Playing With Kitties

Cats are without a doubt one of the animal kingdom’s most entertaining members. Fluffy may be small, but she has a big purrsonality, and she’s been making us giggle for ages with her quirky idiosyncrasies, endearing facial expressions, and, of course, playful behavior. It turns out that one of the best things you can do for your furball is to play with her every day. A local Treasure Coast, FL vet offers some advice on kitty playtime below.

Does My Cat Want To Play With Me? Or Is She Trying To Kill Me?

Kitties can sometimes be a bit perplexing. (Actually, that’s a bit of an understatement.) Cats are naturally adept at switching gears, but that’s all part of the allure and mystery of these endearing balls of fur.

It can be challenging to determine whether your furball is in a playful mood or if she’s feeling a bit irritated. If she’s in a playful mood, she might become overly energetic. (Or, to put it another way, playful cats sometimes get the zoomies.) Cats can sometimes surprise their owners by playfully hiding behind the sofa and then pouncing out as they walk by.

Also, a well-mannered cat will refrain from biting or scratching with excessive force. She might lose interest in her “attack” and begin licking you instead. A truly angry cat may hiss or growl, and she will flatten her ears. She’ll also bite or scratch a lot harder. If your pet is acting aggressive, ask your Treasure Coast, FL vet for advice.

Do Cats Enjoy Playing With Humans?

Every cat has their own individual personality. Some cats may not be as inclined to play as others. An older kitty, for example, may prefer naps. However, most of our feline pals naturally love to play and thoroughly enjoy engaging in play sessions.

Is Playing Good For Cats?

Yes! Playing with Fluffy is not only acceptable, but it also has numerous benefits for her well-being.

Here are a few of them:

  1. Exercise: Cats are highly energetic and playful during their early years. However, as they get older, their energy levels decrease. Keeping Fluffy in good shape is just as crucial as maintaining our own fitness. Activities like running, jumping, and pouncing can be excellent exercises for our feline friends. This will help maintain your furry pal’s strength and overall health as she ages.
  2. Stimulation: You may have noticed that cats tend to prefer doing as little as possible. Did you know that kitties can sleep for up to 20 hours a day? (That may be a bit too much, but we can talk about that later.) When Fluffy is awake, it’s important to provide her with activities to keep her entertained. This is not just good for her mood: it’s also good for her brain! Your little lion needs to concentrate in order to time those pounces and jumps. Not only does this contribute to your pet’s happiness and entertainment, but it may also support her cognitive health as they age.
  3. Bonding: By reaching for that laser pointer or wand toy, you’re showing Fluffy that you’re doing something to make her happy. That can greatly contribute to her sense of love and security.

Playing can also strengthen the bond between cats. If you’ve just welcomed a new kitty into your home, incorporating dual play sessions can assist your resident cat or cats in developing a positive bond with their new companion.

  1. Blowing Off Steam: Cats, like humans, can experience feelings of fear, loneliness, or sadness. Fluffy really benefits from a fun play session to release some energy. Imagine it as your pet’s way of releasing stress after a tough day, just like how we hit the gym or go for a run.
  2. Develop Confidence: Some cats are confident and courageous, while others tend to be more cautious. If your furry companion belongs to the second group, engaging in playtime can boost her self-assurance. Mastering that challenging pounce can be quite important for Fluffy!
  3. Embrace Their Natural Instincts: Despite their adorable appearance, kitties possess remarkable hunting skills. Fluffy depends on her hunting abilities to thrive in her natural habitat. She finds great enjoyment in honing her skills with those sharp claws and teeth. (Or, to put it another way, those murder skills come naturally to her.) It’s important to let your adorable furry companion tap into her inner lioness.
  4. It’s adorable! There are few things cuter than watching a playful kitten in action.

What Should I Avoid When Playing With My Cat?

Playing with Fluffy is not complicated, but there are a few things that cat owners should be aware of.

  • Avoid playing rough to prevent any potential issues. While your feline friend might enjoy playfully scratching your arm, it’s important to be gentle, as otherwise, you could frighten or harm her. There is also a possibility of unintentionally promoting bad behavior.
  • Make sure you use safe toys. Cats really don’t know what is safe for them. (Some furballs actually seem particularly attracted to the objects that pose the greatest risk, but that’s another topic.) Anything that is small or sharp can be dangerous. Stringed objects can pose a potential risk as they are not just choking hazards, but can cause serious internal injuries if swallowed. put away wand toys after playtime to ensure that your furball doesn’t get tangled up.
  • Don’t play near things like stairs, pools, and fireplaces. If you can, opt for a location with a gentle surface, like a carpet.
  • If you have multiple cats, it’s important not to show favoritism. Make sure to give both of them equal attention during playtime.

How Long Should Kitty Playtime Last?

Ultimately, that depends on you and Fluffy. We suggest spending some time every day playing with your feline friend, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

You don’t have to worry about overdoing it. When your kitty loses interest or becomes tired, she simply walks away and shifts her attention to her next nap. There is a notable distinction between cats and dogs in this particular aspect. Fido is incredibly dedicated to making his humans happy, often pushing himself to exhaustion. However, cats are pretty much indifferent to our desires. In other words, your kitty may love you, but she really doesn’t care what you want.

That being said, the age and activity level of your pet will play a role in this. A young kitten or a highly energetic young adult cat will have a far greater appetite for play than a senior cat.

How Do I Play With Fluffy?

Use something that can be controlled from a distance, like a wand toy, laser pointer, or even a remote-controlled toy. Playing becomes more enjoyable and stimulating for your feline friend when she can’t predict the actions of her ‘prey’.

Plus, this can help teach Fluffy better petiquette. Allowing your furball to playfully jump on your toes or fingers may seem adorable, but it can lead to confusion. It’s important to discourage Fluffy from thinking that attacking you is acceptable behavior.

Book An Appointment At Your Treasure Coast, FL Pet Clinic

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Ask away! Feel free to reach out to us, your Treasure Coast, FL pet hospital, at any time!

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