Cats and kittens need enough play time as it is required for healthy development and it also makes up an enjoyable part of their domestic lives. Indoor cats, specifically, will need lots of play and stimulation from a young age to avoid boredom.
Taking the time to play with your cats regularly teaches you more about the unique personality of your cats and strengthens the trust and bond. Discover what do cats like to play with here below as well as other related helpful tips:
Since cats like lots of movement, the toy you choose must move in fast, unpredictable ways like a bird or mouse. Cats also enjoy playing with toys with diverse textures and look like their prey, like mice.
Light reflecting toys or those that seem to change when interacting with them are also attractive. Most cats like squeaky toys but since some cats can be frightened by them you must introduce them cautiously.
If you have bought a new toy and your cat does not seem too interested in playing with it, consider rubbing it in catnip. Nearly 50% of cats respond positively to catnip by rolling and meowing, which will increase their interest in playing with the new toy.
Nevertheless, cats can also become bored after playing with one type of toys for a while. Make sure to alternate the toys every couple of days in order to keep your cats engaged.
While each cat will have its own unique preferences when it comes to playtime, it is recommended to generally avoid playing rough games. This includes teasing your cat with your feet or fingers as it basically encourages the cat to bite or scratch you.
Try and keep the games as friendly as possible for everyone involved so that your cat learns how to behave properly. Also, several short daily play sessions during the day are much better than a single long session since this closely simulates the cat’s normal activity behaviors.
Cats enjoy climbing and you can get a cat tree is perfect for this kind of play. Climbing toys are safe for cats as they allow them to safely climb up to a high place from which they can hide or relax in.
While pet cats do not really need to hunt and scavenge for their treats, you can easily add some activity and excitement into the feeding time. Take a food ball and insert dried cat treats inside the ball.
As your cat plays with the ball, the treats start falling out providing both a tasty meal and fun simultaneously.
Fishing Rod Toys
This type of cat toy is meant to encourage jumping up and down to catch whatever fabric creature is placed at the end of the fishing rod. Allow your cats the pleasure of winning the game by catching the fabric and biting at it.
This will avoid loss of interest or frustration with the game. Furthermore, always put this kind of toy safely away after playtime since cats can easily get tangled up in the fishing rod string or even swallow some fabric.
Scratching helps cats to improve their claw health, stretch their muscles, reduce stress and also exercise. With all these benefits, you should provide a durable scratching toy to your cats; otherwise they will resort to scratching your precious walls or sofa.
Cats enjoy hiding and pouncing around boxes and tents. These boxes also work great when you need to give your cat some privacy. Place food and toys into such areas and encourage your cats to go and play there.
Training new skills
Teaching your cat a new skills or tricks can be great fun for both you and your cat. It keeps the cat’s mind mentally engaged and active.
Always keep the lessons fun and short, while ensuring that your cat does not feel forced during training.
Importance of Play for Cats
Even though cats are domesticated animals, they still have an inborn predatory instinct. That is why you will find cats stalking and pouncing on objects as they try to sharpen their hunting skills.
You can easily calm this predatory instinct by mimicking your cat’s prey and allowing your cat to catch the toys you dangle in front of him or her.
Much like their human owners, most cats overeat and then lead inactive lifestyles. This leads to weight-related health issues like diabetes, arthritis and bad grooming habits.
Luckily, you can increase your cat’s physical activities through play and help fighting the weight issue.
Play offers an important source of mental stimulation as it allows your cats to exercise their motor and cognitive skills. This kind of mental stimulation is particularly important for indoor cats with limited access to the outdoors.
It relieves boredom and prevents behavioral issues by releasing aggression and anxiety.
Playtime with your cats is also an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. In addition to promoting bonding, play is particularly important for socializing cats.
It is also a hilarious time when you can create some great memories as cats have been known to have some funny playtime tricks.
Luckily, playing with cats is made a lot easier due to the easy availability of a wide range of cat toys. This includes balls, artificial mice and fishing rod toys among others.
You can get some great quality toys for your cat without spending lots of money. You can also use cardboard boxes, feathers, cotton reels and balls and still have great fun.
Make sure that whatever item you are using to play with your cats is suitable and also stay away from items with detachable attachments that can be swallowed. Playtime should be an enjoyable session for both you and your cats, so try and create a friendly environment.
Once the play session ends, always tidy up and remove anything that could harm your cats. Now that you know what cats like to play with, ensue you provide a wide variety to maintain their interest.