Cat trainer shares how to keep your cat happy and mentally stimulated with a simple game

Cat playing with a piece of string
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Do you want to add more joy and excitement to your feline friend's life? Cat playtime is not just about fun; it's also a fantastic way to provide mental stimulation and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. 

Playtime is crucial for cats. It helps them expend energy, exercise their hunting instincts, and provides much-needed mental stimulation. Moreover, interactive play sessions are an excellent opportunity to establish better communication and strengthen the emotional connection between you and your cat.

 Having a healthy supply of the best cat toys is a great start and there are even some of the best automated cat toys out on the market now to keep your cat busy when you’re not at home. 

The trainers at Cat School have shared on Instagram a very straightforward game called 'Stomp the Sticky' that can take your cat's playtime to the next level.

Watch below to see how you can try this game at home with your kitty or keep reading if you'd like to check out the instructions in a step-by-step format...

'Stomp the Sticky' is a fun and educational game for your cat. It involves teaching your cat to target a specific sticky note on the floor and then challenging them by moving it around the environment. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to playing this exciting game:

Step 1) Gather Your Supplies

To get started, you'll need a few basic supplies: Sticky notes or small pieces of paper, a clicker (for clicker training) and some of the best cat treats.

Step 2) Paw Targeting

Begin by teaching your cat to "paw target" the sticky note. Place the sticky note on a flat surface, like the floor or a table. Hold the sticky note in your hand and present it to your cat. When your cat touches the sticky note with their paw, use the clicker and immediately reward them with a treat. Repeat this process until your cat consistently touches the note with their paw.

Step 3) Adding Movement

Once your cat has mastered paw targeting while the note is stationary, it's time to add some movement. Place the sticky note on the floor and gently slide it a short distance away from your cat. Encourage your cat to follow the moving note and paw target it as it slides. Click and reward each successful attempt.

Step 4) Increasing Complexity

As your cat becomes more skilled at "Stomp the Sticky," you can make the game more challenging. Move the note farther away, create curves and turns in its path, or even introduce multiple notes to see if your cat can follow a specific one.

Step 5) Keep It Fun and Rewarding

Remember to keep the game enjoyable for your cat. Use treats as positive reinforcement and provide lots of praise. Keep play sessions short and engaging, and always end on a positive note, even if it means simplifying the game.

There are various benefits to gain from playing 'Stomp the Sticky' with your cat. Mental stimulation is one, the game challenges your cat's problem-solving skills and mental agility.

Secondly, the game can help better communication between the two of you. It enhances your cat's ability to understand and respond to cues from you.

Lastly, it provides a foundation for learning. Clicker training games like this one lay the groundwork for more advanced skills, including object recognition and button training.

All in all it's an excellent way to provide your cat with hours of entertainment while keeping their mind sharp and their curiosity piqued.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.