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The Importance of Playtime


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Playtime for kitty
When you look at what cats do in the wild, it is obvious why they need to play. They sleep as much as 16 hours per day and when they're awake, they need the exercise that play provides.
Kitten playing

In the wild, when they aren't sleeping, lions and tigers and other wild cats are stalking and hunting their prey or teaching their young to do so. Some benefits of play include:

  • Exercise
    Exercise is vital for keeping your cat healthy and sane. Playing with your cat and having your cat romp around with others is a perfect way for your cat to get exercise, both physically and mentally.

  • Release of Anxiety
    Anxiety and stress are as harmful to cats as they are to the rest of us. Cats under stress are more apt to develop behavioral problems such as aggression, urine marking, or obsessive-compulsive disorders.

  • Relief of Boredom
    Cats especially, being naturally curious, can get depressed and lethargic. Cats need some sort of challenge every day. Watch a cat try to grab at a ball that is spinning around randomly in a circle. He is concentrating so hard that a simple movement of your foot can send him skyrocketing into the air. Whether he is looking out the window at chattering birds, or chasing a feather stick, he loves and needs to play.

  • The importance of cat playtime
  • Feel Good
    Play, by definition, is something to make whomever is playing feel good. And your cat deserves to feel good, doesn't he?

  • Bonding With Other Cats or Animals in the House
    Cats chase other cats, cats entice dogs to chase after them, and cats even chase dogs in some households! This type of behavior provides much-needed bonding. Playing with your cat can even bond him to you - and who couldn't stand more bonds in their lives?

How to Provide Play for Your Felines

Usually, cats enjoy playing both inside the house and outdoors. There are a variety of ways that you can make playtime, inside or out, more fun for your cat.

  • Inside
    Look through our toy section to find something your cat can swat at. Da Bird Toy is one of our most popular items. It provides exercise and entertainment for you and your cat. We're not sure who enjoys it more - cats or their owners!

    A cat tree is a perfect place for your cat to perch to lie in wait for another cat - or even the dog! Anything that towers over the rest of the home's inhabitants will do. Window perches are especially popular since they allow kitty to see all that nature affords.

    Catnip is in a category by itself. It can entertain the cat and the rest of the household! Who knows what's going through your cat's mind once he smells that potent odor and wants to bathe his entire body in it!

  • Outside
    Use an enclosure such as the Kitty Condo or the Happy Habitat to keep your cat safe from wildlife and wildlife safe from your cat. He can sniff all there is to sniff, chase insects, and watch feathered friends, and you'll always know exactly where he is.

Every cat is different of course, and what works for one may not work for another - sometimes even in a multiple cat household! But, by careful observation, any cat owner - or rather anyone that is owned by a cat - can provide Nirvana to his favorite feline friend!

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