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Purrfect Reasons To Play With Your Cat

February 15, 2024

Our feline buddies are exceptionally playful, which is always entertaining to watch. Fluffy’s cute quirks, charming facial expressions, and silly antics always make us laugh! We all know that kitties enjoy batting little balls around or pouncing on catnip mice. As it turns out, playing with your cat every day is not just fun and entertaining: it’s also one of the best things you can do for your cute pet. A local Las Vegas, NV veterinarian offers some insight on this below.

Cats Like It When You Play With Them

While there are a few kitties that aren’t very animated, this is the exception rather than the rule. The majority of our feline pals are naturally playful. In fact, some kitties are basically furry, meowing little rockets. Fluffy tends to be particularly playful in her kittenhood. 

Keep in mind that if your pet used to be playful, but has suddenly started acting morose or sullen, there could be a health issue at play. Ask your Las Vegas, NV vet for specific advice.

There Are Great Benefits Of Playing With Your Cat

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the simple joys that come with spending quality time with our feline companions. This is also an important part of Fluffy’s care regimen. You may be surprised at all of the ways that playing is good for kitties.

Here are some of the key ones:

  • Stimulation: As you may have noticed, cats are experts at conserving energy. Fluffy can sleep for up to 20 hours a day! When your cat is awake, she needs something to occupy herself with, other than simply gazing at the walls. 

Playing provides important mental stimulation for your pet! Fluffy has to focus to time her pounces and jumps right. Not only does this keep her happy and entertained, but it may also contribute to maintaining her brain health in her later years.

  • Bonding: When you play with your cat, she’ll know that you are doing something for her benefit. This can make her feel safe and loved.
  • Exercise: It’s just as important for Fluffy to keep fit as it is for us to do. Our feline pals are very energetic and active when they are young. However, as they age, they run out of steam. Running, jumping, and pouncing can all help you keep your kitty strong and healthy in her golden years.
  • Kitty Therapy: Just like people, kitties can feel scared, lonely, or depressed. A good play session will give Fluffy a chance to blow off steam. Think of it as your pet’s version of working out at the gym or going for a run after a stressful day. (This may also work for you!) 
  • Making Friends: Kitties can also bond with each other through playing. Suppose you have recently adopted a new cat. In that case, dual play sessions can help your resident cat (or cats) form a positive association with their new roommate. Just keep a close eye on things, and take care not to play favorites.
  • Self-Esteem: Our feline friends’ purrsonalities vary greatly. Some cats are bold and fearless, while others are timid and shy. Do you have a scaredy cat? Playing with your furry buddy may help her feel more confident. Fluffy may be pretty proud of herself for nailing that tricky pounce!
  • Unleash The Inner Lion: Although kitties may seem cute and small, they are actually highly efficient hunters. For cats to survive in the wild, they rely on her hunting skills. In other words, playing allows your furry friend to indulge her instincts by mastering those sharp claws and teeth.
  • Bonus – Kitties Are Adorable:  Seeing a frisky kitty hard at play is an adorable and amusing way to pass the time.

Scheduling Kitty Playtime 

We recommend playing with your cat daily, at least for a few minutes. Dogs and cats are quite different in this regard. Fido will drive himself to the point of exhaustion to please his humans. Cats, on the other paw, really do not care what we want. There is no need to worry about overdoing things. Your kitty will simply walk away the moment she loses interest or gets tired.

Having said that, how much playtime your pet needs will depend on how young and active she is. A kitten or a super frisky young adult will want to play more than an older cat. However, older cats can also benefit from playing. They may just tire out more quickly.

Avoid Common Kitty Playtime Mistakes

Although playing with Fluffy isn’t rocket science, you should be aware of a few things.

While it may seem endearing to let your furry friend playfully attack your toes or fingers, it can confuse her and send the wrong message. It is important to establish proper boundaries and discourage any aggressive behavior towards humans.

The biggest don’t would be to play rough. Fluffy might have fun ‘kick-scratching’ your arm, but letting her do this might unintentionally encourage bad behavior.

Also, don’t play with your pet near potential hazards, such as stairs, pools, and fireplaces. If possible, choose a spot with a soft surface, such as a carpet.

Finally, if you have more than one cat, don’t play favorites. Our feline overlords get quite jealous of each other. Give both kitties equal attention during playtime.

Learn How To Tell Playful Cats From Angry Cats

It can be challenging to decipher Fluffy’s emotions. Kitties can be a bit confusing, and can change gears very, very quickly. 

Observing your pet’s body language and actions can help you determine if she is feeling playful or angry. Playful kitties may exhibit what we officially call ‘zoomies’ … which is basically silly, high-energy behavior. They often don’t bite or scratch hard and sometimes run out of steam quickly. They may even ambush their humans from hidden spots. That unpredictable nature is just part of the fun and mystique of these charming creatures!

Know How To Properly Play With A Cat

Before diving into the playtime strategies, it’s essential to recognize that each cat is unique. While some may revel in the thrill of a high-speed chase, others might prefer a more laid-back play session. There are lots of options to try! Use a toy that can be controlled from a distance, such as a wand, laser pointer, or remote-controlled toy. This not only adds more excitement and difficulty for your cat, but it also promotes proper petiquette and behavior.

Make sure you use safe toys. Cats don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them! Anything small or sharp is a safety hazard. Stringed objects are also harmful. These are both entanglement and choking hazards, and can cause severe internal injuries if ingested. Wand toys are fine, but make sure you don’t leave them out after playtime. Your cat shouldn’t become tangled. Ask your veterinarian for more tips on choosing safe toys.

Conclusion: Playing with your cat isn’t just a cute pastime; it’s fundamental to her physical and mental well-being. By understanding your cat’s instincts, investing in a variety of toys, and creating a cat-friendly environment, you can offer a fulfilling playtime experience that strengthens your bond and keeps your feline friend happy and healthy.

If you have questions about caring for your cat, please do not hesitate to contact us at your Las Vegas, NV local pet hospital! We are dedicated to providing top-notch veterinary care! 

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