Play is a serious business

Play is a serious business

We often overlook playing with our cats, or providing them with toys that will keep them active and happy. Yet play is the best tool to socialize a cat and maintain good mental health. According to feline experts, playing regularly discourages destructive cat deeds, such as inappropriate scratching, aggression, or spraying. It also reduces stress. Stress is a trigger to some deadly feline diseases, so you can prevent a vet visit by just providing an environment to your cat that encourages play.

It seems obvious that play and exercise are important for people and cats alike; however, many cat guardians don’t make time to play or don’t understand how they can use play to discourage bad behavior. Use toys that serve a different purpose – one to carry, one to roll, one to sleep with, etc. Bring only three-four toys to each play session, so your cat doesn’t get bored. If you are new to the cat, offer different toys to find out which ones are preferred.


Small cat looking at a red and white ball on the floor


Research shows that the same qualities that entice cats to hunt also get them to play when it comes to picking cat toys. So, the more a toy resembles a potential victim – like a bug, a bird, or a snake – the more enthusiastic a cat will be. For example, a fluttery, feathery toy that’s shaped like a bird is likely to tempt your kitten, especially if you make it spring and soar like the real thing.

Pick toys that are made of attractive materials or combine different textures. Crinkly materials, fur, fleece, or sisal work well and so do toys that make a sound. The important thing is to match the toy to your cat’s personality. If your kitty likes to pick up its toys, get a smaller item that can be carried around. If you have a timid cat, go for a toy that’s easy to conquer. On the other hand, if your cat is confident and athletic, present something more challenging.

Novelty also matters as cats get bored quickly.

Related posts