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As Siamese cats are particularly intelligent - and always incredibly inquisitive - you will need to find ways to keep them busy, stimulated and challenged. This will help to reinforce the bond between you. The more activities you enjoy together, the deeper the bond will be.
This article is designed to help you think of activities and play ideas that will keep your Siamese occupied and challenged - and provide them with plenty of scope for thinking.
Siamese cats who are not stimulated and challenged will quickly come up with their own ideas on how to entertain themselves – which are usually quite destructive and negative.
Playing and interacting with your Siamese is crucially important to their happiness, health and wellbeing. Unlike some other breeds of cats, Siamese cats tend to want to spend as much time as possible with their human owners. Whilst they love cuddles and will be content following you around the house (while providing a continuous commentary on what you are doing!), they also crave entertainment – and attention in the form of play.
Indoor cats in particular are in need of games and toys that use up a of energy through exercise.
You will find that your Siamese will play with you for as long as possible. Try to provide at least half an hour every day – get the whole family involved and hopefully your cat will have even more playing time! After all, the more play the better.
Favorite Toys and Games
An excellent idea is to rotate your cat toys. This keeps them fresh and exciting. Just bring the favorite toys out for a short time each day. This way, favorite toys remain stimulating – and stay as a favorite. Toys that are left out all the time begin to lose their appeal and you will find that your Siamese quickly loses interest.
There are a whole variety of amazing toys on offer in stores and online. Have a look and try and select a variety of different toys.
- Playing Fetch. Many Siamese cats will love to play fetch – and teaching them how is quite straightforward. Simply throw your cats toy to the other side of the room. Suitable things to throw include catnip mice, soft ball, scrunched up balls of newspaper. Try out different things but remember it needs to be something your cat can carry in their mouth.
Your Siamese will feel stimulated by the fast movement and will chase after it. As soon as he / she picks it up, encourage them to bring it back.
When they bring it back offer lots of praise and maybe even a treat. Throw it again.
Most Siamese cats pick this game up relatively quickly and will seldom tire of it – this is a fantastic way to burn off steam and encourage exercise.
- Ping Pong Entertainment. Try tossing a ping pong ball up the staircases for your Siamese cat to chase up and down. This will be a source of never-ending entertainment.
Just remember to find the ping pong ball at the end of the game – don’t leave it on the stairs ready to trip over later – never a good idea!
- The Appeal of String. Cats also love to chase string – especially if moved about and wiggled by a willing household member!
Just remember to avoid leaving the string lying around after supervised play– if your Siamese decides to try and eat it, string can be seriously damaging to their digestive systems.
- Scrunched up Paper Ball. Cats tend to love the sound of crumpled / scrunched up paper. Throw and roll crumpled paper around the floor for your cat to chase, wrestle and catch. Just be careful that your Siamese doesn’t chew or swallow any paper.
- Fabulous Wand Toys. Wand toys are universally popular. They really imitate pouncing on and catching prey.
Wand toys are basically a stick with a feather, string or bell at the end. You can either purchase these at the store or easily make your own.
Simply pull the toy at the end of the wand slowly away from your cat’s view – and watch as your cat pounces after it.
Try and be imaginative to make the game even more challenging for your Siamese. For example, make the most of corners and pieces of furniture so you can hide the wand. Watch as your Siamese enthusiastically and tirelessly leaps about in the air to catch the feather!
- Catnip Scented Bubble mix! – Oh yes, this really is available – and you’ll find your Siamese cat loves it! Simply use a bubble blower to send bubbles floating through your home. Your cat will be fascinated and mesmerized – if they can pop the bubble they will be rewarded with the appealing scent and taste of catnip – making this a hugely popular activity.
Creating Toys on a Budget
No matter how many toys you purchase from the store, your Siamese will be eager for more.
Financial savings are an obvious advantage of making toys yourself – indeed toys for your Siamese really do not need to be expensive.
Another huge and ultimately more important benefit is that the toys you design and make at home will have a very different play element to those that you can purchase from the store.
Indeed, you can provide something that is challenging for your cat – something that will keep them busy and occupied for a while. You can also incorporate food into your games – which is always guaranteed to be a roaring success!
And the brilliant thing is you don’t need to be good at Art and Crafts – or Design and Technology – to be able to give something to your cat that they will truly love and will keep them absorbed and stimulated.
