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Top Reasons To Play With Your Cat Regularly
February 15, 2024

Our feline pals are very entertaining little pets. Fluffy always amuses her humans with her cute quirks, charming facial expressions and, of course, her playful antics. As it turns out, taking time to play with your furry pal regularly is one of the best things you can do for her health and well-being. A local Las Vegas, NV veterinarian discusses playing with your cat in this article.

What Should I Consider When Playing With My Cat?

Safety first! Be sure to use safe toys. Kitties are curious and playful, but don’t know what is and isn’t dangerous for them. Anything small or sharp is a hazard, as are stringed objects. Wand toys are fine, but pick them up once playtime has ended. You don’t want your kitty getting tangled up!

Choose a spot with a soft surface, such as a carpet. Don’t play with your pet around potential hazards, like stairs, pools, and fireplaces. 

Last but not least, if you have more than one feline pal, you’ll have to be careful not to play favorites. Show them both equal attention during playtime. Cats can get very jealous of each other! 

Is My Cat Playing Or Trying To Kill Me?

Our feline pals are a bit confusing here: they’re probably the only one of our animal friends that like to bite and scratch for fun. It can sometimes be hard to tell if a kitty is being playful or if she’s actually angry. 

Your pet’s body language and behavior will clue you in. If Fluffy is feeling frisky, she may lose interest in her ‘attack’ and start licking you instead. She probably will run out of steam quickly. Or she may quickly move from attacking you to pouncing on her catnip mouse. Angry cats are more likely to growl, hiss, or lash their tails, and they’ll definitely bite harder. 

Our feline pals can also change gears quickly, but that’s just purr for the course with these charming furballs.

Do Kitties Like To Play?

Kitties are all very unique. (Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.) To be fair, there likely are some furballs out there who just aren’t very playful. However, that would be the exception, rather than the rule. Most of our feline buddies are quite frisky, and really enjoy those play sessions. 

Is It Good To Play With A Cat?

Playing with your cat is actually very good for her! Play sessions serve various purrposes, from physical exercise to mental stimulation.

Here are a few of the reasons that playing is ‘pawesome’ for your cat: 

  • Letting Their Inner Lion Out Our adorable feline friends are actually extremely efficient hunters. Fluffy relies on her hunting skills to survive in the wild. While mastering the use of those sharp claws and teeth is fun for her, it’s also just very instinctive. In other words, playing gives your furry friend a chance to unleash her inner lioness.
  • Bonding: When you pick up that laser pointer or wand toy, your feline friend will know that you’re doing something for her amusement. interactive play fosters a sense of trust and companionship. That will help her feel loved and safe, which is very important. 
  • Making Friends: playing can also help kitties bond with each other. If you’ve recently adopted a new cat, dual play sessions can help break the ice between your kitties.
  • Ease Stress: A good play session gives your cat a chance to blow off some steam. Think of it as Fluffy’s version of sweating off a bad day by hitting the gym or going for a run. 
  • Exercise: It’s just as important for Fluffy to keep fit as it is for us. Running, jumping, and pouncing all make great kitty workouts. This can keep your furball strong and healthy as she ages. 
  • Stimulation: You might have noticed that our feline buddies enjoy doing as little as possible. Fluffy can sleep a whopping 20 hours a day. (That seems   excessive, but we’ll talk about that another time.) When your kitty is actually awake, she needs something to do, other than stare at the walls. That mental stimulation your cute pet gets from pouncing and playing is great for her mind. Your furball has to really think to time those pounces and jumps. That mental stimulation and enrichment will not only help keep her happy and entertained, it can also help keep her brain healthy as she grows older.
  • Build Confidence: Do you have a scaredy cat? playing may help her feel more confident. Nailing that tricky pounce can be a big deal for Fluffy!
  • It’s Cute: watching a frisky kitty hard at play can make for an adorable and amusing form of entertainment. This may be just as fun for you as it is for Fluffy. 

How Much Should You Play With Your Cat?

Try to play with Fluffy daily, for at least a few minutes. you don’t have to worry about overdoing it. The moment your furball loses interest or gets tired, she’ll just walk away, and turn her attention to choosing her next napping spot. 

Of course, this also depends on how young and active your pet is. A kitten or a super frisky young adult will want to play much more than a senior. However, playing does benefit older Kitties as well. Ask your Las Vegas, NV veterinarian for more information.

Are There Any Wrong Ways To Play With A Cat?

Playing with Fluffy isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things you should know. The biggest ‘don’t’ is playing rough. Your cat may have fun ‘kick-scratching’ your arm, but anything beyond that could scare or even injure your kitty. 

We also caution against using your fingers or toes. You could also inadvertently encourage bad behavior.

What Kind Of Toys Do Cats Like?

Kitties all have their own tastes. You may want to try a few things, and see what your pet likes. not all play has to involve store-bought toys. Simple household items like crumpled paper or cardboard boxes can be just as entertaining. Cats often enjoy batting at crinkly paper or hiding in boxes. These things help Fluffy tap into her inner lion, and also satisfy her natural curiosity and desire for exploration.

How Do You Play With A Cat?

We would recommend that you use something you can control from a distance, such as a wand toy, laser pointer, or a remote-controlled toy. playing will be more fun and more challenging for your cat if she can’t anticipate what her ‘prey’ will do next!

Plus, this can help instill good petiquette. It may be cute to let Fluffy pounce on your toes or fingers, but that can send mixed signals. You don’t want your cat thinking that it’s okay for her to attack you or treat you like a cat toy.

Conclusion: Playing is both fun and beneficial for our feline friends. Taking a few minutes a day to play with your cat is good for her both mentally and physically! 

Do you have questions about caring for your cat? Contact us, your Las Vegas, NV pet hospital, anytime! We are always happy to help!