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Reasons To Play With Your Cat

May 14 2024

Kitties are an absolute blast to have as pets. Fluffy is not only adorable to watch, she’s also extremely charismatic and very playful. As it turns out, taking time to play with your feline friend is one of the best things you can do for her. A local Honesdale PA veterinarian goes over some reasons why in this article.

Playing Is Fun For Fluffy

It doesn’t take a professional evaluation to see that playing is lots of fun for Fluffy. Playing is a natural behavior in many animals. In fact, nearly all animals engage in play, one way or another. It’s always adorable seeing how excited kitties get when they spot a catnip mouse or notice that elusive red dot! There’s a lot to be said for just having fun. That’s important for both people and pets! 

Cats Need To Unleash Their Inner Tigers

There are a few things about cats that are quite unique. Fluffy is the only one of our animal companions that hasn’t really been domesticated, at least in the sense of becoming dependent on us. Many pets and livestock could not survive on their own in the wild. Cats, however, are extremely efficient hunters. They don’t actually need us: they just apparently decided they prefer the lives of pampered pets over actually having to work for their dinners.

That said, kitties are born with deep-seated instincts to hunt. Stalking, pouncing, scratching, and biting would all help your kitty get her dinner in the wild. Let your adorable little friend indulge her inner serial killer every now and then!

It’s Great For Bonding

Kitties can sometimes take time to warm up to new owners, especially if they have come from a not-so-good place. Playing is a wonderful way to help your feline friend realize that she is safe and loved. Fluffy will know that you’re doing something for her enjoyment. That will win you tons of points … and some snuggles and purrs.

Playing Is A Purrfect Icebreaker

Have you recently adopted a second (or third) kitty? Playing with your furry pals together is a great way to help them become friends. This will teach your kitties that good things happen when they are together.

Just take care to show equal attention to both pets. Fluffy may get quite jealous if she notices that you are holding that wand toy for Mittens, but not for her!

Kitties Need Exercise, too!

Staying fit and active is just as important for cats as it is for people. As you may have noticed, many of our feline friends are prone to becoming obese. If Fluffy is, well, not just fluffy, she may be at risk of some very serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Obesity also forms a downward spiral, in that the heavier your furry friend gets, the less active she’ll be.

As you may have noticed, you probably won’t be able to get Fluffy to run laps around the kitchen, or jog up and down the stairs. Grabbing that laser pointer or wand toy is probably the best sort of motivation, as far as that goes.

Burn Off Those Zoomies

Our feline pals are known for being very, very sleepy. Fluffy can snooze as much as 20 hours a day, though most furballs squeak by on a mere 14-16 hours daily. While we’re not entirely convinced that being cute is really that exhausting, we do know that, in the wild, kitties burn tremendous amounts of energy in small bursts when hunting … then spend the rest of their time recuperating. A quick play session will emulate that natural rhythm. Granted, your kitty may just decide to race around the living room, but it’s better to let your furball blow off her steam properly. Otherwise, she may end up climbing the walls … literally.

It Helps Scaredy Cats Become More Confident

Our feline pals are both predators and prey in the wild. This may very well have a very unique and distinct mix of purrsonality traits. That’s why they somehow manage to be both incredibly bold and incredibly timid … sometimes at the same time. Just like people, cats all have their own unique purrsonalities. Some are bold and courageous, some are eternally unimpressed, and some are timid and shy. If your cute pet falls into the latter category, go get that feather toy! Nailing that complicated bounce/pounce move can help your shy buddy feel much more confident about herself. If you have a timid cat, ask your Honesdale PA vet for advice on helping her feel safer.

It’s A Healthy Outlet For Kitty Angst

Just like people, cats can get upset, anxious, and frustrated. Fluffy could be steaming over all sorts of things. She may be annoyed that the neighbor’s cat keeps crossing her yard. Or, she just may be bored, lonely, or just cranky. Taking that angst out on a catnip mouse is a much more appropriate outlet than attacking your ankles. Think of it as the kitty version of hitting a punching bag or going to the gym after a long day of work.   

It’s Adorable

Kitty playtime doesn’t just have to be fun for Fluffy: it can also be a blast for you! Kitties have a special way of lifting our spirits. Even just watching your furry pal running around is going to put a smile on your face. While hunting may be very serious business to cats, they often do look pretty hilarious when they’re focusing on their ‘prey.’ Our feline pals don’t just provide us with love and cuddles: they also serve as live-in entertainment.

Do I Really Need To Play With My Cat Every Day?

In general, yes! Your feline pal won’t be mad at you if you skip a day. However, in general, we would suggest taking at least a few minutes a day to hold a laser pointer or wand toy for your pet to chase. This doesn’t have to be terribly time-consuming. Just keep a laser pointer or feather toy near your favorite spot where you like to relax. You can do this as you’re watching TV.

How Long Should I Play With My Cat?

That’s really up to you and Fluffy. Don’t worry about overexerting  your kitty: that’s almost impossible. The moment your furball gets even a little tired, she’ll just stop playing, and will probably wander off in search of her next napping spot.

What Kind Of Toys Do Cats Like Best?

All of our furry pals have their own likes and dislikes. Fluffy may love catnip mice, Mittens may prefer chasing a laser pointer, and Pumpkin may just want to bat a crushed-up paper ball around. Try different things, and see what your feline friend likes best.

If you have more than one kitty, you may need to offer a variety. Your furballs won’t necessarily have the same tastes.

How Do I Safely Play With My Cat?

Just taking a few simple precautions will prevent most mishaps. Only use actual cat toys. Don’t let your kitty play with anything that could cut her or be a choking hazard. That includes things like pen caps, rubber bands, paper clips, and tacks. Plastic bags and ties are also unsafe. Ask your vet for more information.

Make An Appointment At Your Honesdale PA Pet Hospital

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Contact us today! As your local Honesdale PA animal clinic, we are always happy to help!  

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