Cats are playful animals, especially kittens, and enjoy playing different games. In fact, many owners notice that their cats frequently run off and hide behind things, which can make you wonder if they like playing hide and seek.
They often enjoy playing it because it helps them use their hunting instincts. If you would like tips on encouraging your cat to play hide and seek, keep reading while we provide several pointers and answer some common questions to help get you started.
Before You Begin
Observe your cat to see if they show interest in interactive play and seem curious about exploring, as not all cats enjoy games like hide and seek. Also, consider any health issues that might limit their ability to play. Ensure the play area is free from hazards. Remove sharp objects, breakables, or anything that might harm your cat during the game, and keep plenty of their favorite toys handy.
The 9 Tips to Play Hide and Seek With Your Cat
1. Understand Their Instincts
Cats are natural predators, and hide-and-seek can mimic the thrill of the hunt for them. Hiding behind furniture, doors, or other objects can intrigue your cat and entice them to find you. They may also hide and call you from a different room to look for them.
2. Use Toys to Entice Them
You can make the game more appealing by using a cat toy, like a feather wand, and it can help signal to your pet that the game is on. Peek the toy out from your hiding spot to catch your cat’s attention, then hide it again to encourage them to seek it out.
3. Start Simple
Begin with easy hiding spots where your cat can easily find you. As they get the hang of the game, you can try more complex hiding spots to make it more challenging.
4. Observe Their Mood
Some cats may not be interested in playing hide and seek or only at certain times. Pay attention to your cat’s mood and willingness to play and try to get them into a consistent routine, which will encourage them to play.
5. Use Positive Reinforcement
Once your cat finds you or the toy, reward them with a treat or affection. This positive reinforcement makes the game enjoyable and rewarding for them, ensuring they return for more.
6. Keep Sessions Short
Cats usually have short attention spans for play. Keep the game sessions brief but fun. No more than 5–10 minutes per session are ideal.
7. Be Patient
Not all cats will understand or appreciate hide and seek immediately. Be patient and give your cat time to warm up to the game before switching to another game.
8. Be Accessible
Make sure your hiding spots are easily accessible to your cat. Avoid places too high or too cramped for them to reach comfortably. You also want to avoid hiding in areas of the home they don’t like visiting, as they will likely leave you there.
9. End the Game Positively
Conclude the game on a positive note, with a treat or affection, ensuring your cat associates the game with a pleasant experience.
Other Tips And Tricks For Playing With Your Cat
What To Avoid When Playing With Your Cat
Fortunately, many cats enjoy playing hide and seek and will play it with you without much struggle. They can also learn the game relatively quickly, which can be a lot of fun for you and your pet. Following the steps outlined here should get you going. Remember to start simple so it’s easy for your cat to figure out what you are up to, be consistent and patient, and only try to get more complex once your cat is having an easy time finding you.
Featured Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock
- Before You Begin
- The 9 Tips to Play Hide and Seek With Your Cat
- 1. Understand Their Instincts
- 2. Use Toys to Entice Them
- 3. Start Simple
- 4. Observe Their Mood
- 5. Use Positive Reinforcement
- 6. Keep Sessions Short
- 7. Be Patient
- 8. Be Accessible
- 9. End the Game Positively
- Other Tips And Tricks For Playing With Your Cat
- What To Avoid When Playing With Your Cat