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"Fetching" Conundrum

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Niko is a very energetic, playful cat, but he's very picky of what he uses for his playtime. He won't play with his mice if they're just lying on the floor, he won't play (anymore) with anything attached to a pole, and he won't play with one of those round track things with the ball.

The ONLY thing he wants to do is play fetch. This isn't, in itself, a problem, but it seems he's so excited about playing fetch, that he runs full tilt (no matter how softly I toss the toy) and ends up slamming head-on into something. Almost every time. I've put up "bumpers" of comforters, squishy pillows, and garbage bags full of old afghans all around his "runway", but he slams into them so hard, I'm afraid he'll break his neck!

My house isn't very large, and there's really only one place where we have enough room to play.. and if I don't toss it far enough away, he won't even bother going after it. Playing fetch (and chasing me around the kitchen when I cook, hehe) is really the only true exercise he gets.

I've tried tying a long piece of yarn onto the mice, just shy of any length where he'll encounter a wall or object and then throwing it, but it seems when mice are on strings, they aren't any fun. He'll just stare at it as it goes whizzing by, then look back at me as if to say, "But.. it's on a string! It's not worth going after, ma'!"

So, who else has an exuberant fetcher and what have you done to keep him or her from hurting themselves?
post #2 of 4
Our problem wasn't a "fetcher," it's a handicapped kitty. Our house looked like a looney bin the first six months, because she had so little muscle control. She could get up some real speed, and the stairs were a nightmare for us. I don't remember where we got it, but there was packing foam rubber on sale, and we wrapped all the corners of rooms/halls &etc. with it. We bought really cheap foam pillows, and put them underneath anything she could climb up onto and fall down from (she could climb up, but wasn't so good at climbing down).....including the bottom of the stairs.

My guess is he's not hurting himself badly, or he wouldn't keep doing it?

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
My guess is he's not hurting himself badly, or he wouldn't keep doing it?
That's what I thought at first, too, but I'm an incessant worrier. Every time I watch him run after his mousie, I watch closely to make sure he's all right after making an impact with one of the cushioned barriers I put up. All in all, I want to trust that he knows what he can handle, but the "mom" side of me wants to just scoop him up and cover him head to toe with heavy-duty bubble wrap (what a mental image that conjures, LOL.. this is why I shouldn't have kids, I'd never let them out of the house. *snickers*) In fact, it almost looks as if he's enjoying it, as he prances (kinda like a proud horse) back to me, with he mouse in his mouth, dropping it at my feet for me to do it all over again.

Thanks muchly for responding, Laurie, and I'm sorry to hear that your li'l fuzzbutt is handicapped, but so glad that she has such good parents that took the time to safeguard the house with cushy material. Thankfully, Niko's not much of a climber, the highest he goes is the top of our recliner.. and he's rather surefooted (even though his dismounts from the arms of our couch are occasionally quite... uhm, far from graceful. Hehe.)
post #4 of 4
I think I know what you mean. My cat doesn't really play the fetch game. He never brings anything back. But he will go after stuff at a high speed and not slow down until he "catches" it...which is often times to late for him not to ram into the cabinet or fridge or whatever is in the way. I disagree with the statement that if it hurts bad enough he will stop. When Max sees something that is moving sorta fast and his instincts kick in to catch it....I don't think he thinks of the consequences. Don't get me wrong, I'm no expert, this is just my observation. I have seen him so focused on a toy that he did not notice anything else in the room. I think all that is in order is to set up a few pillows and aim for them. I know with Max, throwing those itty bitty throws just makes him interested and doesn't cause him to pounce....and what fun is that. When he rams into a pillow, it may seem hard but at least it's a surface that is soft and gives.
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