescued ferals) cats and works with/rescues/TNRs outdoor feral cats, there are many, many times kitties encounter bugs and are never able to catch them. In my opinion, just something to consider, the laser mimics this action, and can give much needed exercise to indoor kitties or overweight cats.

However, because of the frustration that can/might be/is involved in using the laser, one of our most respected and long time members recommends putting a treat under handkerchief and making the "laser game" end there. It is then a fun and satisfying way to end a great play session with a laser.

The advice to separate the kitties for "alone" play time is great. We never had the problem of one kitty attacking another during play, but as we had younger kittens with older cats at various times, we did have a problem with "play" hogs. We made sure to give each cat 10 - 15 minutes of alone time play each day (just take them into a room with a door!).

post #4 of 4
You can provide cats with the same amount of exercise without using laser pointers. I am 100% against them. They can leave a cat frustrated with no relief, can lead to aggression towards another cat or person.

Instead, use a fishing pole toy and imitate the hunt. The toy on the end of the string should mimic an animal that is wounded. After playing awhile, and when you're ready to stop playing, instead of just stopping, slow the play down. It's as if the toy at the end of the string is dying or getting tired. Finally let the cat catch it one last time, then immediately feed the cat. The cat will eat, groom and go to sleep.
Marilyn Krieger, CCBC
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