1. Interactive Puzzle
For this game, you'll need an old shoebox, your cat's favorite toys, and a few treats. Use an X-acto knife to cut a variety of different-size holes into the shoebox. Next, fill the shoebox with cat toys, catnip, and treats. Close the box, using a bit of tape to secure the lid. Finally, put the box on the ground next to your cat and watch as she works to free the goodies inside!
2. Feather and String
This game is perfect for cats with a lot of energy. You can either purchase a toy wand, or make a DIY wand using a stick, a string, and a feather or bell. Wave the wand above your kitty's head and entice her to jump up and catch the flying object. Spice things up by pulling the wand slowly away from your cat's view and watch as she pounces at it around corners and under furniture. Make sure to choose an open room with lots of space to bounce around. You don't want your kitten to run into valuable objects!
Contrary to popular belief, fetch is not just for dogs. Games like fetch bring out your cat's natural instinct to catch prey. Play fetch with your kitten by tossing a catnip-filled toy across the floor. Be sure to choose a toy that you can easily throw across the room. You'll also want a toy that is easy for your kitty to carry in her mouth. Watch as your cat chases after the toy, giving a few kitty kicks with her hind legs when she finally captures her prize. You'll be surprised to see that your feline friend will often bring the toy back to you! Reinforce this behavior with petting and praise or treats.
A game like hide-and-seek will also unleash the predatory nature in cats. You can play inside -- just hide behind a couch, desk, or bed. Your kitten will stalk you as though you were her prey.
5. Paper Bag
Great news for cat owners on a budget: You don't need a fancy three-level scratching post to make your kitty happy. You can easily turn an empty, brown-paper shopping bag into one of your cat's favorite toys. Lay the bag on its side so your cat can crawl inside. Then, scratch and poke the sides of the bag while your kitten bats at the movements and noises from the inside.
6. Tablet Games
If you own a tablet, you have access to hundreds of games made just for your kitty! Here are three to get you started.
Games for Cats, Free for iPad
The Games for Cats app features three different activities. The laser pointer game is free and displays a bouncing red light for your cat to chase. If your cat is able to hit it, she receives a point. Two additional games are available after a $1.99 in-app purchase for the full version. These two games are similar to the laser pointer game, but they feature a mouse and a butterfly for your kitten to play with instead of a laser. If you decide to upgrade, you can even control the pointer, mouse, or butterfly using your iPhone.
Paint for Cats, $1.99 for iPad
Paint for Cats is exactly what you think it is: a game that allows your feline to play with (digital) paint. With 10 different color palettes to choose from, your cat might turn into a bona fide iPad artist before you know it!
Friskies Jitterbug, Free for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Friskies JitterBug is a free universal app in which tons of creepy insects crawl all over the screen. The goal is to hit the bugs during five, 15-second rounds. You also can put the game into "endless mode" so your kitten isn't restricted by a time limit.
7. Crumpled Paper
Looking for a simpler object to entertain your cat? Crumpled paper will do the trick. Just crush a piece of paper into a ball that can be rolled across the floor. Cats love to chase after the ball as much as they love the sound crumpled paper makes. Just be sure to keep the ball of paper away from your cat when you're done playing, or you might quickly have a confetti-covered floor!