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Playful kitten ideas

August 16th, 2005, 07:46 PM
Things to do with a kitten that is insanely playful and keeps scratching so that the cat will wear out and learn to play with things other than people:

1. Put a winter glove/mitt on and rough house it with your covered hand. This is particularly good if you have a staircase with a banister that has bars so you can easily get the kitten running up and down the stairs chasing your hand but not able to scratch the rest of you.
2. Put a tinfoil ball on the end of a fishing line and reel that cat in over and over again. Try other things that make funny noises as you reel to get the cat going.
3. Try a laser light on a bare wall to get the cat jumping for ages.
4. Hang a string from a doorway and tie things to it like pipe cleaners, feathers, or whatever is handy.
5. Some kittens love to fetch. Try a small toy mouse.

To reduce the kittens interest in people as scratch toys:
1. Tie hair back.
2. Get rid of bows, fringes, swingy jewellery, swishy sleaves or leggings, cute pompoms on socks, fluffy sweaters, etc. The way these objects move can be too exciting for a kitten to resist.
3. Encourage the kitten to play with things rather than your clothing or body parts by keeping a large distance between the plaything and yourself.
4. Avoid "showing" the kitten how to play with the toy. The interaction between you and the toy will become its focus of attention. If a toy is really fun, the kitten will figure out how to play with it without your help. I have watched a kitten go "nuts" playing with shadows on a wall, a june bug, a ball of tape (stickyside out), kleenex, etc.

Kittens need tons of play... some more than others. It is possible to wear them out for a while and you will be amazed how much fun you can have trying. They only stay that playful for a short time so enjoy it as much as you can.

I encourage others to add to these lists!