5 Fun Games for Cats to Keep Your Cat Fit & Sharp

A cat playing with a puzzle feeder, an example of stimulating games for cats

Do cats get bored?” At one point or another, cat parents may ask themselves this question. And the short answer to this is yes, our feline companions can get bored. Often, this ties with a lack of mental stimulation and physical exercise, which can then eventually lead to weight gain, anxiety, and behavioral problems.  

Cat games hit three birds with one stone. These activities help you keep your cat physically active, fit, mentally stimulated, and entertained. This is why cat games are a vital piece in ensuring your cat’s overall wellness! 

Read on to learn more about games for cats (and even video games for cats) that your feline friend is sure to enjoy. 

What’s in This Guide?

Laser Pointer Chase

To kick off this list of games for cats, we’re starting with one of the classics: laser pointer chase. Often referenced in movies and TV shows, this is one of the cat games that are familiar to nearly everyone, cat parent or not. 

Laser pointer chase provides physical activity and mental stimulation, often revealing energy in once-mostly-sedentary house cats. The best part is, because it’s a laser light, the cat cannot break it or accidentally swallow any component of it. 

To make this game more exciting for your feline companion, try incorporating treats. This way, your cat can get a form of reward after chasing the laser light. Cat parents can use the red dot to guide their energetic cat to where treats are hidden.

As with all the cat games that we will talk about, there are a few tips that cat parents need to observe when playing laser pointer chase with their cat, such as the following: 

  1. Refrain from shining the laser directly into the cat’s eye as this will harm their vision. 
  2. Watch out for obstacles that your cat can accidentally knock over or break while playing laser pointer chase. 

To avoid frustration in your cat, allow your cat to catch the light every now and then. This would give them a sense of accomplishment, something that is very important in all games for cats. Nobody wants to be playing a game they cannot win.

A cat about to catch the laser light in laser pointer chase, one of the fun classic cat games that many cats enjoy

Wand Toy Chase

This is one of the classic cat games that can really sharpen your cat’s inner hunting instincts and pouncing skills! The wand toy for cats has a long stick with a feather (or something similar), attached to the end by a string. Using the stick, you can mimic the movement of prey which entices the cat to chase the feather. 

Unlike laser pointer chase, cats can actually catch something tangible. Most cat parents will be surprised at their feline’s hidden fast reflexes, with some cats catching the feather even when their cat parent is trying to pull it away. In that sense, one of the best parts of this game is that it’s a game for both the cat and the cat parent

With something tangible to catch, this is one of the games for cats that don’t necessarily need a treat to provide a sense of satisfaction. But if you want to give your feline family member a treat as a reward, this will definitely help them form a positive association (while also completing the “hunting” experience for them).

To finish off this section on feather wand chase, here are a few safety tips to remember when playing this cat game:

  1. Try to choose a wand toy that is sturdy and has no choking hazards (i.e. little pieces that readily come off and can be swallowed). Very small feathers can be dangerous as cat owners may not notice that their cat is trying to eat them.
  2. Supervise your cat at all times when they are playing with a feather wand toy, in order to avoid accidents. 

When the wand toy is not in use, store it away. This way, your cat will not be able to chew on they toy without your supervision.

Kicker Pillows 

Next up on this list of games for cats is playing with kicker pillows. Kicker pillows are long pillows that cats (especially kittens) like to grab a hold of and do a 'bunny kick' on, which is a move they do during aggressive play or when attacking prey. Kicker pillows come in various shapes, from plain cylindrical pillows to realistic fish-like pillows. 

The best part about cat games like this is that cats will be able to entertain themselves when they’re bored. However, one thing to note is that kicker pillows, as they are, may not be exciting for cats as time goes by. Over time, the kicker pillow may end up as just a regular pillow on which your cat sleeps on. 