- Paper Bags – Cut off the handles (to prevent your cat getting their head trapped in the loop) and leave it sideways for your Siamese to explore. Rustle the bag about and gently touch the sides. Your beloved companion will be eager to pounce on it and dive right inside. Sometimes put toys or treats inside the bag for extra interest and stimulation.
- Egg Cartons – These are such a great treat for your Siamese! Simply pop a treat into each of the compartments. It will be a challenge for your Siamese to dig them out, providing them with something to think about. Some cats will simply tip the carton over – try and wedge it so that your cat can’t spoil the game!
- Scavenging for food – Give your cat their meal by hiding their food all over the house (this only works with dried food of course). Your Siamese will have a great time looking everywhere – be creative and try and hide some food in some high up spaces.
- Paper Ball Surprise – Scrunch up a piece of paper and hide a treat in the center. He / she will soon rip it apart – and find what you have hidden inside.
- Cardboard Boxes – Always an endless source of amusement – never throw away a cardboard box until your Siamese has had a few games with it!
- Playing with Light – Cats will enjoy chasing light reflections – especially if you can move it so that you can make the light reflections bounce around. However, be careful when using a laser as they can be damaging to cat’s eyes. Also, cats will become frustrated after a short while – switch to a ‘real’ toy after a while so that they have something they can really catch and have a wrestle with.
Scratch Posts – a Necessity
Arguably one of the most frustrating behaviors of all cats (Siamese being no exception), is their insatiable desire to scratch everything available. This is completely natural behavior that you cannot, with the best will in the world, stop. Scratching comes from the cat’s instinctive need to sharpen and clean their claws. The purpose is to remove the unnecessary layers which shed when scratching.
Whilst you cannot prevent your Siamese from scratching, you can certainly encourage them to scratch other things – and leave your furniture alone.
There are a huge variety of cat scratchers and cat scratching posts available in stores and online. These can be basic or elaborate depending on what you prefer and what suits your budget.
Another option is to make your own scratching post. You will need a piece of wood and some rope – although any rope will be fine, cats do especially love sisal rope. Wrap the rope very tightly around your piece of wood. The wood alone is not sufficient as a cat scratching post because there is a risk that your cat will damage their paws or claws while scratching the wood.
Be aware that you will need to position the cat scratcher so that it is high up. This is because cats stretch their muscles while scratching – so they will not benefit (or be inclined to use) a cat scratcher that is at floor level.
Once you have your cat scratchers in place, you will need a patient approach to encourage your Siamese to use the scratcher as opposed to the furniture. Punishing is not appropriate – this is very natural behavior and any form of punishment will simply be confusing.
This will be a learning process for your Siamese. When you see that they are scratching the furniture (or about to start), simply lift them and place next to the cat scratcher.
Additionally, offer a clear and positive response when you see that your Siamese is using the cat scratcher. This demonstrates that this behavior is welcomed.
Using a cat spray is also extremely effective in tempting your beloved Siamese to the cat scratching post instead of the furniture.
These three approaches combined make an effective strategy and most owners find success. This is a learning process however and you will need to be patient. No cat will immediately stop scratching the furniture. If you feel frustrated with how slow the process is, make sure that you are offering plenty of treats to reward positive behavior – scratching on the scratch post.
However, if you find that your Siamese is still determined to use your furniture – or drapes, try using a keep off spray. Simply spray the furniture – or areas where your cat is inclined to scratch.
Taking Indoor Cats Outside
Many owners choose to keep their Siamese cats indoors. In addition to providing lots of play opportunities, try and find a way of taking your indoor cat outside to play on occasion.
When your Siamese is a kitten, teach them how to walk on a lead. This way, you will be able to take your cat for a walk – either around your backyard or further afield.
Another option is to provide an outdoor space that is completely cat proof – or consider building a cat run; somewhere they can explore outside in safety. If you feel that you lack the time or skills to cat proof the garden or build a cat run, there are companies that will be able to do it for you.
By giving your indoor Siamese some access to the outside environment, you will be hugely enriching their lives. And, by making access restricted in this way, you will still be avoiding many of the disadvantages that may have made you decide to keep your Siamese as an indoor cat.
Training your Siamese
Due to their high level of intelligence, you will be able to train your Siamese to perform some basic tricks.
Training will be enjoyable and rewarding for you as the owner – plus stimulating and challenging for your Siamese. Your Siamese will like nothing better than spending time with you – consequently training will be viewed as a very positive experience for your Siamese.
