An evening play session can be just what your cat needs to tire out for bedtime. At least an hour before you plan to turn in, play some games to get him moving and burn off steam:
• Stalk the Bird: Tie a feathery toy to the top of a yardstick. Wave the “bird” in the air, just out of cat’s reach, and encourage him to chase and jump for it.
• De-Mouse the House: Tie a plush toy, such as a mouse, to a long string. Drag it along the floor, up and down a hall, or around a piece of furniture.
• Ping Pong: In a kitchen or non-carpeted floor, release several Ping-Pong balls for your cat to swat around.
• Unpack the Groceries: Lay an empty brown grocery bag on its side. Roll a ball or toy into it. Make a “tunnel” by cutting off the bottom off of a bag.
• Hide and Seek: Hide somewhere in the house and call to your cat. Make a big fuss and share a treat when he finds you.
End your play sessions on a positive note: let your cat “capture” the toy or conquer the grocery bag. Follow up with a bedtime snack: a few bits of kibble or quality treat. Soon he’ll anticipate his bedtime routine!