One way to make an old kicker pillow exciting again is to try to attach it to a wand and string, that is, if it is small enough. This way, it can be used as a wand toy. Another way, which can be done solely or along with the previous tip, is to stuff the kicker pillow with some cat nip

Note: The scent of catnip can make an old cat toy interesting again because this non-addictive herb produces a unique sensation in cats leading to behaviors like meowing, rolling, rubbing, and/or playful aggression toward the kicker pillow. 

As with all the other games for cats that we’ve covered so far, here are some safety tips to remember with regard to letting your cat play with kicker pillows: 

  1. Try to get a sturdy kicker pillow that doesn’t have choking hazards (e.g. beads, plastic eyes, strings, yarn, etc.) 
  2. A cat playing with a kicker pillow stuffed with catnip may exhibit more aggression and mistakenly scratch if you approach suddenly or try to quickly take the toy away. It is recommended that pet parents observe care.
 Top view of a cat playing with a fish-like kicker pillow, showing one of the games for cats that cats can do solo

Puzzle Feeders

Next on our list of cat games is playing with puzzle feeders. These toys provide plenty of mental stimulation and entertainment for cats, all while also dispensing treats. Puzzle feeders for cats operate by making bits of food inaccessible until a cat is able to solve the puzzle. These puzzles come in various shapes and sizes, with different levels of complexity.

Aside from mental stimulation, there is also an element of physical activity when cats play with puzzle feeders because they generally need to move around, inspect the puzzle thoroughly, and manipulate objects before they can get to the treats. Like all of the cat games on this list, playing with puzzle feeders tap on the cat’s natural hunting instinct. 

To make puzzle feeders more interesting, make use of healthy and delicious treats that you know your cat loves. A delicious treat will help them be more motivated to solve the puzzle. 

Here are our list of safety tips with regard to allowing a cat to play with a puzzle feeder: 

  1. Make sure to clean a puzzle feeder after use because trace amounts of food left inside could lead to the buildup of bacteria. 
  2. Choose puzzle feeders that don’t have choking hazards (i.e. little pieces that readily come off and can be swallowed). 
  3. Paying with puzzle feeders is not a cat game that requires a cat parent’s hands-on involvement, but a level of supervision is still encouraged. 

Video Games for Cats

As we are in the digital age, this list of games for cats would not be complete without also talking about video games for cats. This is definitely the most technologically advanced option from this list of games for cats. If you have an iPad or an Android tablet to spare, why not install one of the numerous tablet video games for cats? 

Video games for cats on tablets create a digital hunting experience for cats and kittens. Typically, these games present the cat with something to catch (e.g. a mouse, fish) and the apps are designed to be responsive to the cat’s paw “taps.” 

One example is a game developed for Nestle Purina Petcare, called Cat Fishing 2, where cats can tap on fish to make them disappear.

The fact that many cats are able to play tablet games for cats (and derive enjoyment from them) speaks volumes about just how perceptive and intelligent our feline family members are. Why not make things more interesting and reward your feline companion with treats for a job well done, catching digital fish?   

With regard to safety tips, we only encourage pet parents to supervise their cats. In addition, please remember that there is a chance they’ll scratch the screen with their paw. (Cat gaming can get pretty intense!) This is why we recommend letting them use a tablet or iPad you can spare. 

 Two cats exploring a tablet because it has video games for cats installed

Final Thoughts on Fun Cat Games & Cat Well-Being

We hope you (and your cat) enjoyed this article on exciting cat games. Try out a variety of games for cats with your feline friend and see which ones they like the most! By keeping you cat mentally stimulated and physically active, you can help prevent unhealthy weight gain as well as destructive behaviors associated with boredom

If you have specific questions about your cat’s behavior or weight management, we recommend seeking veterinary advice. 

Sploot Veterinary Care is always here for you. Sploot is primary and urgent care clinic with multiple covenient locations that offer daily appointment availability. We also happily accept walk-in appointments, anytime from 10 am to 10 pm.

Till next time, we’re with you every pounce of the way!