You will need some degree of patience, but it is so worth the effort. Most people find they have loads of fun in the training process, and it is another way to further bond with your cat.
Clicker training is highly effective. It works with many animals, including cats. Clicker training basically works by marking good behaviors with the sound of the clicker and a treat. Your Siamese will come to associate the clicking sound with a treat. The clicker is much more effective than verbal praise as the clicking sound is fast and unique – it is a completely different sound to what they are used to hearing.
The following are some examples of tricks to get you started. Once you have accomplished these, I am sure you will enjoy thinking up your own tricks to teach your furry friend!
- Touching a Target – The target may be your hand or the end of a stick. This is a great trick to start with as it is simple and easy for your Siamese to do.
When your Siamese touches your hand or a stick with their nose, make a clicking sound and give a treat.
Once your Siamese is accustomed to this, move your hand or the stick further away so that she must get up and come to you. Keep offering rewards and try again and again.
Eventually, your Siamese will perform this trick without the lure of the clicker – and you will not always have to provide a treat.
Use the same commands during training – be consistent, either call their name or simply say ‘come’ every time. When they are very familiar with this, they will respond to your verbal command alone.
- Teaching your Siamese to Sit – Using the same techniques, you will be able to train your Siamese to sit.
Simply hold the treat over your cat’s head and move the treat backwards towards their tail. This will cause him / her to go into a sitting position.
As soon as your Siamese is sitting, use the clicker and offer a treat.
Throughout training, use the command ‘sit’. This will encourage her to ‘sit’ without using the clicker or the lure of the treat.
- Instructing your Siamese to High Five – This trick is an extension of the ‘touching a target’ trick.
Hold a treat above your cat’s head – but higher than he / she can reach with their nose. Your enthusiastic learner will soon realize that they need to lift a paw to touch your hand.
As soon as they do this, use the clicker and reward with a treat.
Throughout training, use the command ‘high five’. Over time, they will know what ‘high five’ means.
- Jump on Demand - This trick is going to be more challenging and will take longer to teach. However, eventually, you can train your Siamese to jump onto a chair when you give the command to ‘jump’.
In the beginning, click and treat when your Siamese moves towards the chair or simply touches it with their paw. Once this behavior has become established, hold the treat over the chair and say ‘jump’.
Click and offer the reward as soon as they have jumped onto the chair.
- Jump through a Hoop – With daily training, it is possible to teach your Siamese to jump through a hoop! Impressive huh! Make use of the same target that you used for ‘touching a target’ – either your hand or a stick.
First, lead your cat to the hoop that you are holding. As he / she walks through the hoop, use your clicker and offer a treat. While training for this trick, say the word ‘hoop’ so that you develop association between the word hoop and going through it to get a reward.
Initially, keep the hoop low to the ground and lead your Siamese through the hoop with the target (your hand or stick).
Once he / she starts going through the hoop quickly and with no hesitation, hold the hoop up higher so that he / she needs to jump to get through it.
This trick is very satisfying for both you and your cat. It encourages your Siamese to think, to be active and to exercise.
Although these tricks seem like fun, they are important in securing the bond between you and your Siamese. They provide an opportunity to do something together – your cat will be stimulated, challenged and encouraged to think. By providing treats, you are ensuring that all training is completely positive.
Always bear in mind that patience will be required. It will take lots of practice – but the process of learning is so positive that it is well worth it.
Very importantly, always keep lessons relatively short. Just make sure you do them daily so that you are reinforcing what you are teaching.
Whether or not you are planning to keep your Siamese as an indoor or outdoor cat, the first few weeks will be confined to indoors. This means that litter training is crucial.
It is most likely that the Breeder or Animal Shelter has already litter trained your kitten. However, the trauma of moving can sometimes cause a backward step in terms of litter training.
Be sure that you use the same cat litter and lining for the litter tray. By keeping everything the same, your kitten should get the same message that this is where they need to ‘do their business’.
When your kitten is first settling in, it is more reassuring if they can be kept in one quiet room where they have access to everything they need. When your kitten begins to explore the rest of your home, provide a few more litter trays so that your kitten always has easy access to them.
Be sure that your kitten has a litter tray that has lower sides for easy access. Older cats will also need lower sides if and when mobility is restricted.
If your Siamese is still reluctant to use their litter tray, try offering a variety of substrates – grit, wood, sandy litter. This way you can see what they prefer.
