Cats, like humans, dogs and most other mammals, need activity to keep them mentally and physically well. Kittens are full of energy and can entertain themselves by doing the simplest of things. As cats get older however, their energy dissipates a notch. This doesn't mean that they don't want to play, it might just be an indicator of the cat's boredom with its current toys
. Playtime is all about fun but it is also important for various other reasons. Here's a few for you to consider:
- Prevent obesity among your cat with regular activity. Indoor cats are more prone to obesity compared to outdoor ones. Either way, if your cat is gaining weight, you can either reduce food intake or increase activity. Reducing food intake should be a slow process that is done over weeks. Playing can make cats lose weight while both the cat and its owner have fun.
- Playing makes the bond between you and your cat stronger. Similar to most other pets, cats need positive interactions to build trustworthy relations. Playing can provide an opportunity for you to show your cat some love and teach it how to love you back. Regardless of how your relationship with the cat is now, playing can improve it greatly.
- A confidence boost for shy cats is a result of regular playing. Confidence can be built by playing with your cat in a small room. Do not force it to play, rather just build it's curiosity by keeping the toy near it. Once it gets more comfortable, it will start playing. The confidence boost your cat gets from playing with you will improve its social interactions.
- One benefit that is great for both owners and pets, is that playtime is a great outlet for stress. It creates an environment where both of you can be relatively aggressive and still have fun. Spending physical energy also makes you calmer. For cats, physical activity is great but it is important to identify the source of the stressor and deal with it.
- Playtime is also a reliable method to curb unwanted behaviors such as aggression and other destructive behaviors. Redirecting aggression into fun activities will make sure that your cat spends its energy through the right outlet. Playtime provides a great outlet for when you have to discipline your cat without being harsh.
Playtime might not be a magical cure for all of your cat's problems but it sure can help. Other than dealing with all the factors above, playtime can also help with introducing new cats into the home and making your pets bond with each other. There are wide variety of toys to pick from so choose wisely and your cat will have lots of fun.