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You know them. You love them. The “crazy” cat is one of the Internet’s favorite wonders. From cats doing the zoomies (running around the house like a lunatic) to climbing up curtains and knocking over items on the coffee table, “crazy” cats are what give life a little extra spice for animal lovers. While over-enthused cats are hilarious, there are times when guardians would appreciate a timeout (look, there are only so many times you can clean up the toilet paper strewn about the bathroom!). And having company over when you have a wild fur ball running around? You very well may scare away your visitors.

So how do you handle a hyperactive cat? Well, the first thing to keep in mind is that they, of course, aren’t really “crazy,” these so-called problem children are usually smart cats who need more mental stimulation and to be challenged more. If you live with a, um, special cat, here are some tips on how to keep them mentally stimulated.

Use Interactive Toys 

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Play, play, play! There are numerous interactive toys, such as puzzle boxes and food balls that will keep your cat occupied and mentally stimulated. Puzzle boxes allow for cats to sniff and scratch to find a hidden reward, such as a treat or a toy inside in the box. Some puzzle boxes also have difficulty levels, so be sure to “up” the level so your cat is constantly getting new a new puzzle to solve.

Similarly, food balls are the cat equivalent of Kong balls for dogs. The ball will dispense treats once the cat figures out how to turn the ball the right way. Every so often you’ll want to introduce new interactive toys so you’re cat doesn’t become bored playing with the same toy over and over again.

Invest in a Cat Tree 

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Another great way to keep your cat’s brain going is by setting up a cat tree near a window. Better yet, set up a bird feeder outside of the window so your cat can watch the birds come and go. If you work outside of the home, this is a great way to give your feline something to do (that doesn’t involve eating your plants!).

There are many cat trees that include a scratching post, as well as hanging toys and fun holes for your cat to play in and out of. Shop around and find one that is best for you and your cat. You could also look for a cat tree at your local thrift store!

Play One-on-One 

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Interactive toys are wonderful but don’t forget to play with your cat one-on-one too. Cats natural behavior dictates hunt/play behavior before eating, so play with your cat for at least twenty minutes or so before you give them dinner. This will help satisfy their natural cravings for interaction before a meal.

Playing with your cat is not only fun for both parties, but playtime also helps build a bond between you two. Just keep in mind to not encourage your cat to play with your hands or feed. It can be cute when they are kittens and the bites are painless, but when they grow up, it could really hurt!

Let Cats Be Cats 

Cats, naturally, will be a bit silly but as any cat lover knows, that’s what makes them, them. Let them play, jump, run when they want. It’s important to never punish your cat by hitting them or spraying water at their face. Scolding usually backfires, with the cat not understanding what they did wrong. Find a humane way to redirect their behavior instead!

For more information on how to keep your cat happy and healthy, check out the below articles.

Lead Image Source: Flensshot/Pixabay