The Best Cat Game Ever - Christine Kane

You will need:

1 – One single wooden bead (not too small)


2 – One Bathtub


3 – One Curious Cat



1 – Take the wooden bead into your bathroom.

2 – Call your cat.

3 – Roll the wooden bead around in the bathtub.

4 – Allow your cat to jump into the tub.

5 – Observe.


– Use a wooden bead! I won’t mention any names, but a certain cat in my life was playing in the tub with a marble. In a moment of unbridled glee, the marble was thrust into the air. It landed on the aforementioned cat’s head with a loud “CLONK!” sound. He paused for a moment looking rather dizzy. Since then, he has requested that only wooden beads be used for this game. Now when they hit him on the head, there’s only a small “plock!” sound – and he doesn’t have to pause very long to recover. (He has asked me to mention that no permanent damage was done in what we both call The Marble Incident.)

– Make sure the bead is big enough so that the cat can’t swallow it. (It should be a little bit bigger than a marble.)

– If you have guests over for dinner, be sure to remove the bead from the tub. Otherwise your dinner will be interrupted by an odd rolling sound coming from the bathroom. You will then have to explain to your guests that yes, you are that mentally ill, and you actually spend valuable time coming up with these kinds of activities for your cat.

  • Fun Educational Games

    Cats are just silly sometimes, when they are playing or practicing hunting skills like these they would often get into trouble. Some cats lean from it and some are just as dumb as a post but I still love him.

  • Anna Barlowe

    Uh oh, my boyfriend is deathly allergic to cats. But we have an evil rabbit. Do you think she’d be interested? She likes to run around rubbing her head on a towel hung from the back of a chair. I’m pretty sure this is the only thing distracting her from plotting world domination. πŸ˜›

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  • AS

    My cats have always loved this!! One prefers rounds objects like foil balls, the other prefers straight objects, like bobby pins (and she will steal them from me if I set one down while pinning up my hair-that darn cat! πŸ™‚ ( I won’t discuss the mice :{ ). We sometimes hear them in the middle of the night having the time of their lives. And one of them Loves to curl up in the sink for her naps!!

  • Hannah

    This is surely one of that hilarious and very interesting game for cats. I would give it a try and see how would our lazy cat perform.. I will ready some treats too just in case..

  • meg

    OMG! That is so funny! My soul-cat, Cricket and I played that same game for YEARS – but we used a crumpled up piece of paper – she loved the sound it made. We called it bathtub hockey! Other than running from window-to-window in the house hunting birds outside, it was her favorite activity!

    It is wonderful to know that there are others out there who find so much joy in these small, funny interactions with their pets!

  • Bonnie Rose

    Very cool… We recently moved into a home with wood floors. Our cat has always loved golf balls, and now she loves them even more. The most annoying part though is when she plays with it at night time πŸ™‚ We tried bringing the ball upstairs during the night, but if she wants to play, she’ll just knock it down the stairs and play with it (the only wood floors are downstairs)

    Gotta love cats!!!

  • MissMe

    Cool post! I’ll try to do this!!! That kitty in the pic looks like mine, is it yours? =D

  • Poetikat

    One of my cats loves the plastic rings that come on the top of large plastic bottles (1.89 Litres) He tosses it in the air, shoots it like a hockey puck or carries it around in his mouth.

    I can’t help but wonder what 4 cats and 4 wooden beads in the bathtub would be like. Some “catter-walling”, I suppose.


  • Deborah

    The favorite toy for my cats has always been the plastic strip that comes off the gallon milk jug- you peel it so you can open the lid. When we move furniture we find about 10 hidden underneath/behind. My daughter has 2 psycho Siamese cats and she has to keep her tampons locked up or else they will hunt them down, unwrap them and then drag them all around her apartment- preferably in front of company (extra points if company is male)!

  • ursulamajor

    My Blackjack has found that when you catch a mouse, MUCH fun can be had if you put ’em in the tub. He’d go for hours with the torture if I didn’t go and rescue the poor rodent. Now I don’t let him in the house without checking if he has anything in his mouth.

  • Margay

    PING PONG BALLS, ping pong balls, ping pong balls. A neighbor’s adolescent cat visits (while my very good-natured gentlemanly shiny lovely cat boyfriend monitors his every move, pupils dilated with slight anxiety), and once he discovered the ping pong ball/bathtub, he comes into the apartment and heads straight for the bathtub. Thus, we call him Ping Pong. Don’t know what anyone else calls him.

