These activities bust kitty boredom and strengthen your bond. The bonus? Lots of belly laughs for you.
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cat playing game in tunnel as an obstacle course with woman in the background
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Anyone who has ever watched a funny cat video knows that kitties like to play. Cat games include batting at mirrors, tussling with dogs, and knocking stuff off shelves. Feline friskiness isn't just hilarious to watch, it provides mental and physical benefits for your kitty too.

"There's evidence that when cats have more mental stimulation, they're actually sick less," says Lisa Radosta, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist at Florida Veterinary Behavior Service and a host for Vet Scoop. "So providing toys and an environment that encourages exploration is a great way to let your cat entertain himself. But it's also good to play with your cat. It makes you both happier and strengthens your bond."

Looking for ideas of what cats like to play with? Read on to discover new ways to interact with and entertain your four-legged friend.

8 Fun Games for Cats to Play

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1. Fetch

Dogs are famous for loving to play fetch with a ball or frisbee. But some cats fetch too! Throw a fuzzy mouse or ball and see if your cat brings it back. You can also toss treats or pieces of kibble for your kitty to run to—just don't expect your cat to bring anything back. For even more exercise, toss treats up the steps of a cat tree, Radosta recommends.

black cat playing cat game, peeking around a corner indoors for hide and seek
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2. Hide-and-Seek

Does your cat come when called? If so, consider a game of hide-and-seek. You hide. Then call your cat's name. When your furry pal finds you, offer a treat to reinforce the finding behavior. It's a fun way to get your indoor cat moving more.

Calico cat playing game, sitting on hind legs learning cat tricks from a woman
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3. Cat Tricks

Just like their canine counterparts, cats can learn tricks too. Cat training can be a rewarding way to spend time together. The key? Your cat has to be into it. "Cats are really smart. They just don't appreciate being bossed around," Radosta says. "So you have to approach training your cat with a let's-see-if-kitty-feels-like-learning attitude." If your cat is up for practice, you can teach tricks like sit and high-five.

cat playing game in tunnel as an obstacle course with woman in the background
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4. Obstacle Course

Dog agility training—where dogs jump over obstacles, weave in and out of poles, and go through tunnels—is a well-known activity in the canine world. Cats are just as agile as dogs, so why not see if your feline is up for the challenge?

Start with teaching your kitty to do a tunnel, Radosta recommends. Go to one side of the tunnel, put a treat in your hand, and stick your arm into the tunnel. Encourage your kitty to follow the treat through the tunnel. Once your cat is zipping through the tunnel no-problem, say a word at the same time your cat does it. You can say "tunnel" or "through," and eventually your cat will recognize the action you want them to take with the cue word.

orange tabby cat playing online game on ipad
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5. Online Cat Games

These days, your cat can do more than just sit on top of your tablet and swish his tail. Games designed for cats keep your kitty's interest with fish that swim on the screen or mice that run across it. "At the office, we have several iPads and they have downloadable cat games on them. The kitties love it. Some cats swat at it, others pounce," Radosta says.

tabby kitten playing cat game, jumping in air and chasing motorized cat toy
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6. Motorized Toys

Toys that move on their own are a great way to entertain your cat when you can't play with him. It's automated fun, Radosta says. You just press a button and the interactive cat toy moves around on its own (think: twirling feathers, rolling balls, and flopping fishes).

orange tabby cat playing a game with food in a cat puzzle feeder
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7. Puzzle Feeders

Puzzle feeders are food dispensers that require your cat to figure out how to release the kibble inside. They make mealtime a challenging game. But, Radosta says, don't put all of your cat's kibble in the puzzle feeder right away. It may take time for your kitty to come around to using the toy. Instead, put a small amount of food in the puzzle along with a few treats to make it really enticing. Also, if the feeder has different difficulty levels, be sure to put it on the easiest setting to start.

tabby cat peeking out of cardboard box left out as a cat game for an enriched environment
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8. Enriched Environment

Though they're super-nice, you don't need a catio (an enclosed cat patio) to make your kitty happy. Enriching your cat's life can be as simple as placing a new item in his environment. For example, feathers or a box. "Consider what your cat likes. Mine likes to lie on plastic bags. So I leave one out for an hour after I've come home from work and let him have at it," Radosta says.

Avoid Using Laser Pointers and Flashlights

Many people use laser pointers and flashlights to create a spot of light kitties can chase around. Running is great cardio for cats, but using a light isn't a good idea. Radosta explains, "What you're doing when you play these kinds of cat games is stimulating the predatory sequence. So, what happens when predators are hunting prey? They catch something and feel it in their paws and mouths. But with the light, that never happens. There's no end game and it causes frustration in a lot of cats." The pent-up energy has to go somewhere and it's often into biting and clawing people or other animals.

Playing with your cat, and providing fun entertainment, keeps your four-legged friend mentally stimulated and physically fit. But the biggest benefit may be cracking up over your cat's antics or gaining a new appreciation for your mini tiger's stealth. Let the games begin!