How to Play With and Calm Down Your Kitten

How to Play With and Calm Down Your Kitten

Though it may seem impossible to entertain your kitten without amassing battle wounds in the form of scratches, bites and ruined furniture, there are many ways to provide productive playtime for your kitten and calm them down when it’s time to relax. If you’re planning to adopt a kitten, or already have a particularly feisty one at home, consider these playtime tips:

Don’t use your body

Pet owners should be prepared to play with their kitten in a way that doesn’t encourage them to think of the human body as a toy. Encourage them to bat at and nibble on toys instead of hands and fingers, which can lead to inappropriate play as they get older.

Mimic the hunt

Tap into your kitten’s natural instincts by replicating the hunt-catch-kill cycle that a cat is hardwired to perform. Direct their energy in this way by using a toy they can chase, like one that mimics a bug or bird..

Redirect their energy

If you’re done with playtime but your kitten is not, toss a bouncy ball toy their way to direct their energy on something other than you and allow your kitten to tire itself out. Do not restrain or touch your kitten, which will increase their arousal and excite them even more.

Provide a cool down

Think about playtime the same way you would human exercise, and incorporate time for a warm up and cool down. As you’re winding down play, slow your movements and let them chase after a toy more leisurely, signaling that it’s about time to relax. If you suddenly stop play without a cool down, Your kitten may go after you because you’re the only object still moving. If your kitten doesn’t get the hint and continues to go after your hands or legs, it’s best to freeze immediately and make a loud noise, like “eeek,” to startle them into pausing their movement. Ending attention when your kitten becomes too aggressive will hopefully teach them not to play too rough..

Before bringing home your kitten, is is recommend cat-proofing your home to make sure areas where they could get stuck during play (like under the bed or behind the fridge) are blocked off and small objects and valuables are removed from the area. Additionally, you may want to confine your kitten to a smaller space, like a bedroom, while you’re away to prevent them from getting into anything that could cause injury.

If you’re up for it, adopt kittens in pairs to let them tire each other out and teach each other the rules of play.

“Kittens are the best at teaching each other how to play appropriately because they speak the same language”.
“Some kittens like to have another playmate, so it is something to consider.”
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