Importance of Playing with your Cat
By: Stanley P.
If you own a cat, play is very important. Although it seems like cats sleep in all day and laze around, they can actually be very playful and energetic. In the wild, cats get their exercise from chasing and pouncing prey. Domestic cats, on the other hand, cannot get their exercise from hunting. Boredom and inactivity in cats can lead to depression and weight gain. Due to this, playing with your cat is an essential responsibility of any cat owner to keep them active and healthy through the years.
The Importance of Play
On average, house cats will sleep for 16 hours a day. During the remaining hours, cats have to be active to stay sharp mentally and physically. Cats are natural hunters and, as mentioned before, get their exercise from hunting. House cats will have to get their exercise in another method. You can categorize toys into two categories. There are toys that cats can use without the help of a human (solo toys), and there are toys cats can play with with the assistance of a human.
Cats can play with these toys without the help of a human. These toys are suitable for cats when they are home alone. Here are some examples of solo play toys:
Scratching posts are upright pieces of furniture made of durable materials, usually wood and carpet. Cats have an instinct to scratch, and this toy is a must for cats, as they tend to scratch up other furniture like couches. A scratching post will be a fun and irresistible toy for any house cat.
Plushies of small animals like mice simulate hunting for indoor cats. Cats can instinctively stalk and hunt the plushie, which is an excellent way of exercising. This helps cats not only physically but also mentally. A popular alternative to regular plushies is catnip plushies. Catnip plushies are made so that you can store catnip in them. When cats bite down onto the plushie, they ingest catnip. When ingested, cats become relaxed and happy.
These are toys that a cat cannot use without the help of a human. These toys are suited for bonding with your cat. Here are some examples of interactive play toys.
A laser pointer is a small handheld device that emits a beam of light at a push of a button. The person would hold it and press the button, kind of like a flashlight. Cats want to chase and pounce the dot of light emitted by the pointer. This is an excellent way to give your cat exercise and is also a great way of getting rid of boredom in a cat. It can provide plenty of fun and mental stimulation.
A fishing pole, in this case, is a rod with a string attached to the end with a ‘bait.’ The bait is usually feathers or any other feathery/furry object. Normally, the person would hold it and bounce it around. Cats want to jump at the bait and catch it. This is where the person moves it around to challenge the cat. The pole is also a great way to give your cat exercise, along with getting rid of boredom in cats.
Play for cats is very important, and playing with your cat is an essential responsibility of all cat owners. Household cats are unable to hunt prey, which is where they usually get their exercise. Instead, it is our responsibility as cat owners to help cats exercise through fun physical activities. This way, our cats can be healthy physically and mentally.
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