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Benefits of Playing with Your Cat   

May 15, 2024

Kitties are incredibly delightful pets. Fluffy is not just cute to observe, she is also very charming and playful. In fact, playing with your feline friend is incredibly beneficial both for her physical and mental well-being. In this article from Hassayampa Veterinary Services, serving  Wickenburg and the surrounding communities, a veterinarian discusses several reasons why playing is so important for kitties.

Do I Need To Play With My Cat On A Daily Basis?

It’s definitely great, though your pet probably won’t be mad if you miss a day. We recommend dedicating a few minutes each day to kitty playtime. This doesn’t have to be overly time-consuming. Make sure to always have a laser pointer or feather toy nearby when you want to unwind. This can be done while watching TV.

How Long Should I Play With My Cat?

That’s up to Fluffy! Rest assured, it is highly unlikely that your kitty will overexert herself. When your furry friend starts to feel a bit tired, she will simply wander off to find her next cozy spot for a nap.

What Toys Do Cats Prefer?

Cats all have their own purrsonal preferences and aversions. Fluffy may enjoy playing with catnip mice, while Mittens finds her joy in chasing a laser pointer, and Pumpkin is content with batting a crushed-up paper ball around. Experiment with various options to discover what your cat enjoys the most.

If you have multiple cats, it might be necessary to provide a range of options. Each of your furballs may have different preferences.

How Can I Ensure A Safe Playtime With My Cat?

Stick to using genuine cat toys. Don’t let your feline pal play with any objects that may be dangerous. That includes items such as pen caps, rubber bands, paper clips, and tacks. Plastic bags and ties can pose safety risks as well. Ask your Wickenburg, AZ veterinarian for further details.

Why Is Playing So Important?

There are many reasons to go get that laser toy! Here are a few of the top ones:

Playing Makes Cats Happy

Playing is a common and instinctive behavior observed in numerous animal species. It’s worth noting that almost all animals participate in some form of play. It’s absolutely heartwarming to witness the sheer joy that kitties experience when they come across a catnip mouse or catch a glimpse of that elusive red dot! Having fun is important for both us humans and our furry companions!

Cats Need To Tap Into Their Inner Tigers

Cats possess several distinctive qualities that set them apart. Fluffy is the only one of our animal companions that hasn’t fully embraced domestication, in the sense of relying on humans. Numerous pets and livestock would struggle to survive without human assistance in the wild. Cats, on the other hand, excel at hunting. It seems that they have chosen a life of being pampered pets rather than having to work for their meals. (We can’t really blame them.)

That being said, kittens are born with innate hunting instincts. Stalking, pouncing, scratching, and biting are all natural behaviors that would help your cat in hunting for her meal in the wild. Allow your cute companion to embrace her inner predator from time to time!

It’s Purrfect For Building Strong Connections

Cats can occasionally require some time to become comfortable with new owners, particularly if they have had a difficult past. Playing is a fantastic way to help your feline friend understand that she is in a secure and caring environment. Fluffy will appreciate the effort you’re putting in to make her happy. That will surely earn you plenty of affectionate slow blinks … and maybe even some cuddles and purrs.

Playing Is An Excellent Way To Break The Ice

Have you recently added another furry friend to your family? Playing with your furry pals together is an excellent way to cultivate a bond between them. Your kitties will learn that positive experiences occur when they are in each other’s company.

Ensure that you give both pets equal attention and care. Fluffy might feel a bit left out if she sees you playing with the wand toy with Mittens and not her!

Cats Need Exercise, Too!

Maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle is equally crucial for cats and humans. A significant number of our feline companions are susceptible to weight gain. If Fluffy is not just fluffy, she may be at risk of some serious health problems, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Obesity can create a negative cycle where your furry friend becomes less active as she gains weight.

Fluffy won’t be running laps around the kitchen or jogging up and down the stairs. That laser pointer or wand toy is the most effective form of motivation for your sleepy pet.

Get Rid Of Those Zoomies

Our feline friends are notorious for their love of napping. Fluffy can sleep for up to 20 hours a day, although most cats typically get by with around 14-16 hours of sleep per day. Although we remain somewhat skeptical about the notion of cuteness being truly exhausting, it is undeniable that wild cats expend significant amounts of energy in short bursts while hunting, followed by extended periods of recovery. A brief play session will replicate that inherent rhythm. Admittedly, your kitty may choose to sprint around the living room, but it’s preferable to allow your furball to release her energy in a suitable manner. 

Confidence Booster

Our feline companions play dual roles: they are both hunters and potential targets in their natural habitats. This has given them a truly unique mix of personality traits: they can be both bold and timid, which is quite intriguing.

Cats, much like humans, possess their own distinct personalities. Some are brave and daring, some are nonchalant, and some are more reserved and introverted. If your adorable pet falls into the latter category, go grab that feather toy! Your shy buddy can gain a significant boost in confidence by mastering the intricate bounce/pounce move.

It’s A Great Way For Cats To Release Their Pent-Up Energy And Frustration.

Cats, like humans, can experience feelings of distress, unease, and irritation. Fluffy might be irritated by the neighbor’s cat in her yard. Or, maybe she is feeling bored, lonely, or simply cranky. Expressing that kitty frustration by playing with a catnip mouse is a much better alternative than you having your ankles attacked. Imagine it as the feline equivalent of relieving stress by hitting a punching bag or going to the gym after a tiring day at work.

It’s Absolutely Charming

Playing with your kitty can be an enjoyable experience for both you and Fluffy! Kitties have a unique ability to uplift our moods. Simply observing your adorable companion frolicking about is sure to bring a smile to your face. Although hunting is a serious matter for cats, it’s hard not to find them amusing when they’re fully concentrated on their ‘prey.’

Schedule An Appointment At Our Wickenburg, AZ Pet Hospital

Are you seeking answers or advice regarding your cat’s health or care? Please feel free to contact us at your Wickenburg, AZ animal clinic, anytime! We are dedicated to offering great veterinary care and top-notch customer service. 

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