Does your feline sometimes make you laugh by batting a bottle cap or cotton swab across the floor? Cats manage to be cute no matter what they are doing, but they are extra adorable when they are feeling playful and frisky. As it turns out, pouncing and running are very important for your feline. A local Richboro, PA veterinarian offers some tips on playing with your cat in this article. 


What Are The Benefits Of Playing With Your Cat? 


Playing is beneficial for cats in several ways.  If you have a kitten, playing will help your furball burn off those zoomies. This can be quite helpful. If you tire your furry pal out chasing that red dot, she’ll probably be ready for a nap after. This can help curb those midnight zoomies.


Playing also helps with bonding. When you take time to hold that string toy or laser pointer, Our feline buddies will know you’re interacting with her and trying to entertain her. That will score you some purrs.


For shy kitties, playing can also help them feel safe. It can even boost confidence. Nailing a tricky pounce/jump combo can help Fluffy build self-esteem. Think of this as Fluffy’s kitty equivalent of scoring a goal or getting 100 on an important test. 


Playtime is suitable for older pets as well. For one thing, it helps them stay in shape. It can also help ward off cognitive decay. Those run/jump/pounce combos are like doing a crossword puzzle.


There are benefits for you as well! Spending time with your cute pet can help you relax and ease stress. Studies have shown that interacting with kitties can help reduce our risk of strokes and heart attacks.


How Often Should I Play With My Cat? 


Ideally, we would recommend playing with your feline pal daily. This is quite easy to work into even a busy schedule. Just keep a few of Fluffy’s favorite toys near the spot where you like to settle in to watch TV or read, and work it into your relaxation time. 


How Can I Play With My Cat?


Kitties actually vary quite a bit when it comes to their favorite games. Some prefer batting at wand toys, some like little balls, and others enjoy high-tech gadgets. Experiment with different things to see what Fluffy prefers.


Here are a few options you can try: 


  • Tricks: While your mileage may vary, some kitties can learn tricks. Try teaching Our feline buddies Gimme Five, Sit, Roll Over, Or Jump. Use small, high-value treats to reinforce the behavior. Be sure to use the same words or phrases every time! 
  • High-Tech Fun: There are now quite a few gadgets for kitties. Our feline buddies may enjoy chasing a remote-controlled mouse or a smart toy that responds to her movements. You can even play with Fluffy remotely. Some automated laser pointers work with apps and smartphones, allowing you to control the toy even when you aren’t home. This can be a cute way to check in with your furball during your lunch break. 
  • Fetch: While we usually associate playing Fetch with Fido, some of our feline pals also enjoy this. It’s purrticularly popular with the Bengal, Siamese, and other Asian/exotic breeds. (Fun fact: researchers recently discovered that Our feline buddies often teach herself to play Fetch. One survey found that the majority of people whose kitties fetch apparently started this behavior randomly.) 
  • Mazes: Kitties love exploring. You can make your furball a little labyrinth pretty easily. You can use cardboard boxes, such as the ones that canned beverages come in. Another option is to use paper grocery bags with the bottoms cut off. Or, get a few furball tunnels and rearrange them. 


Do Kitties Like It When You Play With Them? 


Our feline buddies can be opinionated and a bit confusing at times. However, while our furry pals may have very different opinions on some things, almost all of them enjoy playing. You really can’t force cats to do anything, though. If your furball isn’t feeling it, she’ll just walk away. 


How Do I Teach My Pet To Play Nice?


If your tiny lion hasn’t quite figured out the ins and outs of being a good furball, you may need to guide her. Don’t punish your feline pal for attacking you; that may frighten her. However, you don’t want to let biting or scratching go unaddressed. This can lead to behavioral issues, and can even be dangerous. Those tiny claws and teeth hurt! 


If your kitty bites or scratches, immediately stop playing. You can reprimand her vocally in a stern tone of voice. Say ‘No’ or ‘Play Nice’. You can also tell your furry buddy, ‘Don’t bite’ or ‘Put your claws away.’ Then, walk away and ignore her for a while. Sooner or later, your furry friend will get the hint.


If your furball persists, you can further discourage her. Squirt her with water, blow in her face, or make a loud noise. You can also sound an alarm, clap your hands, or bang two pots together. Many cats absolutely hate loud noises. 


It may also help to use toys you control from a distance. Just put string toys up after each use, so Fluffy doesn’t get tangled. Ask your Richboro, PA  vet for more information. 


Help! My Cat Wants To Play All The Time!


Some of our furry overlords want us to pay attention to them 24/7. And while many of us would love to oblige, we humans do have other obligations, such as jobs and families. 


If your furry buddy is full of zoomies, offer her ways to entertain herself. A window seat with a good view is one option. You’ll also want to provide a variety of toys. Things like puzzle feeders or running wheels can be great options for a frisky feline.


Is It Good To Play With My Cat? 


Playing with your kitty isn’t just okay; it’s recommended! Playing is a great way to keep that motor going! We all know that kitties are very frisky and playful when they are young. Keeping your furball entertained and active can go a long way toward helping her feel safe and loved! This can also be a fun way for you to unwind after a long day. 

How Can I Tell If My Cat Is Playing Or Attacking Me? 


Cats have a rather unique quirk, in that they are the only one of our animal companions that bite and scratch us to show affection. This can be a bit confusing, especially given that kitties can change gears from play mode to attack mode at any moment, and without warning. 


For the most part, a  furball that is feeling playful won’t bite or scratch hard. She may ‘kick scratch you,’ but she’ll probably quickly lose steam. And while she may flatten her ears or lash her tail, she may suddenly decide to lick you instead of biting.  A truly angry kitty will bite full force, and may hiss or growl. Ask your Richboro, PA veterinarian for more information. 


Do you have questions about caring for or playing with your pet? Contact us, your Richboro, PA veterinary hospital, today! We’re here to help!