DIY Indoor Hunting Playground

You’ll be happy to know it doesn’t have to cost a lot to treat the four-legged love of your life this Valentine’s Day. All she wants is you—and a little play time.

Cats are hunters by nature and need to exercise their skills at chasing, pouncing and catching. The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to let them outside to let them hunt. You can set up an indoor hunting ground in just about any room of your house.

Here are a few items to consider when setting up for play time. You don’t have to use them all, pick the ones that your cat likes best. Then get ready to have some fun.

Soft toys — Pick items that can easily be batted and filled or dusted with an attractant like catnip or silver vine. Of course, we recommend our own Little Puff and Cloud Nine, but any of kitty’s favorite toys will do. Make sure the toy has a fresh pinch of attractant to help tap into your cat's sense of smell.

orange cat look up at camera with a plush felt cloud toy in mouth

Crinkle toys — Anything that makes sound will do. Cats love to pounce on “prey” that mimics the sound of crunching leaves or grass, so just pick something that appeals to your cat’s own preferences. Some cats love the hide-and-pounce technique, so they might like a play mat like our Magic Carpet. If they love the thrill of the chase, you might try a Flutter-Ring.

gray tabby cat on his back looking up at camera with a flutter-ring cat ring toy looped through his paw

Wand toys — Almost every cat loves a wand toy. It’s why we offer so many different attachments for our own Wiggly Wand and why you can find wand toys in every cat aisle in every pet store. Trust us, these little beauties go a long way to keep kitty active and engaged.

black cat with a wiggly squid toy in his mouth

Chase toys — Some cats prefer balls, while others prefer toys that wiggle. Whichever your frisky feline prefers to chase across the floor, make sure you have a few of these on hand. Or you can combine the two with a wiggly ping, pong or ball.

Play tunnels, boxes or bags — This is the most important item on the list. Kitties love to hide and play in everything from boxes to bags, so it’s always a good idea to have something for them to explore. Of course, we offer the super popular Hide and Sneak, but you can make a quick playground out of any cardboard or paper materials you have on hand. Check out this post for more on ways to make paper and cardboard fun for your cat.

Now that you have a few things to entice your cat into playtime, you’re ready to go. Get down on your cat’s level and look at things from her point of view. What can you do to make playtime more interesting and challenging for her?

Try hiding soft toys dusted with attractant inside your Hide and Sneak, or concealing a few treats under the crinkle toys or Magic Carpet. This makes kitty use her senses and skills to find her “prey.”

Or you can use the wand toy to get kitty to chase her “kill” through the play tunnel and onto their crinkly play mat. Toss the chase toy across the room, or inside a cardboard box. Try different things— whatever gets kitty active. Let her watch; let her stalk, and then let her pounce and “kill.”

Snowshoe cat inside of a Hide and Sneak paper cat tunnel looking at camera

Whatever you do, commit to spending some quality play time with your cat this Valentine’s Day. It’s a great way to show her just how much you love and appreciate her. I promise you, you’ll both enjoy it!

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