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Top Reasons Why You Should Play With Your Cat

February 15, 2024

Did you know that playing with your cat every day is the best thing you can do for her? Kitties are very cute and entertaining little pets. Although cats are quite small, they have loads of purrsonality, and have a special way of making us laugh with their cute quirks, charming facial expressions, and playful antics. A local Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian lists some of the top reasons to play with your cat regularly in this article.

Should You Play With Your Cat?

Absolutely! In fact, this is great for her. We all know cats enjoy batting little balls around, or pouncing on catnip mice.

Despite their cuteness, small size, and clear preference for being pampered, our feline friends are highly proficient hunters. Cats rely on their hunting skills for survival in the wild. Mastering those sharp claws and teeth may be fun for her, but it’s also serious business. Playing allows your furry friend to let out her inner lioness.

Here are a few reasons that playing is good for kitties:

It Provides Mental Stimulation

As you may have noticed, cats often enjoy just lounging around most of the day. They can sleep up to 20 hours a day! However, when your feline friend is awake, she needs activities and enrichment to keep her mind occupied. Just staring at walls is no fun! Playing provides mental stimulation, which is beneficial for her cognitive health, and may even contribute to maintaining a healthy brain as she ages. Ask your Pipe Creek, TX vet for more information.

It’s Great Exercise

When our feline pals are young, they are very active and frisky. As they age, they lose their energy, just as we do. Keeping your feline companion fit is very important for her health and well-being! Running, jumping, and pouncing are all great kitty workouts.

It Helps With Bonding

Bonding is another big one. Playing with your kitty can go a long way towards making her feel safe and loved. That’s very important!

Playing can also help kitties bond with each other. Dual play sessions can help cats form positive associations about being together, and can be very helpful for breaking the ice if you’ve just adopted a new cat. Just be careful not to play favorites.

It Can Reduce Tension

A good play session gives your feline buddy a chance to blow off some steam. Think of it as your pet’s version of hitting the gym or going for a run to sweat off a bad day.

It Helps Cats Build Confidence

Some cats are brave and fearless, while others are, well, scaredy cats. If your kitty falls into the latter category, playing could help her feel more confident. A shy cat may very well feel more confident after she nails that tricky pounce!

It’s Super Cute!

We don’t need to explain this one. Watching a frisky kitty hard at play makes for an adorable and amusing form of entertainment.

How Often Should You Play With Your Cat?

Ideally, you should play with your feline buddy every day, at least for a few minutes. That said, this depends on your pet’s age and activity level. A kitten or a super frisky young adult will want to play much more than an older cat. However, you don’t have to worry about overdoing it. where cats and dogs are quite different about this. Dogs want to please their owners. Cats don’t care what we want. When a kitty loses interest or becomes tired, she simply walks away and turns her attention to her next nap. Fido, on the other hand, will push himself to the point of exhaustion to please his humans.

Do Cats Enjoy Being Played With?

Our feline pals are all unique. There are a few furballs out there who are just not very interested in playing. A senior, for instance, may prefer to take a nap. That said, most cats do enjoy playing.

How Should I Play With My Cat?

Utilizing something you can control remotely, like a wand toy, laser pointer, or remote-controlled toy, is your best bet. your cat won’t be able to predict the movements of her “prey.” This can make things much more interesting for her.

Additionally, it sets a good example of petiquette and can help reinforce positive behaviors. You’ll be teaching your pet to unleash her inner kitten in a healthy way, by attacking a toy, rather than you. Ask your Pipe Creek, TX veterinarian for specific advice on this. 

What Mistakes Should I Avoid When Playing With My Cat?

Tossing a catnip mouse or holding a laser pointer for your cat isn’t particularly difficult. However, there are a few things you should avoid.

  1. One of the biggest don’ts? Playing rough. Kitties are quite fragile, so you could run the risk of scaring or even injuring your cat. You could also unintentionally encourage bad behavior if you do that.
  2. We would also caution against using your fingers or toes: this may just be teaching your feisty furball that it’s perfectly fine to treat you as a giant cat toy.
  3. Next, use safe toys. Cats don’t know what is and isn’t dangerous. Anything small or sharp is a potential hazard. Secondly, stringy objects, like ropes and cords, are entanglement risks and can cause serious internal injuries if ingested.
  4. Don’t leave wand toys out after use. You don’t want your cat getting tangled up!
  5. Avoid playing with your pet near potential hazards, such as stairs, pools, and fireplaces. If possible, move to a soft surface, such as a carpet.
  6. If you’re using a laser pointer, don’t shine it directly into your cat’s eyes.
  7. Lastly, if you have multiple kitties, don’t play favorites! show them both equal attention during playtime.

This one may be optional, but don’t forget to take pictures and videos regularly! Living with a cat is basically like having a furry, meowing comedian on hand at all times. It’s important to capture some of those adorable moments.

How Do I Tell If My Cat Is Playing Or Attacking Me?

Understanding cats can be tricky at times. Man’s Second Best Friend certainly has a mind of her own, and it can be difficult to differentiate between playful behavior and agitation. Keep a close eye on your pet’s body language and actions. When feeling playful, kitties may become more active and energetic. Some cats also enjoy “ambushing” their owners by hiding and then pouncing on them unexpectedly. Well-mannered cats will play gently without biting or scratching too hard, and may even switch to grooming instead of rough play. If your pet is angry, she may hiss or growl, and she’ll use a lot more force on you.

It’s probably worth noting that kitties can morph between feeling angry and feeling playful very quickly, and often without notice. That’s just purr for the course! Kitties’ unpredictable nature is part of the charm and fascination of these lovable furry creatures.

Conclusion: Playing can be both fun and beneficial for cats. It keeps them active, provides mental stimulation, and helps with bonding. Just use safe toys and be aware of basic precautions and pitfalls. 

Contact us anytime if you have questions about caring for your cat! As your local Pipe Creek, TX animal clinic, we are dedicated to providing top notch veterinary care.

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