Ensure that the litter tray is situated somewhere private and quiet – and well away from water and food.
You can provide the option of open and covered litter trays. If you don’t wish to purchase a covered litter tray, consider making a cover with an upside-down cardboard box – simply make an appropriately sized opening.
Hygiene and cleanliness will be important to your Siamese – remember their incredible sense of smell. Many cats are so fastidious that they not use a litter tray if they have already dirtied it. In this case, try and provide an extra litter tray. Some cats prefer one litter tray for urinating and another one for pooing.
Scoop the soiled litter out as soon as it has been used. Replace the whole litter tray completely once a week at least. Cats will be put off by a strong scent of disinfectant, so this is important to avoid. Wash the litter tray with a ten per cent solution of biological detergent – rinse well with near boiling water and dry thoroughly before refilling.
Also make sure that you are providing a sufficient layer of litter. Cats tend to use the litter tray and then like to cover and bury it with the cat litter.
If your kitten has an ‘accident’, mop it up with a piece of tissue. Then leave this in the litter tray. This will help signal to your kitten that the litter tray is the place to go.
Clean any ‘accidents’ thoroughly. Otherwise, these areas will be the ‘place to go’. Simply wash thoroughly with the ten per cent biological solution. Make sure that you use a disposable cloth, so you don’t mistakenly spread the scent around. Wash thoroughly and rinse with clean water and then dry.
If you notice your kitten sniffing at the floor, this is a sign that they need to use the toilet. Simply lift your kitten into the litter tray. Additionally, you can place your kitten in the litter tray after they have eaten – or when they have woken up as this is when it is likely that they need to ‘go’.
Training Your Siamese to Walk with a Leash
Many owners who decide to keep their Siamese as an indoor cat will want to try and take their beloved companion for a walk around the backyard or around the neighborhood. If you have not cat proofed your backyard, then using a leash is a suitable option. This way your Siamese can enjoy the scents and movements of the outdoor worlds but will be kept safe by the restrictions imposed by using a leash.
Cat harnesses are available in stores and online. You can attach a lightweight cat leash to these harnesses with a secure clip. A collar is not sufficient as your cat could slip out of it. Ensure that the leash pulls on your cat’s chest – and not their throat or neck.
An alternative to a harness is a walking jacket. Your Siamese will not be able to escape from a walking jacket. The leash is attached to the middle of the back. This prevents tugging anywhere near your cat’s throat.
Preparing for Leash Training
- Leave the harness and leash near to your cat’s usual sleeping area. Over several days, the scent of the harness and leash will have become familiar to your Siamese.
- Put the harness on your Siamese. Make sure that there is enough room to slip two fingers between the harness and your cat’s skin.
- Once the harness is on, give your cat a treat so that they feel reassured – plus plenty of praise.
- Try and leave the harness on while your Siamese is in the house. If they appear troubled by the harness, distract them with a favorite game or activity.
- When your Siamese appears to be accustomed to wearing the harness, take it off.
- Over the next few days, keep putting the harness on for short periods. Leave the harness on for longer periods each time.
- After a few tries at wearing the harness, attach the leash to the harness. Let your Siamese explore the house and follow her daily routine with the leash dragging along behind him / her. Don’t leave your cat on their own with the leash attached – you need to watch out for any entanglement or getting caught up!
- Provide plenty of praise with the leash on – and offer some treats to eat.
Ready for Leash Training –
- After making the preparations for leash training, you are now ready to try the real thing!
- Start out inside; with your cat wearing the harness and the leash attached. This time, take hold of the end of the leash. Follow your Siamese around – let them choose where to go. Simply hold the leash very lightly – do not restrict any movements.
- Practice this for several days and gradually begin to guide your Siamese, pulling very lightly on the lead. However, make sure this remains a positive experience, if your Siamese seems unhappy in any way, let them guide you. If he / she tugs at the leash, stop straight away – try again when they are feeling relaxed.
- Once your Siamese is happy for you to use the leash and harness – and have you guide them around the home, you are ready to show the big wide world to your Siamese.
- Until your Siamese is accustomed to walking on a leash, stay within your own yard. Spend increasingly longer periods over time outside.
- Once your Siamese is very familiar with walking around your backyard, you could try venturing out to more public locations. However, your Siamese will be content to stay within your backyard – an exploration of the backyard will provide your Siamese with all the benefits of walking outside on a leash. It is entirely dependent on where you would like to go with your Siamese!