The Importance of Play

A happy cat makes for a happy house, and that’s all that anyone can ask for. Ask a lot of people and they will proclaim how easy cats are, especially when compared to dogs. With dogs you need to walk them, train them, pick up after them, feed and water them. But, is it really that different to a cat? Outdoor cats perhaps need less human intervention when it comes to things like where they go to the bathroom, but it’s so important that we remember to give our cats attention and just as much care as we would expect to be given to any other number of companion animals. Play is incredibly important for cats, both for their physical and mental well being.

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The cardboard toy seen next to Remi’s battle with my hand is brilliant for small kittens as it’s just the right size for them to put their paws into and play with the bells inside. Plus, all kittens love to chew, so this is a safe chew and scratching toy. Click the picture to see the product on Amazon.

Cats tend not to like change, and generally can become stressed or agitated from things we might not expect. Cat also get bored, and it has become increasingly common for cats to become overweight. This is especially the case for indoor cats – a topic we will be talking about in greater detail in a post very soon. To keep our cats happy and healthy beyond their diet there is one simple thing we can do for them, play with them! In almost every My Cat From Hell hosted by the wonderful Jackson Galaxy, Jackson will give the same advice as we are giving here. Play with your cats! When a cat is bored they can store energy and become irritable and stressed, or they can become destructive and release their inner hunters onto your furniture or even onto you. That is something no one wants.

So, how do you play with a cat? Cats don’t fetch, at least most don’t, but they do love to play. Cat dancers are excellent choices, as they really bring out the hunter in your cat and help to release all of their pent up energy. However, please make sure to never leave cat dancers or any objects with long strings where your cats can have access to them, just like children they can get themselves tangled up and into all kinds of trouble. Kiki, Lolly, and Remi all love cat dancers, especially this one from Amazon. There are so many other varieties, and your cat will thoroughly enjoy both chasing the toy and interacting with you.

Alongside dancers there are many other toys that you cats will love. Some of Kiki, Lolly, and Remi’s favourite toys are little bell filled toys such as these found on Amazon. The ladies’ grandma also made the three of them a brilliant little mouse each, which they absolutely love! So, if you’re crafty you can turn your old fleece blankets or clothes into great toys for your fur friends. Throw them, wrestle with them, or hide and jingle them, toys like this have lots of possibilities.

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Lolly loves the mouse grandma made for them all, sometimes she loves it a bit too much! A great game we have with Lolly is to throw her toys up into the cat tree and she will jump up to find them.

Another favourite for our ladies is the Catit Senses Circuit. It’s great exercise and great fun for your fur friends. Toys like this are perfect to get out when you might not have the energy to play alongside your cats, but still want to make sure they get their play in for the day. We leave our smaller circuit out permanently, but the larger circuit is great to get out to keep them on their toes.

Get them interested with food. Cats are very intelligent, for the most part, and they know how to get what they want. So, to tempt your friend into playing the best way to manipulate the master manipulators into doing what you want is with food. Kiki hasn’t quite mastered the treat ball yet, but Lolly is especially motivated by food and figured it out in no time at all. Whenever she see the balls she comes straight over, and with a treat at the end of each round of playing she doesn’t enough notice that she’s exercising!

There are lots of cat friendly toys out there. A recent favourite is a baby rattle from Home Bargains, a plush pink rabbit that is great for playing with and chewing. With it being designed for a human baby the standard is slightly higher than you find with a lot of toys made for animals. Lots of cats enjoy playing with pens and hair bands, but sometimes these aren’t the safest of toys. Socks and cardboard tubes are some examples of free and fun toys for your cats. When you bring a kitten or cat home, you will be surprised at what they can turn into a toy!

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Here is Remi enjoying a cardboard tube, the best of all worlds – room for paws to explore, it moves around the floor, and it’s chewable!

All in all, cats need play just as much as dogs, and with daily play you will not only improve your cats wellbeing, but you will build an even stronger bond with your fur friend. Let us know in the comments what your cat loves to play with.

Thanks for reading!

Kiki, Lolly, & Remi.

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One thought on “The Importance of Play

  1. […] July 5th We finally got around to writing a post we’ve had sitting as a draft for a couple of weeks all about the importance of playing with your cats. We discussed the physical and mental wellbeing that play can contribute to and also gave a few ideas and tips for games to play and toys to play with! […]

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