The 5 E’s of meaningful play

For most people New Year’s resolutions only last about as long as it takes you to put away the holiday lights. But I’ve got a resolution that’s both easy to stick with and fun… and it involves your cat.

This year, why not  resolve to play more with your cat? There are so many reasons to engage in meaningful play with your cat. I call them the 5 E’s.

Exercise – Just like humans, cats need regular activity to stay healthy. House cats often miss out on crucial running, jumping, and pouncing that goes along with the hunting instinct. Keep your kitty fit all year long with a new Wiggly Wand. She will stalk and attack as long as you keep the wand moving like prey.

Cat playing with a Cuttlefish cat toy by Dezi & Roo

Entertainment – Cats get bored, and when they get bored, bad behaviors can happen. Keep your kitty from literally, and figuratively, climbing the walls by setting aside a few minutes each day for play time­. Even just five minutes can drastically improve your cat’s mood.

Cat standing with one front paw holding onto a scratch post while looking at a Squid cat toy by Dezi & Roo

Enrichment – Anyone who’s ever looked into a cats eyes knows just how smart, imaginative and full of personality our feline companions are. Cats need to be able to express all of these traits to keep them happy and healthy. Consider regular toy rotation or bringing some outdoor scents or textures indoors.

Side view of a tabby cat hiding his head under a purple Magic Carpet that has been draped over a chair

Environment – Many cats’ lives are limited to four walls, and if you can’t let him roam your neighborhood, he can get a little stir crazy. Consider your home from your cat’s perspective. Does he have enough toys? Are there places for him to sleep, play, and explore? If not you might want to change it up. For a simple tool that your cat will love to explore, consider a play tunnel like our Hide and Sneak.

Inside view of a black cat inside of a Hide and Sneak paper tunnel cat toy

Education – I’m a big fan of positive reinforcement. Cats simply don’t learn from punishment and will respond to a simple redirection far better than they ever will to negative experiences. Unwanted behaviors like scratching can be easily solved by understanding your cat's needs and finding alternative outlets for them to scratch. You can also use a cat attractant like catnip or our own Cloud Nine Silver Vine to lure your kitty to a new scratcher, but, a "feels good to scratch" post, positioned correctly, should not require much else to get your cat scratching immediately. 

Gray cat sniffing a Little Puff cloud cat toy dusted with silvervine

The more we know about ways to keep our cats happy and healthy, the better pet parents we become. I believe play is the solution to most problems and is the key to happiness for not only our cats, but for ourselves too. So have as much fun playing in 2020 as you can!

collection of cat toys including Oh-rings, Cloud Nine silvervine, and a Wiggly Wand with A-lure-ring attachment

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