About two months back I bought my cat a wand toy, with a cloth heart filled with crinkling plastic and catnip at the end. He doesn't care much for his other toys unless I spray them with catnip, then he will roll about with them and drool all over. Great, but that won't get him running about, hence I figured the wand toy would be great as he won't figure out (and still hasn't) that it is me dragging it about.

The toy is a great success, but sadly a bit too much. In the morning when I get up I feed him his wet food, then I sit down to work. I'll have maybe an hour or so before he jumps on my desk and demands attention. He will run all over and press his head against me to rub his scent. This has never been a problem until around when I got the toy. He'd normally get petted a bit and be content and lay down to let me work. Now instead he puts his ears back, meows loudly at me in an upset manner, and starts biting or clawing at my hands and face. When I get up to raise my height above his, he will run off to the kitchen where the toy is kept.

In the past I gave in and played with him, but I've come to realize I may be reinforcing the behaviour and would like to try and correct it. At present when he claws or bites I pick him up and put him on the floor. He will however defiantly jump back up and get more hostile. So then I pick him up and put him in the hallway and close the door. He will loudly protest and hit at the door (running his paws over it, but without claws thank goodness). I leave him until he is calm again, then I open the door. Sometimes he will behave then, but other times he will come and start the whole thing up again.

I should note also that since he got the new toy, he no longer wants his other toys sprayed with catnip. He will actively ignore them but indicate he wants to play. I have a laser pointer also but he has also figured that out, and seems frustrated he can't really catch the dot. The only other toy he likes is a ball with a hole that drops treats when knocked about. He only gets that every few days though as I don't want him to gain too much weight. Also, I live in an apartment, so I need to help him be active. His other favourite activities are watching birds or people from his cat trees, he has one at the front that overlooks the street, and one in the back that overlooks the gardens.

My question is what could I do to fix this situation? Should I keep putting him in the hallway if he is mean and only play with him when he is nice? Or would it be better if I pro-actively played with him as soon as he's gotten his breakfast, or even before?

Edit: Forgot to say that I've gotten Feliway about a week and a half ago, but so far I've not seen any behaviour changes. Not sure if it needs more time to work or it simply doesn't affect my cat.

1 Answer 1


Try playing with him before breakfast. Quoting Jackson Galaxy, cat instincts are "hunt-catch-kill-eat", so play with him before breakfast, let him "catch" and "kill" his fave toy, then feed him. Then he'll be satisfied for a while, might go to sleep, and let you work for a couple of hours.

And don't give in when he wants to play but you're busy. If he remembers that he can distract you if he tries hard enough, he'll try even harder next time.

But generally, his obsession with his new toy seems unnatural. Either there's something extra in the toy besides catnip that's making him crazy, or you don't play with him enough and he's bursting from leftover energy.

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