It is great to play with your kitten: it is educational for the kitten and strengthens your relationship. But don’t lose sight of your safety and that of your kitten. What are the safe games to play with your kitty? Here are our tips!
Safety for the kitten
When playing with your kitten, don’t lose sight of her safety. Here are things to keep in mind.
Are the games safe? To avoid are all the toys with angular or sharp corners or sides, which contain toxic substances (lacquers) or parts that can come off and that can cause suffocation.
Is the environment safe? Remove any toxic plants and if you play outside or if the cat plays outside alone in the garden, create a safe garden. Many cats love to observe their toys from a distance, secretly. So try to create safe hiding places. Think of an empty cardboard box. It will be a great success!
Security for you
Not only for the cat, but the game must be safe for you too. It is easy to think about your safety, respecting some simple rules:
Feet and hands are not toys. Never allow your kitten to play with your feet or your hands. So the cat learns from an early age that they are not toys. If the kitten is interested in your feet or your hands, however, teach him that you will not accept him, offering him another game each time as soon as he ventures on your foot or hand. This way you can prevent your cat from biting.
Don’t ignore the signs the kitten gives you. When the cat gets tired or if something makes him nervous, he usually makes it clear to us, before biting or pulling his nails out. Here are the signs that the cat gives when he is fed up:
• moves the tail decisively: the cat is angry;
• humpback: your cat is afraid and angry;
• blowing: the cat is afraid;
• leaves: your cat makes you understand that he is tired.
When your cat makes you understand in one or more ways that he has grown tired of the game, better leave him alone. Forced play will make him even more nervous and it’s not nice.
Cats and children
Often, children love playing or cuddling with the cat or kitten. And your cat will likely appreciate their enthusiasm. It is, however, good to keep an eye on them: the cackles or sudden movements of children can frighten the cat (especially if it has not grown up with children). When your cat is fed up or reacts aggressively but the children continue the ‘game’, he may feel them pulling his nails orbiting, making the game a bad experience for both the child and the cat. It would be a pity. Before letting them play together, try teaching your kids the language of cats. If they learn to respect the animal, the game and enthusiasm will surely be reciprocated. For both children and the kitten, playing together safely is an advantage.