    Oh, and also, your site is excellent, substantial and rich, and very attractively designed, and I have referred many to it. Thank you.

  • Carolyn

    My cat Orie loved the bathtub and it saddens me that he is no longer around to play this game. I put a link to this posting on my own blog I think some of my clients’ cats will enjoy this game.

  • Mia

    The best I’ve found is those soft, light weight, spongy type made for my cats, or get them ping pong balls. They bat them around in there and it doesn’t make as much noise and if they get a bit wild at play and hit themselves with it, no ouchies!

  • Alisa

    what a cutie cat.

  • Barbara

    My cat showed me the game when he took a practice golf ball into the tub and I found him playing “hand” ball with it. I have even had three cats in the tub at the same time taking turns with the ball. . . The ball is light weight plastic with holes in it that make it easy tor a cat to pick it up and carry it.

  • Smokey Demon

    We are fortunate enough to have a roman tub in our apartment and my cat loves to play in it with her plush mice. She loves to have them tossed onto the rim so she can stalk them and then slide down the side. However, she firmly believes every mouse should have a mousehole. After she put two of them down the drain we learned to keep it covered at all times.

  • Debra

    OH, my gosh! I can’t BELIEVE you have the spitting image of my cat! Not only does my cat look like this, h acts like that! His favorite activity is to lie in our huge sink to wait for a “ninky from the sinky”. LOL! That’s code for the cat wants a drink. Thanks for posting this! I haven’t been able to capture a good picture of my cat via camera to show to others, so I will just show this link.

  • Dwindle

    I do this with a bouncy ball wrapped in plastic wrap (slows the ball, makes more noise).

    I never do find the ball again.

  • Dave

    Try this…place a mirror on floor against wall..have cat enter room…watch as he goes nuts after his reflection…works best with kitties. ha ha!

  • Jim

    I tried the bead with my can, he had a ball! After that he would lay on his side in the bath tub, he like laying in the bath tub even in the summer, I guess because it was cool.

  • Jim

    I had a game for my kitten as well, when I smoked, I used to take the soft pack leave the cellophane on it make it into a ball and throw it down a long hallway, and ask the kitten to bring it back, it took a while to train him but eventually he would chase after it and bring it back to me, he even did this when he got older.

  • elaine

    Our youngest cat used to carry marbles around to various play locations — the bathtub being one of her favorites. She has since graduated to real mice despite the fact that she is not allowed outside (ah, the “pleasures” of an old stone foundation!) She usually heads straight to the bathtub with her catch. I had to laugh though, the day I saw her catch a fly on the windowsill, jump down, and trot off to the bathtub.

  • Sara

    My cat likes to play with twist ties and bottle caps, he actually seems to like them more than any toy we’ve ever bought him:P I’ll see what he thinks of this tub game…

  • Grace

    Ummm, you might want to tell people –

    Put the PLUG in the tub, so you arent’n trying to fish the bead out of the drain.

    Other good tub toys – ping pong balls, WALNUTS! and the plastic milk bottle caps!

  • rom

    used to do this with a ping pong ball when my cats were little.

  • ceeque

    thats a damn fine and simple idea …. always the best! My cats love the empty tub and always want to play in there and often drink from a bowl placed especially in there for them… got to try this one!

  • Colin

    I tried this with my cat- She just stared at me as if I had forty heads before jumping out of the tub…

  • katzes

    i think that is so great will have to try with my cat. he loves to lay in bathtub already

  • Pam

    Loved the blog and Harley loves this game, too! His fave, though, is dispensing his own icecubes from the frig door (which he can reach from the counter) and playing ‘ice hockey’ until the cube melts. You can imagine how perplexed I was initially,stepping into these little puddles barefooted, not knowing ‘exactly’ what these puddles were!

  • ellen

    Love the game ideas and the weblink to the “flushing cat” from Larry. My cat used to sit on the edge of the tub and stir it up for me while I bathed. What is it with kitties and water? Some like it hot, some like it—not!

  • Lyn

    Albert Schweitzer said, “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

  • Susan

    We use aluminum foil balled up into very tight ball. Hours of fun for our cat, and he carries it around the house in his mouth to whichever location is suitable (usually wherever I am). Every now and then a new one has to be made when the old has been lost…the other day I looked under the couch for something that had fallen, and found the aluminum foil ball graveyard.

    Love the wooden marble cat game – we will try this one very soon!

