April Fools' Day

Kids with a cat in a list of April Fools' pranks for cats
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14 Hilarious & Harmless April Fools’ Day Pranks To Play On Your Cat

It’s all in good fun.

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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. They’re also pretty vain, so they’re easy to embarrass — or at least it feels that way. So you're kind of obligated to at least look at this list of very good-natured, totally harmless pranks to play on your cat this April Fools’ Day — they just 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, as you may remember. Back in October of 2011, we found out that my cat Molly was scared of gourds before this was a viral trend. Before knowing she was scared, obviously, my husband and I set up some decorative gourds around the apartment and she immediately growled at them, tried to attack them, and then fled away with her haunches up to hide under the couch. So way to be a trendsetter, Moo-Moo. Too bad we didn’t get a video, I guess.

Keep in mind, however, that intentionally frightening your cat is a bad idea because they could accidentally injure you, break household items, and develop anxiety. 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.

It goes without saying that you should never try to hurt or cause stress to your pets for any reason, but there are some harmless tricks you can play on your cat for the sake of April Fools’ Day. Read on for 12 cat pranks, and be sure to give them some extra love after you do.


Laser pointer

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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 so you don’t give them anxiety.


The ol’ 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 OK.


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. 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.


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 vacuum 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 Fools’ Day and catch your kitten's reaction while your carpet gets cleaned. It'll be priceless, not to mention a win-win.


Get a Hexbug mouse cat toy

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HEXBUG's Robotic Mouse Cat Toy is an animatronic cat toy that provides cats 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 fair. Really, it’s never a bad idea to get your cat a fun new toy.


Whip out a cat mask

This trick has gone viral after users posted videos of themselves feeding their cats while wearing a mask that made them look just like their pets. 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.


Wrap their dinner

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

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.


Splash zone

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

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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 Fools’, rearrange the furniture in a room your kitty spends a lot of time in, and they're bound to get suspicious.


Start a singing contest

When your cat meows, try meowing back. In all likelihood, your cat will respond. Keep the back and forth going until your cat is truly confused (or thinks you’re singing a duet).


Face off

Cats don’t generally like the feeling of something on their face. Get a slice of ham, turkey, or some other type of meat, and gently place it on your cat’s face. Your cat will hate it — until they realize it’s food and gobble it all up.

As long as “pranking” your cat really just means giving them a little more play time and attention on April 1, we’re all for it. Have fun with your sweet kitty!

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