Quarantining is a Chance to Reconnect with Your Kitties   

“Stuck at home” is a survival prescription for the world right now, but let’s look at the bright side (at least from our pets’ perspective). We can embrace this time of “sheltering in place” as an opportunity to offer our cats the exercise and enrichment they are often lacking living indoors — and a chance to get to know them and bond with us as our previously overly busy lives have probably made difficult.

The main ways to keep your cats happy and active is by playing with a variety of wand toys, cat toys you toss for them, climbing shelves and perches, and a cat wheel (more on that next week). The optimal amount of time to play with a cat is about five minutes — which is about the amount of time they would naturally need to stalk, chase and capture prey like a mouse or bird.  This means you don’t have to set aside a big chunk of time, but you can do it multiple times a day, giving both of you stress relief and a laugh.

Please don’t buy crummy toys that don’t really appeal to a cat’s natural instincts and that fall apart. Instead, I urge you to buy toys designed and made by people who are knowledgeable and passionate about cat welfare. I recommend the toys of two women I’ve come to know, both of whom created the prototypes for their toys with their own hands and who continue to design and oversee production in their very own companies. Cat-inspired women power!

Kate from Hauspanther makes the most cheerful and unusual toys based on what cats like to chase, wrestle with and bat around. You can see the whole colorful array and buy here.

Hauspanther's groovy toys

Hauspanther’s groovy toys

Ellen's RompiCatz wand

Ellen’s RompiCatz wand

Ellen's RompiCatz wand

Ellen’s RompiCatz wand

Ellen from Rompicatz has created crinkly-sounding mylar wand toys that you can see and buy here, giving you a chance to get to know your cat better, take your mind off human problems and just try to “be one with the toy” so you can give your kitty an authentic hunting experience!


I’ll be doing another blog soon about setting up a cat “Ferris wheel” so your cats will amuse and exercise themselves on it, especially at those critical nighttime hours when otherwise they might be meowing and pouncing on your toes and nose instead of letting you sleep.

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