  • Tashva

    My cats invented this game themselves… But they use bottle caps and the goal is to get he bottle cap into the drain. It requires much patience… First, find the bottle cap. It is usually in the owner’s possession and must be fished out when the owner is not looking. Then it must be carried to the bathroom and dropped in the toy. Then the game can start. The more caps in the tub when the owner showers, the better… especially if she doesn’t catch the one blocking the drain.

  • seb clarke

    I can confirm that a plastic clothes peg makes a reasonable substitute!

  • Alyson B. Stanfield

    Can’t wait to try this! We’re stuck running up and down the stairs throwing and picking up the fluffy ball she likes to chase. But she hasn’t learned to return it. Truly, my other cat actually “fetched” when she was little. I think she got smarter as she grew older and thought “you go get it” after we threw the paper wad.

  • jami

    my cat loves these in the bath tub (and everywhere else):

    too big to eat, too lightweight to konk his little brain.

  • Steve

    I got a better game: use cat biscuits instead. We call it Bikkies in the Bath and our cats have been playing it for several years now. You can do all kinds of throws and placements for pounces. It’s sad tho when one goes down the plughole.

  • kat

    Ping pong ball. Very light weight, marvelous fun for everyone.

  • Larry

    LMAO…. what a dangerous game!
    Some cats like to play water, ‘eh. Just like this cat :

  • Annie

    What fun! I will have to try it out with my darlings!

  • Sunset Sister

    It’s wonderful to see your beautiful kitty in the tub…..she’s much like our Cat Mandu that lived to the ripe old age of 22. We missed her dreadfully but decided that our run with kitty cats was probably over. We do continue our love affair with dogs though – just can never pass up a dog without a pat and a touch of their ears!

    If you’d like to see our Westie Riley in person come over to his site – and if your pet would like to appear on Riley’s site, just send his person a jpeg photo with some facts about your pet and Riley will spin a little fact or fiction for you:)

  • sherrie

    Depending on your tub,(or your tub drain to be more precise), you may need to add one more step prior to step 3; Place drain stopper over tub drain :-> Our cats love this came too, but we (oops, I mean They) play it with a ping pong type ball. Talk about wild and noisy. What a hoot. Game doesn’t last long though if ball settles into the drain hole. Oh and by the way, this type of ball really can go sailing, so might want to double check that toilet seat is down if toilet within 1000 feet of tub. Some cats, I won’t mention any names here, take great delight in conducting float tests in any and all accessible containers of water. And some just have uncanny aim.

    Thanks Christine. Your blog is just the BEST!

  • m in athens

    This is kind of like cat pinball. Witness:

    Emma also loves to play in the bathtub after somebody finishes taking a shower, so I’ll have to throw in a ping pong ball next time.

  • Caryn

    Ooh, must try this! Am always looking for new games for my cats, especially when I’m procrastinating (as I am now).

    By the way, I don’t know if you’re interested or not, but I’m back to blogging. I used to have Novelist in Training, but my blog was hijacked. After a year, I’m back to it. If you’re curious, I explain it all here:

    It’s really good to be back to blogging–and back to reading all those blogs that I missed while gone!

  • zach

    Ah, there are times when I wish that I wasn’t terribly, terribly allergic to cats. That sounds like fun. Slightly crazy fun, but fun nonetheless.

    Also, The Marble Incident sounds like it should be a talky, black and white spy movie. Hey, I’d watch it.

  • fivecats

    The best online cat game is: πŸ™‚

  • romanlily

    I would like to offer my appreciation for the way that this blog can move comfortably between stories of painful personal upheaval to stories of driving your cat bonkers. That rules.

    Here’s playing instructions for my favorite cat’s favorite game:
    1. Obtain 2′-3′ of fabric ribbon, about 1″ wide.
    2. Invite your cat to join you on the couch.
    3. Drag the ribbon slowly or quickly past the cat.
    4. Consult your watch and notice that an hour has flown by.

  • Joy Gardner

    Okay, I am laughing my FOOL HEAD OFF! This is just too perfect. I really needed this! Thanks Christine! As a “certifiable” cat owner, I can attest that their neurotic ways DO become yours…it’s useless to fight it…resistance is futile…

  • Christine Kane

    joy – sri patticus would say that enlightenment is much deeper than just getting knocked in the head with a marble. (the rest of us are not so sure. sri patticus has had many a moment that contained the possibility of enlightenment!)

    all these comments are fun! great cat stories and images!

    sarah – not all cat games are the same for every kitty. my other two cats never go into the bath tub. (of course — billie has horrible memories of falling IN to the tub when it was full with me in it. come to think of it – I have horrible memories of that as well!)

