We always think of cats as huge nappers (and they are), but they also need to be active. They favor short bursts of activity with lots of naps in between. Our cats need to stay active to help keep them healthy into their golden years.
In the wild, most of a cat's exercise would come from hunting. They love to chase and pounce on prey, so playing with your feline is a fantastic means to work them out. While it is true that cats spend a lot of time napping, it's crucial to keep them active to help avoid weight gain, which can, in turn, create significant health problems.
One more essential factor in keeping your cat moving is to help them avoid getting bored. A bored cat can end up being depressed or might eat more and put on weight.
Playtime Is Helpful For Two Reasons:
Playing with cats helps them to relieve their prey drive, something humans do not have but many pets that need to chase to survive have biologically built into them.
Without a good workout and interactive playtime, cats can develop physical and behavioral problems—from weight gain to acting out by hissing, scratching, or attacking human beings, crying for attention, or even bullying other pets at home.
It is necessary to play with your cat. Ensuring that an indoor-only feline gets enough playtime daily is crucial to their wellness.
A suggestion to make sure your feline is getting the most out of your cat playtime sessions is to do activities that call for a high-energy outcome when they play. Physically draining your cat off as much energy as possible in a short amount of time is the best thing to do since cats are designed for hunting in the wild in this manner.
Cats will conserve as much power as possible until it's time to chase, where they will jump, strike and dash to catch up to and grab their prey. Expending big bursts of power is exactly how they catch dinner, so your objective is to replicate this phenomenon as closely as possible through constructive playtime to keep their prey drive up.
How Much Playtime Do Cats Require?
There's no specific amount of workout your cat needs to be getting every day, but taking at least two sessions of 15-20 minutes of playtime should be enough to fill their daily playtime quota.
If you're playing with your feline and they've had enough, they're likely to stop playing and walk away. This is great—cats play in a manner that uses a burst of time and can't do hours of workouts in one go!
Remember that playtime is about stopping your feline from getting bored and letting them simulate natural hunting behaviors to keep them in shape. Of course, to keep your cat fit, make sure you're feeding them the ideal diet, too!
What Toys Should I Get My Cat?
Felines like to explore, so giving them a range of cat toys and activities will certainly help keep them active and occupied.
Bear in mind to keep your cat's toys clean and toss them away if they are damaged. Getting your cat a new toy now and again is a perfect treat and better than always getting them food.
The majority of cats like playing games, specifically with:
Things They Can Strike
Cats delight in batting at light things that move quickly across the floor: wand toys (or fishing-pole toys) are great for this. It is necessary not to provide anything they can chew out or swallow. If you're fed up with your feline losing their playthings under furniture, you can place also buy toys with balls inside enclosed tubes like this one to make sure that your cat can have fun in a controlled manner.
Toys They Can Chase After
Wind-up or motorized toys or an item of string dragged throughout the flooring will also transform a lazy cat into a chaser in no time!
Things They Can Climb and Jump Onto
Cats enjoy being up high, so ensure that there are risk-free surfaces and many areas to climb and jump on and off to help them burn those calories. Cat trees and cat window perches are perfect for this because they give elevated play areas for your cat.
Things They Can Scratch
Scratching keeps a feline's claws sharp and tones their shoulder and back muscles. A scratching post will undoubtedly meet this demand—and it should save your furniture from unwanted scratches!
Although it's tempting, specifically with a kitten, it's not wise to use your hand or fingers as a 'bait.' Your cat will learn that it's okay to scratch and bite you—and it's not. Not even for play!
Our feline friends can appear a little bit unenthusiastic in toys and being active, but it doesn't always mean that they don't want to play. They just need a bit of a nudge sometimes!
Try Different Toys!
Just because your cat isn't having fun with a particular toy doesn't mean they do not want to play. Try using different sorts of toys. Toys that are interactive for both of you are best, as you can control the pace to take advantage of their natural chase reaction and make them happy.
Play At Hunting Time
Felines are usually much more energetic at the beginning and the end of the day, as these are the usual times when they hunt in the wild. Try playing with your cat at a prime hunting time to get them energetic. Remember to feed them after you play (not before).
Keep It Short
Most cats favor short playing sessions. They are not built for endurance, and they get tired after 5-15 minutes. Short bursts of cat time and play will help them focus and keeps the both of you from getting tired.
Keep Playtime Interesting
Try a variety of ways to spend playtime. Playing with the same toy at all times can get dull quickly, so try to mix it up. Switching between variations of similar toys is enough to get your cat excited once again.
Use Food Puzzles
Some cats are highly encouraged by food. Try utilizing food balls and similar toys to feed small amounts of food during play. By doing this, your feline gets a tasty reward while learning that playing can be fulfilling and fun. Please don't forget to minimize the amount of food you provide in their everyday bowls not to gain weight.
Playtime is necessary to keep your cat in shape, and it is additionally a good time for both of you to bond.
Other Affordable And Fun Games You Can Do With Your Cat:
Chase: roll a cat-safe round or scrunched up paper throughout the floor for them to chase after. If it stops moving, roll it again, so your cat can get excited again.
String: many cats like playing with string! Dragging a little string line across the floor for them to try and capture is a fun way to keep your cat moving.
Attack: utilizing a catnip toy (or perhaps making your own), play with your cat, then wait on them to hide in a box or behind a chair. Then, toss the toy near them as well as see them leap on it.
Leash Training: Much like dogs, some indoor cats will take delight in stimulating walks outdoors. If you want to try and walk your cat, it's essential to get a harness that your cat cannot escape out of.
You can begin by putting your feline on the harness and walk inside the home, gradually increasing the time they spend in their new gear. Nevertheless, do not keep trying to get your cat to stroll on a leash if they are uncomfortable.
Ensure your cat is microchipped and that your contact details are up to date in the data source. It additionally helps to have a collar with your contact info in the event that they escape.
Laser Pointers: when playing with cat laser lights, follow up with something that they can physically catch and pounce on to keep your cat from getting frustrated. A big part of the chase is capturing their victim. So follow the cat laser toy with something that they can physically catch. Electronic applications on a tablet computer are not recommended.
Can I Skip Playtime?
You can most definitely miss a play or two—you can even skip a day of playtime. However, you do not wish to miss their playtime session regularly, specifically with an indoor cat who counts on the intensive play to sustain its prey drive. Once more, physical and behavioral problems might result from frequently skipping cat playtime. It's just not healthy for your feline's well-being, so avoid missing play sessions frequently at any rate.
In the meantime, especially if you've got an exceptionally playful/energetic feline, it's an excellent concept for you to have outlets for your cat to release their energy on without you being an essential component of the equation, like using automatic toys.
If you are actively attempting to play with your cat and they refuse to be involved, do your best to get hold of more of the same types of cat toys that you know your cat loves.
For instance, if your cat likes feather toys, get different selections of plume toys for them. On the other hand, does your cat like round toys? Then, get more ball toys.
Not sure what your feline's favorite toy to play with? Experiment with a range of toys to see if anything strikes your cat's fancy, then get a couple of similar toys.
Know Your Feline's Signals for Not Wanting to Play
Don't worry; your cat will not fail to make it obvious that they are not interested in playing. A bored cat will leave or show no passion for toys.
An interested cat will participate in the play, bat around the toys, chase after a laser pointer, and respond positively to interaction with you (no biting/ scratching/hissing, etc.).
If your cat begins panting, allow them to calm down before playing again. Keep in mind: playtime is meant to be fun for cats!