Playing fetch: for many cats one of the most fun games to do! No surprise, because cats naturally love chasing their prey. To make sure that your cat also brings the toy back to you, we would like to give you some tips!

You’ve got to learn how to play fetch

Some cats are a natural talent when it comes to playing fetch, other cats need a little more time to get the hang of it. You might recognize it. You throw a ball or toy mouse into the room and your cat runs after it. Your cat jumps on top of it, plays with it for a while and runs on as if nothing had happened. No way he will bring it back to you! Fortunately, fetching can be taught and your cat can learn to bring the toy back to you.

Also for my cat?

Not every cat is the same, of course. Just like people, they don't all like the same things or learn something new just as quickly. When you want to teach your cat something new, it’s good to keep this in mind. Does your cat like to run and hunt? Does your cat like to come to you? And does your cat find toys interesting enough to chase them? When you have the idea that this suits your cat well, you can teach him to play fetch. This way you can also create a better bond together!

Learn to play fetch in 6 steps

Step 1: What?

Every cat likes different things, balls, a micetoy, a roll of toilet paper or a crumpled piece of paper. Your cat learns to fetch the fastest when you use an object that he likes to chase and that he can easily grasp in his mouth. So play with different toys for a while to find out which one your cat likes most! Use this toy during training and put it away afterwards. So it stays interesting!

Step 2: Where?

For the training to be successful, you also need to choose the right place to play fetch. Use a quiet area without distractions and avoid obstacles so that your cat can first learn to retrieve without them. When he is ready you can make the training more difficult.

Step 3: When?

You know your cat best, of course, but most cats will not be motivated when they are napping. So choose a moment when your cat is awake and active, for example just before he gets his food. You can count on a lot of enthusiasm at that time!

Step 4: The right reward

Just like people, cats love to be rewarded, of course with something tasty! The love of the cat for food is unimaginable. Therefore, make sure you have plenty of tasty treats on hand with which you can reward your cat when things go well. Reward your cat as much as possible in the beginning and gradually reduce it.

Step 5: Let’s get started!

After following all these steps you can really get started! Get your cat's attention by saying its name and showing him the toy. Get your cat excited and throw or slide the toy a bit away from you. Keep the distance short, you can increase it gradually. Stay enthusiastic and motivate your cat by saying 'grab', 'fetch' or 'retrieve'. Does your cat come to you with the toy? Great! Time for a reward.

Step 6: Patience

Is your cat still not bringing the toy back? Don't panic! Show him the reward and bring the toy back to the starting point together. When he returns, give him the reward. At the next round show your cat that there’s another treat to be earned. Throw his toy again and try to call your cat back immediately at the moment the toy is in his mouth. Show him the treat and use it to lure your cat to you. Above all, keep practicing together and have fun!

Keep it fun and stop when your cat gets bored. Do you have questions about playing with your cat and building a good relationship together? The Prins CareTeam can help you with that too. You can rely on them!

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Annerike from the CareTeam

Questions about your pet's behaviour? The CareTeam loves to help you with free advice!