A cat owner’s clever hack for calming down her over-excited cat has captured the internet’s attention this week.
Diana, from Mukilteo in Washington State, shared a picture of her cat, Squeaky Tiki, on Reddit‘s popular r/WhatsWrongWithYourCat forum, along with her unusual hack.
“When she’s being crazy I put an ice cube in a glass bowl and she’ll wait it until it melts,” said the cat owner. The post received 7.2k upvotes and commenters shared their praise of the idea.
“Like the cat version of giving your kids an iPad to watch,” said one commenter. While another Reddit user dubbed it: “CubeTube.”
“Ice watching is a delicate task,” said another reply. “It demands the utmost attention and patience. Your cat’s well suited for that.”
A picture of Tiki during playtime, left, and a shot of Tiki patiently watching the ice cube, right. SeaLass34/Reddit
Cats thrive on mental stimulation and companionship, and particularly for indoor cats it’s incredibly important to ensure they have an interesting environment.
Cat expert Celia Haddon told Newsweek: “[Being indoors] is boring for a healthy cat, so you need to give them stuff to do—games with fishing rod toys, food dispensers so they work for their food, high up places in the house where they can hang out. Cats that have a cat flap will have a more enjoyable but a riskier life.”
Tiki is now about 10 months old and loves to sleep in her owner’s downstairs Tiki bar. Diana rescued her last July.
“I was on a run and thought I heard kids yelling at the beach. I listened closer and realized it was a kitten, so I followed the sound and found this little grey and white kitten in her rough shape, surrounded by blackberry brambles and “screaming” for help,” Diana told Newsweek. “After managing to free her, we had a mile walk to get home, and we bonded very quickly. My husband and I were not planning on a new kitty at the moment, as we had recently lost our two very special cats and the wounds were still raw.”
But Tiki found her way into their hearts very quickly, and soon became part of the family: “She brings immense joy and laughs to us every day, and we are beyond grateful that she found us,” said Diana.
The ice-cube trick was born from an attempt to curb some of Tiki’s excitable kitten behavior and keep her occupied for a little while.
“Being that she is still a kitten—and we have been used to older cats for many years—her boundless energy is entertaining, but when working at home, I’ve tried different ways to calm her down when she is wild but I need to focus,” said Diana. “Her favorite game to play is ‘how many things can I knock off the desk’ when I’m on a zoom call, one of which was a water glass during one call.”
One day while enjoying a cold drink herself, Diana noticed that Tiki was interested in her ice cubes and had an idea.
“I thought I’d try to put a couple in a bowl and see what her response was. Turned out, it was the perfect trick,” she said. “She was fascinated and was in almost a meditative state, and she watched the cubes until they were melted down, looking at me expectantly when they were gone. Now I’ll use this trick when I need to guarantee her quiet, calm behavior.”
“That’s a great idea,” said one commenter, while another wrote: “Note to self try this with our cats.”
The ice cube isn’t the only trick that Diana has come up with to keep active Tiki busy while she works. She has also developed a plan enlisting some local wildlife.
“My newest favorite trick to keep her occupied while I’m working—and is highly entertaining for me, too—is placing a clear plastic bird feeder to the outside of our window. Her favorite thing to do now is sit on the floor below the feeder, chitting at the birds that come by, and often jumping up to the windowsill to ‘guard’ the food,” she explained.
Armed with the new kitty-entertaining ideas, Diana wanted to share them with the internet and was pleased that so many cat owners enjoyed the post: “[I] thought cat people like myself would enjoy the trick – especially if they had a hyper kitty they needed to calm down on demand,” she said.
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