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Playing With Your Cat

May 15, 2024

It’s undeniable that cats are incredibly entertaining creatures. Despite her small size, Fluffy possesses a captivating charm that never fails to bring a smile to our faces. Her unique quirks, adorable facial expressions, and playful nature have provided us with endless amusement. Playing with your furry friend on a daily basis has been found to be incredibly beneficial for her wellbeing. Here’s some advice from a Jarvis, ON vet on how to make playtime with your kitty safe and enjoyable.

Is My Cat Interested In Playing With Me? Or Is She Attempting To End My Life?

Cats can be quite puzzling. (To be honest, that’s an understatement.) Felines have a remarkable ability to effortlessly transition from one activity to another, adding to the charm of these adorable furballs.

Deciphering your furry friend’s moods can be a tricky task, however. It’s not always easy to tell if she’s in a playful state or if she’s a little bit annoyed. When she’s feeling playful, she can get quite lively. In other words, playful cats tend to experience bursts of energy. It’s not uncommon for cats to delight their owners with a playful game of hide-and-seek, lurking behind the sofa and springing out with mischievous flair as their unsuspecting owners pass by.

A well-mannered kitty will avoid biting or scratching too aggressively. She may even lose interest in her “attack” and start licking you instead. A genuinely angry feline will flatten her ears and may hiss or growl. She will also bite or scratch with more intensity. If your pet is displaying aggressive behavior, it would be wise to seek advice from your trusted veterinarian in the Jarvis, ON area.

Do Cats Actually Enjoy Playing With Humans?

Each cat has a unique personality all their own. As such, not all felines have the same level of interest in playtime. A more mature cat, for instance, might have more of a penchant for taking leisurely catnaps. On the other hand, the majority of our feline companions have an innate love for play and genuinely enjoy participating in play sessions.

Is Playing Beneficial For Cats?

Absolutely! Interacting with Fluffy is not just okay, it actually has many advantages for her overall health and happiness. Here are some examples:

1. Physical Activity: During their younger years, cats are full of energy and love to play. As they get older, their energy levels tend to decline. Exercises such as running, jumping, and pouncing can be great activities for kitties, but as your furry companion ages, it’s important to prioritize her strength and overall health. This will ensure that she remains in good shape and can continue to enjoy a happy and active life.

2. Stimulation: Cats often prefer to engage in activities that require minimal effort. In fact, cats can sleep for up to 20 hours a day! When Fluffy is awake, it’s crucial to offer her engaging activities to keep her entertained. Not only does this have a positive impact on her physical health, but it also benefits her brain! Your little lion must focus in order to perfect the timing of her pounces and jumps. This can also promote kitty’s cognitive wellbeing as she gets older.

3. Bonding: When you grab that laser pointer or wand toy, you’re showing Fluffy that you care about her. This can have a significant impact on her feelings of love and security.

Playing can also help to foster a stronger connection among multiple cats. If you’ve recently added a new feline friend to your household, incorporating interactive play sessions can help your existing cat or cats form a positive bond with their new companion.

4. Emotional Release: Just like humans, cats can experience emotions such as fear, loneliness, or sadness. Fluffy truly thrives when given the opportunity to engage in a lively play session to let out some of that pent-up energy. Think of it as your pet’s way of unwinding after a rough day, similar to how people might hit the gym or go for a jog.

5. Cultivate Confidence: Many cats naturally exude confidence and bravery, while others may tend to be a bit more cautious. If your furry companion falls into the second category, participating in playtime can help boost her self-confidence.

6. Celebrate Natural Instincts: Although they may look cute and cuddly, cats are actually highly skilled hunters. Fluffy relies on her hunting skills to flourish in her natural environment. She takes immense pleasure in refining her skills with her razor-sharp claws and teeth. It is crucial to allow your furry friend to unleash her inner lioness.

7. It’s Adorable! Last but not least, let’s face it. Watching a playful kitten in action is one of life’s greatest pleasures. 

How To Ensure Safe And Enjoyable Playtime For Your Cat

Interacting with Fluffy should be a breeze, but there are a few important things that cat owners should keep in mind. 

First, it is advisable to refrain from engaging in rough play in order to avoid any potential problems. It’s crucial to handle your cat with care when she playfully scratches your arm, as being too rough could potentially scare or hurt her. Additionally, there is a chance of inadvertently encouraging aggressive behavior.

It is important to prioritize the use of safe toys. Cats are often unaware of what is safe for them. In fact, some kitties display a peculiar affinity for items that carry a higher level of danger. Small or sharp objects, for instance, have the potential to be hazardous. It is important to be aware of the potential risks posed by stringed objects. Not only can they be choking hazards, but if swallowed, they have the potential to cause serious internal injuries. Remember to tidy up wand toys after playtime to prevent any potential tangles for your furry friend.

It’s also important to avoid playing near potentially dangerous areas such as stairs, pools, and fireplaces. If possible, choose a location with a softer surface, such as a carpet.

If you have multiple cats, avoid showing any sort of favoritism. This ensures that all of your furbabies receive equal attention during playtime.

What Is The Ideal Amount Of Playtime For Kitty?

At the end of the day, this one is up to you and Fluffy to decide. We recommend dedicating at least a portion of your daily routine to engaging in playtime with your beloved feline companion, even if it’s only for a brief period.

There’s no need to go overboard. When your cat loses interest or gets tired, she’ll probably just walk away and shift her attention to her next nap. There is a clear distinction between cats and dogs in this specific aspect. Fido is extremely committed to ensuring the happiness of his humans, often going above and beyond to the point of exhaustion. On the other hand, cats tend to be rather apathetic towards our wishes. Put simply, your feline friend may have affection for you, but she remains indifferent to your desires.

The age and activity level of your pet will also likely have an impact on this. A young kitten or a highly energetic adolescent cat will probably be much more interested in playing than a senior cat. 

What’s The Best Way To Engage With Fluffy?

Consider using interactive toys that can be operated from a distance, such as a wand toy, laser pointer, or remote-controlled toy. Playing becomes even more enjoyable and stimulating for your feline friend when she can’t anticipate the movements of her ‘prey’.

Additionally, this can assist in teaching Fluffy proper pet etiquette. While it may be tempting to let your furry friend playfully pounce on your toes or fingers, it’s important to consider the potential for misunderstandings. You should discourage Fluffy from believing that attacking you is acceptable behavior. 

Expert Guidance From A Jarvis, ON Vet

Do you have questions or concerns about your cat’s health or care? Don’t hesitate to contact us, your trusted Jarvis, ON pet clinic. We’re here to help!

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