Bonding Tip of The Week: Treat After Prey Play

1 min read

Molly DeVoss

Cat Behavior Solutions

Hi everybody! Molly from Cat Behavior Solutions, here with your Bonding Tip of the Week. This week’s bonding tip is: give your cat a treat at the end of each prey play session.

As we said last week, prey play is when you use a toy to simulate a cat’s natural hunting sequence. This is really good and necessary for your cat, since in the wild, they would spend hours staring, stalking, chasing, and pouncing at their prey. Keep ‘em in the house too long without doing this and you’ll end up with a pretty bored cat. But part of that hunting sequence—the most important part!—is catching and killing the prey.

It looks a little different in the wild, though. After wrestling with their prey for a little while, your cat would deliver a killing bite. (I’ll leave what that looks like to your imagination.) And that bite releases a little boost of serotonin in their brain, which is why we let the cat catch the toy when playing. Replicating natural processes like that serotonin release is an important part of holistic cat health.

What will make that “kill bite” even better is if your cat actually reaps the reward. After the cat bites the toy, go ahead and give them one of your best cat treats, so they’re really completing that hunting sequence by “consuming” the “prey” that they’ve just killed. Now, in our house, we do that with Lick ‘n’ Lap, because that happens to be Pico’s favorite lickable cat treat, but any one of your kitty’s favorite cat snacks will work.

So, have fun this week bonding more with your cat, and give them that treat after prey play. Until next time, keep calm and purr on./p>

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