Perhaps the most fun part of owning a cat is the playtime you have together. You and your feline family members get to bond over chasing wand toys, pouncing on strings that seem just always out of reach, and munching down tasty treats.
It’s a great way to get some laughs as an owner and provide some much-needed exercise for your pet. Young kittens also love playtime because it helps them burn off energy.
And even though we humans see it as fun and games, cats go back to their hunting roots when they play, with their toys being their prey. Let’s get this post started with some fun ways you can play with your Persian cat.
1. Only Play on Their Terms
Do not force your pet to play when they do not feel like playing. Cats are solitary creatures. If your Persian does not feel like playing at that time and walks away when you approach with a toy, don’t press the issue.
Just allow her to relax and when she comes around again after a nap or some food, try again with a toy. She will absolutely play with you once ready to do so.
Forcing your cat to play when she doesn’t feel like it could result in hisses, scratches and your cat running away from you when she sees you coming. It’s best to do things on her terms.
This is also true if you have a Persian that is overweight or obese. Heavy cats should play because it can aid them in weight loss, however, these cats have extra pounds weighing on their joints.
Do not put them at risk for injury by pushing them too hard. Start by having these cats go up and down the steps, for instance, or pull a string along to get them to walk around.
2. Make Some Fun Toys
You can recycle some common household objects into fun toys for your cat to enjoy. For instance, the next time your family uses a roll of paper towels, don’t throw away that cardboard tube.
Instead, use a hole punch to make a hole and tie string through the hole. Then leave the yarn long enough so you can pull it around while your Persian cat chases after it.
You can make the tube go around couches and walls, giving your cat the satisfaction of pouncing on it like she would if hunting in the wild.
It’s best to use good, tough yarn or even some thin nylon rope so that your Persian cat’s claws do not become stuck or tangled in the string. If the yarn or string starts to fray, discard it – you don't want the cat to have the ability to swallow string.
It’s a fun way to reuse an old tube that would otherwise go into the recycling or trash. Don’t decorate or paint it, however-paints can hurt the cat if eaten. It's best to keep any toys with string out of reach when you're not around.
Got two old socks that don’t match? Is one sock holey and the other one not? Stuff the holey sock into the non-holey sock and sew it up or tie it off.
There you have it- a soft object your Persian can bat around. We never found a better use for those mismatched socks! You can also stuff it with catnip for added fun and enjoyment.
3. Make Time for Play, Every Day
Persians sometimes have to be coaxed into getting some exercise. Try your best each and every day to play with your Persian so that she gets some good, healthy exercise. Just as we humans hit the gym and get our heart rates pumping, cats benefit from a workout too.
Start by making sure you schedule your playtime. Much like your kitty knows when food time is and waits for you to come home by the door after work or school, she should get used to the idea of play each day at a certain time.
By doing this, your Persian may come and look for you each day at the same time. This does not have to be very long at all – just 10 to 15 minutes a day of good, solid playtime will help you and your cat feel more connected.
This is a great way to help kittens burn off some of their huge energy stores. Many of us have had kittens who go nuts at night, climbing, meowing and generally keeping us awake.
By playing with your kitten about an hour before it’s time to go to bed, it is likely she will be calm and ready to rest, too.
4. Listen to Your Cat
As you get to know your Persian, you will learn their likes and dislikes, what their daily routine is, and how they react to various people and touches.
During play time, keep it centered around what makes her feel comfortable. By doing this, play is always known as a fun time and not punishment or otherwise uncomfortable.
Do not ever touch your Persian on parts of the body that make her upset. Many cats do not like to be touched on the belly or backs of the legs, for example.
Do not corner your cat during play. Your cat may feel like you are an enemy they need to escape from. This can lead to scratches.
You should also avoid sudden movements so that your Persian does not become afraid or nervous around you. They may lash out if feeling threatened.
Avoid using hands when you play with your cat. Your cat will become used to seeing them as toys and may attack you during non-play times, which will be annoying and painful.
5. Bring Tech into Play
If you are relaxing on the couch with your tablet but your cat wants to play, find a happy medium and get some fun cat apps for your device. These are all totally free and a fun way to get your pets involved with your technology.
A classic favorite is CatFishing2 by Friskies. Your kitty watches colorful fish go on the screen and taps them with her paw. A splashing sound is heard and your cat scores points based on how many fish she touched. It’s simple but fun and will lead to many smiles.
