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Wand Toys, how do you play?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I was playing with Mai Sai the this morning with his favorite wand toy. Suddenly my room mate was getting after me for being "mean" to him. She thought this because I would move the toy to fast for him to get, or just as he was pouncing on it, I would move it away.
Personally I always thought that was how you play with a wand toy, but now I'm wondering if I'm "doing it wrong". I dont want to be mean to him, or have him think he can't hunt or something.
So my question to all of you is: When you play with your cats with a wand toy, how do you move the toy?
post #2 of 12
I dont think its being "mean". But I have heard that like when you play with a cat with a laser pointer, you should let him catch it every once in awhile, because if he never catches the toy he is playing with, he will get bored with it. I wouldnt worry about it, as long as your cat is having fun with it.
post #3 of 12
Pumpkin always has to get the poof on the end of the wand. She'll do crazy leaps trying to catch it, and she'll stalk it and pounce on it like the predator she is. But she has to have the payoff moment where she catches it, rolls on her back, holds it between her forepaws and kicks it with her hind paws... and chews on it.

i use this btw... best. toy. evar.
post #4 of 12
That's half the FUN! If the cat can just grab it that's no game at all!

I tug it away from Hennessy as we play... and he still gets it sometimes!
post #5 of 12
When I wave it for Zane, he gets on his hind legs and bounces like a small, fat, grey kangaroo. Or, sometimes, he'll hide under my desk and I'll drag it two or three times in front of it and he'll rush out and pounce on it as though he were ambushing it.
post #6 of 12
I'm really glad you asked this question! I stopped playing with my boy with DaBird precisely because if I let him catch it occasionally, he "killed" the bird--i.e., demolished the feather thing. But if I don't let him catch it at all, I feel like a "meanie." Even though he responded to DaBird like nothing else, I'm tired of buying new birds for it. So I now use string--which he loves. This way I can let him catch it and gnaw on it for a while (while I keep hold of it) and then snatch it away from him with no real harm. And when he's demolished the string enough, I can just cut a new length.
post #7 of 12
Willie is finally interested in his wand toy! I tried it out last night with him for the 3rd time and he went after it like crazy! What I do is drag it on the ground past him pretty quickly and he pounces on it. Sometimes I jerk it away just in time so he doesn't catch it, but sometimes he's too fast and he catches it! Last night he caught it a couple of times and held it between his front paws and chewed on it a little. I think it's good if they don't *always* catch it. Makes it more like a real hunting adventure. Also, I will hold the wand up above his head a little and make him stretch up and reach for it. It seems he likes that approach too.

I think you're playing with it just right!

Hope that helps,
post #8 of 12
Oh come on - of course half the fun is that it is hard to catch! I make it hard and sneaky and now and then boys will catch the toy and kick the living daylights out of it. Then it fights and pulls away again and it makes them nuts.

They also absolutely love when I throw one of the kittie blankies or play pillows on the floor, and DaBird will lurk under there, and they run around the rooms, and all of a sudden they 'do not know' where DaBird vanished... and then, there it is, some movement.. and they can grope it through the blankie before it shoots in flight again... (Sometimes they get so excited they will stay bunnykicking the blankie for ages afterwards).
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm glad I'm not the only one that plays "hard to get" though I have started going a bit easier on him.

It's so cute, he will bring his wand toy up from downstairs, or down from upstairs, dragging the whole thing by the feathers. Sometimes he drops it on the stairs, it falls down and he has run down, get it and bring it back up
post #10 of 12
I pretty much let them catch it sometimes, but try to keep them on the run, it is for exercise after all. Running, jumping, flying, chewing, all of those activities are very healthy for them. Especially since they are inside all the time.
post #11 of 12
I do it the same way. They end up catching it sometimes. I mostly use it to wear them out TBH! It's good exercise, but they enjoy chasing it around. I like to drag it up over the furniture, flip it in the air, etc. to make it more exciting, but I will still jerk it away when they pounce and stuff. If you were just going to let them have it it would be just like any other cat toy.
post #12 of 12
Oh heck yeah you're definitely doing it the right way! Wand toys are the next best thing to real prey for them. No self-respecting rodent/bird would just sit there and let the cat get it now, would they? So same goes with the wand toy.. The more challenging the better.

But of course, let the cat be the boss of the toy once in a while. Its the same concept of lottery. If you strike once in a while, you'll be kept interested thinking that you just MAY strike the big one the next time you buy a ticket. But if you never strike even once in 10 years, you'll most likely stop buying altogether (which is what happened to me .. )
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