An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Response to Cat Over-aroused During Play: Dash Tells All

Hi Greyce,

I'm getting back to you as soon as I can - which is pretty fast since my polydactyl paws allow me to reach more keys. You asked me a lot of questions, so be prepared for a lot of answers.

At present, I don't have a bite-type toy. Themselves try to distract me with a toy mouse or my fleece-feather pull toy. The latter is quite wonderful - a long piece of fleeces with feathers at the end, attached to a plastic stick. It can be dragged along the floor or dangled in the air or over the stairs. I LOVE this toy and have destroyed more than a dozen copies by chewing on the feathers and fleece.

Herself takes the fleece toy into the spare bedroom with me for a private play session (while Himself plays elsewhere with Skeeter). She drags it across the bed and the floor. I jump on the bed to get it, and she pulls it away. When I show that I have LOTS of energy, she will drag it from the floor to the bed and vice-versa. We keep this up for as long as I'm engaged (15 to 30 minutes usually). Sometimes our play is so intense that I'm totally tired out; I've fallen asleep on the bed with the feathers in my mouth!

We do this in the morning before Themselves go to work and then again in the evening. (I get one or two play sessions every evening.) 

A quiet moment with Skeeter
Sometimes I only get this particular game only once a day - but that is when Himself has had another kind of play session with me. He takes the feather toy and runs it along the stairs for me to chase. Or he will bring a toy mouse for me to hunt and chase on the stairs.

In the winter (usually), Themselves take me into the basement and put a treat at the very top of the cat tower. I jump to get it and then run to the other side of the basement (for another treat) and then back to the tower. Himself gives me a treat after a play session. Sometimes Herself will dole out a treat in the evening, too. Other than that, I'm not really food motivated and don't like to eat food directly off the floor. So I doubt that food puzzles are the thing for me.

From time to time, I like to chase the laser pointer. But I can outsmart it, so I get bored with it too.

Most of the time the toys work and I calm down. But sometimes I need a sudden clap of the hands or a spray from the water bottle to break my pattern.

By the way, if I'm sleeping on my back and someone pats me gently, I will wake up wanting to play fight.

I hope this information helps.



Dear Dash,

You are doing wonderfully and I having nothing to add. I agree that food puzzles are probably not for you. It sounds like you have fallen into a vat of cream - great purrsons who are dedicated to giving you stimulating workouts. I'm sure there are many cats who envy you.

Keep up the good work! At some point, Themselves MIGHT want to try clicker training for you and if you are ever interested, just let me know and I'll send you information. But it sounds like everything is well in hand at present.

May you continue to enjoy your fleece and feathers!


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