Cats are pretty easy to mess with. They hate water, glass confuses them, and they'll treat a loose string like public enemy number one. So you're kind of obligated to at least look at this list of pranks to play your cat this April Fool's Day — they make it too easy.
Most people who are familiar with cats know they startle easily, jumping unnaturally high when they see anything they aren't prepared for. A viral trend from 2015 featured videos of humans scaring their kittens with cucumbers, and although the videos were funny, some cat owners got carried away, distressing their felines for no reason, according to National Geographic. Cat Health reported that intentionally frightening your cat is a bad idea because they could accidentally injure you, break household items, and develop anxiety. The site reported that anxiety in felines can lead to "unwanted behaviors such as urinating inappropriately, scratching household items, or being aggressive," none of which will make you or your pet happy.
So you should never try to hurt or cause stress to your pets for any reason, but there are some harmless jokes you can play on your furry friend for the sake of April Fool's Day. Read on for 13 pranks you can play on your cat, and be sure to give them some extra love after you do.
The Ole Sneak Attack
Simply jumping out at your cat when they least expect is known to get a dramatic reaction out of them. Don't worry, they'll land on their feet, but be sure to give them extra cuddles later to make sure they're okay.
It's a tale as old as time. Cats will never understand why they can't catch the small glowing dot that magically appears on the wall, and you'll never get bored of watching them try to get it. But toss them a toy they can actually catch after a bit of fun.
Show Your Cat A Video Of Another Cat
This prank's perfection comes from its simplicity. When your kitty curls up on your lap this April 1, play a video of a cat doing cat things. (They're all over the web.) When the screen goes to black, your furball will be all kinds of confused, pawing at the screen. But they'll forget about the practical joke once you give 'em a few good behind the ear scratches.
Get A Hexbug Mouse Cat Toy
This video by YouTube user Bruce Wayne The Bengal demos HEXBUG's Robotic Mouse Cat Toy ($12, Amazon), an animatronic cat toy that provides them with all the fun of chasing an actual mouse without the danger. It can serve as a prank on April Fools Day, but it will turn into a toy once your cat understands the deal with it. Let them catch it eventually to make sure you're playing the fair.
Give Them A Ride On Your Roomba
If you already have a roomba, this prank will probably be hard to pull off, because it's likely your kitten has already taken the robot vaccuum for a spin. As Setting It Smart explained, cats love the warmth and vibrations Roombas offer, so they use them as little ride-ons frequently. But if you're just now buying one, you can whip it out for the first time on April Fool's Day and catch your kitten's reaction while your carpet gets cleaned. It'll be priceless, not to mention a win-win.
Whip Out A Cat Mask
TJandFriends went viral after he posted this video of himself feeding his cats while wearing a mask that made him look just like them. They naturally scattered at the sight of the infiltrator, and it's likely your kitty will have a similar reaction if you mimic the prank. I'd take off the mask before you go to comfort them.
Saran Wrap Their Food
If your kitty loves mealtime more than most things, put their dinner in a bowl and wrap it with cling wrap. Watch them adorably paw at their food for a minute or two before finally giving in, and throw in an extra treat or two for being a good sport.
Draw A Tape Trap
As Twitter user Jenipurr found, cats are frequently bamboozled into thinking they're trapped in squares that are taped to the floor. Buzzfeed has a whole how-to on the prank, but it's really as simple as taping a square into the floor and waiting for your cat to wander in. Make sure to free the fur baby after you snap a pic.
This prank works if you have a glass door somewhere in your house. Set up some catnip on one side of the door, and wait on the other side with a cup of water. Then when your cat settles in for a snack, toss the water onto the door and watch as they scramble. You can have some fun without actually getting your cat wet, which just might be their least favorite thing.
Pick Them Up Every Time They Sit Down
The two things cats love most in the world are doing whatever they want and napping. You can poke fun at your kitty's demeanor by picking them up every time they settle in for a snooze. Be prepared for them to turn into a complete grump (or to fall asleep in your arms) and call it a day after a few interruptions. Your little one needs their rest.
Set Up A Box Maze
Take a page out of YouTube user Cole and Marmalade's book and finally put those cardboard boxes you have sitting in the garage to good use. Transforming the living room into a cat-worthy maze will confuse and delight your furry friend, making for a prank they'll enjoy as much as you will. Fill the path with cat treats so it's more fun for them.
Rearrange The Furniture
Cats are creatures of habit, so any deviation from their norm is bound to confuse them. For April Fool's, rearrange the furniture in a room your kitty spends a lot of time in, and they're bound to get suspicious. But put it back once the prank is over, because your territorial creature thrives on routine, according to The Conscious Cat.