As winter tightens its frigid grasp across the country, your pet—and you—may be suffering from serious cabin fever. Unable to get outdoors for your normal exercise routine of dog-park play dates, hiking new trails, or swimming in a pond or lake, your pup may be bouncing off the walls. Cats also can become bored during a long, chilly winter, when fewer birds, squirrels, and other creatures pass by their lounging window. We’ll admit, we’re also not the most active in winter, and that inactivity trickles down to our pets’ playtime. Try playing these three boredom-busting indoor games with your pet to spice up your winter routine.

#1: Enroll in a training class
Although not many training courses are available for your feline friend, you can adapt canine courses to fit your cat, or check out The Cat School Training Kit, which offers a retractable target stick, quiet clicker, printable quick-start guide, and a fun online training course. For dogs, a variety of training classes are available, no matter what strikes her fancy. Search for classes that teach a new activity, such as rally obedience, herding, lure coursing, tracking, or dock jumping.

#2: Create an indoor agility course
You may not believe you can teach your cat to hop over a jump, but it is entirely possible. If a goldfish can be trained to swim through a hoop, you can entice your feline friend to complete an agility course—provided you reward appropriately. Create an indoor agility course using furniture, stacks of books, and other items to build jumps and weave poles. Lure your cat through the course with her favorite treat or toy, and she’ll soon be leaping over jumps with ease.

#3: Design a canine or feline version of Whack-a-Mole
The entertaining people game, Whack-a-Mole, can be configured to a feline or canine version. Simply cut holes in a cardboard box large enough to fit your “mole,” and encourage your pet to snatch up the prize. Use a catnip mouse or feather wand for cats, and entice dogs with a toy, hot dog, or chunk of string cheese.

Interested in trying out a new activity with your pooch? Schedule a routine well-being examination with our veterinary team.