  • m

    empty pistachio shells chased around the kitchen do something similar to my Frida

  • Christine Kane

    colin – it means that you will someday find yourself in a VERY large bath tub with no way to get out! πŸ™‚

  • Colin

    Barb, does that mean I am going to be a Toy poodle named Monty in my next life?

  • Joy

    perhaps the marble incident is when atticus became enlightened and changed his name to sri patticus?

    if this is the case, i will head for our bottomless pit of a bathtub and use one of bob’s “life is good” golf balls.

  • sarah

    Okay, we tried this with our cats, and one of them just sat in the tub, looking around blankly (her usual way), and the other one was afraid! He hunkered down until the bead stopped rolling and then he jumped out of the tub and ran!

    I was so hoping they’d like it, but apparently our cats are…….freaks.

  • barb

    colin, what goes around comes around but perhaps you were young.
    great post, needed a laugh. Bull’s favorite toy is a cereal box to tear up and carry all the peices around the house for me to collect. sometime we play tug-of-war. (bull is a dog) barb

  • Eliza

    In our house it would be a bottle cap rather then a bead! Our tortie, Snickers plays this game with and without us. If she has a bottle cap then it is guaranteed that she will put it in the bathtub at least once to play with during the week.

  • connie

    We have recently adopted “Moe” who is about 4 months old and looks so much like this cat they could be siblings! Loved the post.

  • Caren

    Yes – she has her servants fill it for her, too. With Evian, warmed only by the sun and warm breath of a virgin.

  • Colin

    We used to have a Toy poodle named Monty (my God) when I was litte and I hated the little *%$#&, so I’d put him in the bathtub and watch him try to get out. Same principle, more fun. Am I going to rot in hell?

  • Anna Garrett

    Wow, your house must be huge! That tub looks like it’s in the middle of a basketball court! πŸ™‚ Your kitty’s adorable!

  • Caren

    For the cat, I mean. I won’t give it a go.

  • Caren

    We used to live in an apartment where the door was at the end of a very short hallway. It was quite narrow. After Easter one year, my kitty took a half of one of those plastic Easter eggs and batted it around in that area. It was great! The egg would spin and hit the wall, then bounce away, or it would go up in the air and hit the wall if he hit it hard. We always had to make sure we had one of those halves around all the time after that. He’d carry around with him. Many, many hours of “pocka-pocka-pockapockapocka-POCK!-pocka”. We don’t have a similar hallway here – I never thought about the tub! Need to find a plastic egg and give it a go.

  • Nic Wise

    Oh, that sounds like fun. I miss not having a cat – not really fair where we are tho (appartment, now way to get outside, and we’ll be moving back to NZ later in the year)

    Another good one is wrapping paper. It’s great for shreading if you happen to be lucky enough to have claws.

    Here’s a pic of our (previous) cat, called either Scooter, or just Cat. We still miss the big guy πŸ™

  • Elaine

    P.s. Glad the marble incident didn’t cause any permanent damage! πŸ™‚

    P.P.s My kitten also likes getting in the bathtub and chasing her tail!! This is okay as long as there is no water in there. She sneaked in the bathroom one day jumped and became a very wet kitty! (She wanted to say that she’s fine and didn’t require any counselling afterwards – just a big hug from her mom!)

  • Elaine

    Love the game… looking for a wooden bead right now!! P.s. should the bathtub be empty?! (just kidding!! :-))

    Jessica (Kitten) had 2 favourite games currently:

    1. She loves Post-it notes:

    1. scrunch up a few (ideally used that you don’t want anymore – re-cycling!)
    2. place a shoe or slipper in the middle of the room
    3. flick the Post-it note towards the cat (preferably with some height so they jump!)
    4. Kitten will catch the ball of paper and carry it in her mouth to the shoe and put it in (most times)!!

    This is just a kitten game as my older cats just watch with mild annoyance because it’s keeping them awake!

    2. Toy Space gun that fires flat round foam discs across the room:

    We’ve just bought this from Amazon and it’s great! – Fire the discs and she chases them and catches them. This usually involves her doing the ‘wall of death’ around the sofas but it’s great to watch! She sits and meeows at us to play with her!

    …Again the older cats just look on in frustration as the noise of the gun whizzing breaks up their cat napping time!!

    Hmm…now where did I have some wooden beads…

  • Mags

    Cool game – will definitely have to try this!

  • leah

    ha!! best post ever! πŸ™‚ loved it. and such a cute kitty!