The Paw Me app is a great way for you to play right along with your cat. There is a human vs. cat feature on this game! You simply chase around colorful wind-up mice. You can control all the sounds and speed to make it as challenging or easy as you like.
The JitterBug app from Friskies is another fun one. Bugs walk across the screen and fire off stars when they are touched. They will keep your cat entertained even if only for a few brief moments.
6. Bring in Treat Toys
If you would like to encourage some independent play, consider getting your cat a treat toy. These toys contain a treat or some food that your cat has to work for in order to reap the benefits.
Cats are natural hunters, so even a regal breed like the Persian will enjoy going back to her roots and hunting for a special treat or a morsel of food.
There are toy balls you can purchase that house just a small amount of food. They often contain small holes where the food drops out bits at a time. This is a nice way to help overweight or obese cats slim down and have some fun in the process.
One option is the SlimCat ball (you can get it here). Another nice option is the Cat Amazing Puzzle feeder. This encourages cats to explore and sniff. You simply add treats and watch your cat go to town as she works on the puzzle.
There are three levels of games here; beginner, intermediate and expert. A bonus is watching your Persian work at the puzzle-it’s very cute and you will be proud of her when she figures it out.
7. Discourage Bad Behavior
Oh no! Is your Persian cat trying to attack your feet again? There is a way that you can play with her and fix this behavior once and for all. Keep a toy with you in your pocket no matter where you are in the house.
Then, keep an eye on your cat. Is she demonstrating body language that indicates she would like to attack your feet? You know what to look for-a wiggling behind, sitting low to the ground, intent, watchful eyes poised in the direction of your feet.
When you see her doing this, distract her with the toy you are holding before she attacks. If you do this consistently, she will come to realize that toys will be more worth your time as opposed to your feet.
If your cat likes to try to get outside even when she is supposed to be indoors, throw the toy as a means of preventing her from going out. You can pick up a pack of multiple cat toys to just keep around for throwing when it’s time to distract your pet.
8. Bring on The Boxes!
Ordering things online is lots of fun and unboxing what you bought is like Christmas. But for your cat, a whole new world has opened up. Cats of all sizes-yes, even big cats like lions-love boxes. Give your Persian the box before you send it away for recycling and watch the fun begin.
Cats love small and cozy spaces, so sleeping in the box is fun, but they also love to be predators, and the box affords them the chance to do this.
The box is the prey of sorts, and your kitty gets to sneak up on it and show dominance by getting right inside. She can also hide inside and pop out to surprise others that live in the house.
9. Keep Play Time Safe
Some pet owners love to use fishing pole cat toys. These are heaps of fun, but the string can present a choking hazard for a cat.
Furthermore, if your Persian is able to eat the string (or any string such as yarn, twine or others) this can damage a cat’s intestines or even cause an obstruction if your pet swallows it.
Remember, cat tongues have barbs that face backward, and it is hard for her to get such objects out of her mouth. Make sure once playtime is over, you put all toys with strings away.
Also, be sure to avoid toys with feathers on them. The shaft of a feather can poke your cat’s mouth, leading to lacerations that can get infected.
Toys that have other small objects on them that can be swallowed (think of those toy mice with black bead eyes) should also be avoided so your cat does not accidentally ingest a harmful object.
Always take a look at your cat’s toys each chance you get so you can throw away anything that’s becoming torn apart, beat up or frayed.
10. Always Let Her Win
This goes without saying, but you should always let your cat win the play fight. It’s fun to drag the toy around or point the laser pointer all over the place and watch your feline friend run, but she should always be allowed to get the final say when it comes to playtime.
Once you are nearing the end of the play session, let your kitty have the toy so she can fulfill all of her hunting urges.
If using a laser pointer, hold it in place so she can see the dot is not going anywhere, and then give her a tangible toy she can bat around or bite. It’s important your pet catches her “prey”.
Playtime with your Persian cat is arguably the most fun part of having one. These cats may look royal and even act it sometimes, but they absolutely love to play just like other breeds.
Encourage healthy and fun play by encouraging your cat with toys you make or buy yourself. Help overweight cats shed some pounds and have a snack by making use of a treat ball.
And most of all, make sure to let her win. Enjoy bonding with your Persian and making memories!
What do you think? Is this the way to play with a Persian cat? Do you have anything to add to this list? How do you play with your Persian cat? Tell us about it in the comment section below!