Goal

To provide an outlet for excessive energy

Benefit

Satisfies cat’s predatory drive, increases physical fitness, and encourages cats to play appropriately.

What You Need

An imagination for creation, several toilet or paper towel cardboard rolls, an old fabric glove, string, catnip, tissue paper, and straw or raffia.

Tunnel Vision

Love in a Glove

For more creative ideas: 50 Games to Play with Your Cat by Jackie Strachan

Teaching your cat to walk on a harness and leash is a great way to let your cat safely enjoy the outdoors. It can also come in handy during trips to the vet, other necessary travel, or even when safely introducing two cats to each other. Before you get started, be sure your cat is up to date on all recommended vaccinations and has a microchip in case he gets lost.

Most cats can be easily trained to walk on a harness and leash. Kittens are naturally more accepting of this new experience, but older cats can be trained with patience. Proceed in small steps, rewarding each bit of progress. Start harness training indoors so that your cat is comfortable with it before you venture outside.

How to Train

Tips

Benefit

Teaching your cat to make eye contact with you on command is not hard to do and it can be very useful. An eye contact command can be used to attain and keep your cat’s attention in situations that may cause fear or anxiety.

What You Need

How to Train It

Step 1. The easiest way to teach your cat to look at you is by holding a treat at eye level and making an interesting sound (e.g. kissy noises, squeak from a squeaky toy). As soon as your cat makes eye contact, give her the treat by moving it in a straight line from your eyes to her mouth.

Repeat this exercise until your cat is looking at your eyes once the treat is presented nine out of ten times.

Step 2. After several repetitions, when your cat begins to look up toward your eyes for a treat, begin to give the behavior (looking at you) a name or command, like “Look” or “Watch Me.” Say the command at the moment you “bait” the cat (i.e. attract her attention), right before she looks and gets the treat.

Step 3. Now add the verbal cue. First, clearly say “Look,” and move your hand toward your face. When she looks at your hand, click, and give her a treat. Repeat until your cat eagerly responds to the command.

Step 4. After several repetitions of “bait-command à reward” begin to phase out the baiting. Give the command without holding the treat at eye level. Have a treat ready, and the instant your cat makes eye contact, reward her.

Finally, practice this exercise in gradually more distracting environments. Try a busy room rather than a quiet one. Eventually work up to having guests, and other cats or dogs present when giving the command.

Tips

Ready To Adopt?

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