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Guest reviewer Holly trials 50 Games To Play With Your Cat, by Jackie Strachan
I wasn’t a cat person until I got a cat. In fact Mia wasn’t even my cat, it was my boyfriend’s kitten, but considering the effort we both put into sneaking her into his parent’s house in the middle of the night and the fact that we now all live together with cat number two as well, realistically she’s mine.
All cats love to play – even obese Mia who is basically a tabby sausage at present – but kittens love to play more. Cat number two (Rory) is currently a six-month old ball of chaos whose favourite toy is human fingers and toes, particularly when they wiggle but even more when they’re hanging out from under the duvet in the middle of the night. 50 Games to Play With Your Cat by Jackie Strachan covers everything you need to know about feline entertainment, and therefore if you heed her advice and techniques, you are unlikely to suffer as much as I do.
The main theme of this informative and well-illustrated book is that cats will play with anything. If it moves, crinkles, tinkles, shines, smells, lights up, just looks like a thing, or even if it just happens to be nearby, then it’s going to get pounced on and/or swiped at. Being the doting cat parents that we are, our cats have every possible kind of toy, from the that’s-probably-too-much-money-to spend-on-a-cat range to the have-this-old-bra-to-play-with desperation zone. One of their favourite toys is just a bell tied to some string, but they go apeshit for it every time. You get the idea.
There are some really good ideas in Strachan’s book for cat owners who are interested in making some DIY cat toys out of household items, and advice as to which materials you should avoid. She tells you how to spruce up old toys so that the cat will regain interest in it (hint: it’s catnip. There’s a reason that that stuff comes in spray bottles) as well as ways to help your cat slim down (Mia, take note) and reviews of common cat toys that you can find in shops and how exactly they make a cat feel better.
I would thoroughly recommend this book to new cat parents as well as to cat parents worried about their feline offspring suffering from acute boredom. It contains everything you need to know about cats and their playing and grooming in one helpful and fairly short book. Multiple photos on each page illustrate each idea and toy, with some very helpful explanations about cat safety and how cats can get the maximum enjoyment out of their toys.
However, they may not pay attention to you. Our flat has lots of cat toys, but right now, cardboard and paper bags are their thing.
Jackie Strachan, 50 Games to Play With Your Cat (January 2016, Ivy Press), ISBN: 978-1-78240-353-1, £7.99
Holly recently won the 2015 Clearing Up After Other People Award for being an au pair, a health care assistant and a student primary teacher in one year.