3 Cat Playpen Games with Food for Body & Mind
Flash is rather difficult to convince when it comes to games. But what ALWAYS works are feeding games. That’s why I want to show you 3 possibilities today, with which you can easily keep your cat busy with dry food or dry treats.
Food Game 1 – Throw it around the apartment
The game with the most physical activity is probably to simply throw the food through the entire apartment. Flash and Nala chase after the chunks of food at a monkey pace, where I often notice how quick they can be when they want to.
We also like to bring a little bit of variety into this. Just walking through the apartment will be a bit monotonous in the long run. So all kinds of objects like transport boxes, cartons, etc. are often misused and put in the way as an obstacle to run past or jump over them.
But Flash has learned in the meantime: he catches the dry food pieces with his mouth or paw directly from the air. It’s not that difficult and much less exhausting than sprinting or jumping over obstacles. We always call him then the “goalkeeper”.
But as soon as we notice that the cats run slower behind, the game is over. This is a clear sign that they are either exhausted or just don’t feel like it anymore. We always use a kind of jackpot as a final signal by throwing 3 pieces at once. So the cats know directly that there is nothing left and the game is over.
Food Game 2 – Hide in Towel
You may have already seen this variant of the food game in our contribution to the food of Kitty’s Cuisine or in the stories on our social media channels. Here, a few pieces of the dry food or treats are spread on a thin towel (e.g. a dish towel) and the towel is then folded together as often as you like. Depending on how good your cat is at finding the treats and fumbling them out of the towel, you can of course fold more often.
Flash gets it right with 2x folding, because he is very ambitious and clever. With Nala, on the other hand, I can fold the towel a maximum of 1x, because otherwise she loses the desire very quickly or doesn’t even start to search. But nevertheless she often needs help. Whether it is very clever to wait until someone puts the food in front of her feet or very stupid, because she doesn’t understand how it works, that is probably a matter of interpretation. If you like to write in the comments below how you interpret such a behavior, I would be quite interested.
This possibility of the game is a pure “thinking game” for your cats and offers no physical compensation whatsoever. But it can be a welcome change if you have a very active house cat at home.
Food Game 3 – Hide in the apartment or playpen
A particularly long-term employment is our third feeding game. It is best to distract your cat a little at first. Either with one of the first two variants or with a toy of your choice. The main thing is that your cat doesn’t know what you are up to. Then you distribute the pieces of dry food at different places in the apartment. Such places could be e.g. the scratching post, a shelf, under the scratching board, in a box or in the transport box. Personally, I like to use our outdoor cat playpen because it is a great place to hide things even when it’s inside. You can be creative, but make sure that the cats can get at it and that there are no places where the cats shouldn’t go. For the beginning it is recommended to choose obvious places, so that the cat understands what it is all about and has a quick sense of achievement. With time the level of difficulty can of course be increased and the hiding places should also be varied to avoid boredom or routine.
Now you can lean back and let your cat search the flat happily. Nala and Flash will be busy with this for quite a while. Often they don’t find all the nuggets right away. But then they are even more happy later or the next day when they find something to eat.
The good thing about it is that you only have to make a short effort once and the cats are then busy for quite a long time. Besides, it’s not only mental work that’s required, but also physical work, when they have to jump up scratching posts or stretch themselves to reach the treat. With Nala and Flash it is even so that they spend the rest of the day sleeping when I have done this feeding game with them in the morning, because it is very exhausting for them and demands everything from them. I like to use the time then to write new articles for you, because it is really difficult with a bored Flash.
All three feeding games are really well received here and can be done without much effort. Of course this kind of game should not be done 5 times a day, the cat should not get overweight. But now and then this is a nice and simple form of keeping busy.
Sleeping Positions of Cats and What They Mean
The sleeping positions of cats can reveal a lot about their emotional state. Because velvet paws sleep, snore and doze around 16 hours a day, you have plenty of time to study your pets and find out what there is to learn about them while they sleep.
Sleep is not just sleep: relaxing, dozing, waking
Not everything that looks like sleep to people actually means that your house cat is wallowing in the realm of dreams. Some postures that seem like sleep are just camouflage. In reality, cats are keeping watch or simply enjoying their idleness. Open eyes do not necessarily mean that your cat is really awake. The way your cat lies down says a lot about how safe she feels. The weather also has a big influence on the animals’ sleeping behaviour: on cold days they tend to curl up to store heat, but on hot days they like to stretch out.
Here are typical sleeping positions of your cats and what they mean!
Sleeping position on four paws
In this cat sleeping position the belly and chest are on the floor and the feet are pulled tightly under the body, so that they can put the head on both front paws. The cat appears almost rectangular, like a loaf of white bread.From such a sleeping position the cats can quickly jump up and escape. Furthermore, in this raised position the lungs are relieved. When cats choose this sleeping position, it can have two meanings: Either they are in a concealed lurking position and feel insecure or they have breathing problems.
Half closed eyes while sleeping
The eyes are almost closed and the cat only looks through a very small gap. Optically, this may look a lot like children who slowly close their eyes, but especially during the first half hour of falling asleep, cats are on extreme alert. Even if they look completely dozed off on the outside, the slightest stimulus is enough to startle them.
If your cat covers one eye with her paw and the other is open, she may still be sleeping, because cats, like dolphins or some species of birds, have mastered the so-called hemispheric sleep. This means that only one hemisphere of the brain is sleeping while the other is on guard. Therefore one eye remains open.
Cat sleeping position “The Crescent Moon”
Quasi the classic sleeping position for cats: crescent-shaped rolled up. Only when no immediate danger is to be assumed, the animals lie down like this. Especially when it is cold, a lot of heat is stored.
The crescent is also available in the extended Incognito version: They bury their face under one paw and pull the remaining paws so tightly against the body that unfortunately you can no longer play with the temptingly cute toes of your house cat. And that’s exactly what you’re not supposed to do in this situation, because a lounge lion who curls up like that tries to block out the world and wants his peace.
“The Cuddle Pile” as a cat’s sleeping position
Two or more fur noses cuddle up close together. This phenomenon can only be observed in cats that are very familiar with each other, which is why it usually occurs in velvet paws that have grown up together. This cuddling orgy is an expression of deep relaxation and also says that they regard their cuddling partner as a family.
Sleeping with the stomach up
Stretching all fours on the back – this sleeping position is almost the accolade for every cat owner, because nothing shows so much confidence as this sleeping position. Even if it is tempting, you should not take this as an invitation to belly rubbing in most cats.
“Leave me alone!”: The Defensive Sleep
What looks like sleep is actually an annoying gesture: the cat curls up and turns its back to the action. But she does not lay her head down like she would do for sleep. Instead, one or both ears are pointed backwards. Cats prefer to find a raised sleeping place for this.
Triggers for this behaviour can be stress or pain. If you see this behaviour in your cat more often, please consult a vet.
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