Interactive Playtime with Your Cat

Learn how to play interactively with your kitty.

Did you know there's a way to play with cats that will help them stay mentally and physically fit long into their later years? It's called interactive play, and doing it with your kitty every day is best for her quality of life.

What Is Interactive Play?

Playing interactively with a cat means that you use a toy that allows you to pretend to be the kitty's natural prey (a rodent or bird). Wand toys work best for this. You make the feather or other attachment to the wand move like frightened prey away from the cat, over and around things, and up and down. The cat chases, stalks, and pounces on the wand toy.

Why Is Interactive Play so Good for Cats?

The reason this type of play is good for cats is that it allows them to act like hunters, which is their instinct. They can utilize the skills that are lie dormant in their brains when they live indoors and eat from a bowl.

Doing what they're evolutionarily programmed to do helps a cat stay mentally and physically healthy. It reduces stress and gets out extra pent-up energy. Without it, that stress and energy may go into misbehavior, especially scratching inappropriate items and eliminating outside of the litter box.

How to Do an Interactive Play Session

First, buy a few different wand toys. That way, you can rotate which one you use and give your kitty a different experience each time. Here are a few options:

  • Da Bird. This one has a nice big feather that mimics a bird well.
  • Purrfect Pouncer. This is another feather toy with an extra leather lace to add movement.
  • Cat Charmer Rainbow. This toy has long, felt streamers that can go crazy and get a cat's attention.
  • Purrfect Cat Toy. This is an excellent rodent-mimicker with extra tails for more fun.
  • Cat Catcher. This fishing pole type wand toy lets you get a high bounce on the toy at the end, which mimics a rodent.

Keep the wands where your cat can't get to them when you aren't in the middle of a play session. That's because the toys are dangerous if your cat tries to play with them alone. Cords can get wrapped around feet and necks, cutting off the blood supply.

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.