Spring And Summer Activities To Do With Your Cat

LAST UPDATED 7th September 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Katelyn Bailey BVSc (Hons)

Spring has sprung! Just like us, many cats experience a burst of energy at this time of year as they defrost from the long winter months and welcome the return of warmth. This means that now is the perfect time to add some fun enrichment to your kitty's life! Unlike dogs, most cats don't enjoy beach trips, visits to noisy cafes or long hikes, but with a little creativity you'll find that there are still plenty of exciting experiences you can provide that are a little closer to home.

To help you create endless entertainment and long-lasting memories, we have compiled a list of our favourite cat-friendly warm weather activities below.

If you're planning on taking your furry friend outdoors for any of these activities, make sure they're up to date with vaccinations and parasite prevention, and that their microchip details are current.

Take your cat for a walk

Yes, cats can go for walks too! While it does depend on your kitty's temperament and their willingness to accept wearing a harness and lead, many cats can be trained to wear a harness, walk on a lead AND enjoy the experience!

Once you've taught your cat to walk on a lead, it's best to confine your walks to the backyard until you're confident that you can interpret your cat's body language and comfortability levels and know that they're unable to slip out of their harness. If you have a social and friendly cat, you can try venturing further afield. Quiet streets and parks with no dogs are good places to start.

If your kitty isn't a fan of a harness, or they're a little more timid, a cat backpack can be a great way for them to see the world from a safe and secure vantage point. Like anything new, make sure you gradually acclimatise them to this way of travel. You can read more about this slow introduction method in our Cat Carrier Guide.

Set up an obstacle course

Cats are very intelligent and extremely agile, and while both these traits can get them into mischief they are also a great asset when it comes to obstacle courses! Many kitties can learn how to complete an obstacle course, especially if they're food motivated. This makes for a great bonding activity and ongoing training exercise you can do with your cat.

Using their favourite treats, start by slowly encouraging them through a tunnel or over a jump. Once they have mastered one obstacle, you can start on the next, then work on completing multiple obstacles consecutively. Over time they will be able to complete the course with you waiting at the end to give them a treat.

Don't be afraid to be inventive when it comes to assembling the course. Household items that make for great obstacles include hula hoops, cardboard boxes and even water bottles to weave between.

Best products for a cat obstacle course:

Serve up some summer treats

On hot summer days it's likely that your cat craves something cold just as much as you do! It's surprisingly easy to make a healthy cooling treat that your kitty will love, so why not treat them to a mouth-watering tuna cube or delicious catsicle? You can see our list of tasty homemade summer recipes for pets here.

As delicious as these taste sensations are, there can be too much of a good thing. Remember to keep home-prepared food and treats to less than 10% of your pet's daily food intake to avoid dietary imbalances.

Do some indoor bird watching

While we do not encourage allowing your cat to hunt birds, bird watching is a great compromise that's safe for the birds while still being enriching for your cat.

Chances are, your cat probably already knows the best time of day to perform this activity, as well as the best windows for maximum bird visibility! To make this even more immersive, consider adding a ledge, window hammock or tall cat tower so your cat can get as close as possible to their object of fascination, and always make sure to have a wand toy on hand so your kitty can work through their frustration! You can even add a strategically placed bird feeder outside your cat's favourite window.

Don't be alarmed if your kitty chirps or chatters while bird watching- this is completely normal.

Best bird watching accessories:

Go for a holiday in the backyard

If your cat usually has an 'indoors-only' lifestyle, why not mix things up a bit and give them some supervised outdoor adventure time! If you're not using a harness and lead, having a pet-friendly yard is a must.

Let your kitty wander the gardens, follow the ant trails and get some time in the sun. Cats have an excellent sense of smell and the many new scents that spring and summer bring, such as flowers, plants and pollens, provide a smorgasbord of enrichment. For food-motivated cats, hiding treats around the yard and in gardens for a feline treasure hunt will be much welcomed!

While you're at it, why not have a backyard picnic, complete with picnic blanket and some tasty treats- just make sure that anything you plan on giving your kitty is cat friendly.

Make a mystery box

If you're unwilling or unable to take your cat outside, creating a mystery box is an easy and fun activity that helps to bring the outside inside! Grab a box or old litter tray and fill it with seasonal offerings from the great outdoors such as leaves, twigs, rocks and bark. Make sure nothing in the box is toxic to cats. You can even add in some of your cat's favourite treats to encourage foraging.

Your kitty will love being exposed to new scents and textures, and by rummaging around in the box their hunting instincts will be satisfied.

Always supervise your pet during this activity, especially if they're known to eat things they shouldn't! In tick areas, be aware that ticks could potentially be present on any material brought from outside, so regular tick checks or tick prevention is advised.

Go fishing

Anyone who has ever attempted to bathe a cat can agree that most cats do not appreciate being submerged in water! However, many do enjoy watching the flow of water and gently playing with it.

Try filling a sturdy bowl, container or sink with water and floating a ping pong ball or buoyant cat toy on the surface. Most cats will enjoy tapping at or scooping up the toy in their own attempt at feline fishing. This has the added bonus of helping to cool your kitty down on hot summer days. Make sure to 'splash-proof' the surrounding area especially if your pet enjoys a more vigorous playtime!

Further Reading

Want to read more? Check out our other articles:

Keeping Indoor Cats Happy

Games You Can Play With Your Cat

How To Catify Your Home

Summer Dangers For Pets

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