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Playing with your cat: tips and best practices

Few cats do not like to have fun, regardless of their age. Despite their often qualified character independent, felines enjoy sharing playful moments with the members of their hearth. Why is gambling important to them? How much time to devote to them? What toys to choose and precautions to take ? Our responses.

Why play with your cat?

Regular play sessions feature many benefits for your cat. Examples:

  • Playing stimulates physical and motor skills. These moments of activity help keep him in good shape and fight against health problems. By exerting himself, he strengthens his immune defenses, makes work his heart, his muscles, his bones. In the event of osteoarthritis, it is therefore strongly recommended to maintain regular physical exercise because the muscles support the joints. Gambling is also a good way to avoid weight gain in cats, in particular in subjects living in apartments and who never go out;
  • Playing strengthens the bonds between you. Establishing games allows you to build and maintain a close relationship, based on trust. By devoting a special time to him, during which you are totally available and attentive, you show him that he occupies an important place in your home and your life;
  • Playing awakens his hunting instinct. Only a few weeks old, the kitten naturally begins to hide in strategic places where it can watch for its prey. A butterfly, a fly and he is ready to pounce! Some games will allow him to regain his predation skills;
  • Playing helps fight boredom. Your feline cannot spend his time sleeping, eating or grooming, he needs entertainment to escape his routine. Boredom can escalate into a situation of stressor even depression. It can then look for an outlet like food or become aggressive, causing damage. Getting him out of his monotony will clearly participate in his well-being.

How long to play with your cat?

You get out of work, come back from shopping, have the housework to do, the meal to prepare … In short, entertaining your animal is not among your priorities. However, you will have to find a time slot in your schedule to promote interactions with your cat in order to maintain a bond between you and make him happy, quite simply. Moreover, you will see that this playful break will do you the greatest good by getting out of your routine, worries and other daily tasks. If you have a kitten, know that the first 4 to 5 months of its life, it passes easily an hour a day to have fun.

This duration gradually decreases over the years and, for its balance, an adult cat needs to play at least between 20 and 30 minutes daily. It is recommended split up games during the day (three times 10 minutes, for example) because a one hour session may tire your feline (if it is hot, if it is old and / or in poor health) or to tire him out. These moments of sharing should remain a pleasure for both partners. If your feline has already spent a lot of time having fun on his own, alone or with fellow creatures, you can shorten the sessions. In any case, make sure that he is practicing an activity daily.

How to play with your cat?

The store is full of accessories aimed at entertaining felines. When you know that a piece of string snaking across the floor can be enough, it doesn’t always help to spend a fortune on the latest fashionable toy. Examples of distractions economic and fun:

  • The fishing rod is a great way to keep your pet entertained. This toy offers a multi-combination of lures that will awaken his hunting instinct. Let him catch the bait once in four to keep his motivation;
  • In the same vein as the fishing rod, the feather duster is one of the favorite toys of felines. Wave the object in front of his nose and he will jump on it in two steps three movements;
  • A simple ball promotes your pet’s physical activity. Supple, ultra light, scented, in sisal, in plastic… Whatever its material and shape, it will make your cat run;
  • With the sound mouse (and sometimes bright), you just have to pull on the rope located on the toy to activate the sound and launch your cat in its tracks;
  • A obstacle course has all the assets to stimulate the acrobatic abilities of felines. Crawling in a tunnel, climbing a stack of boxes, jumping off a stool… All the accessories and furniture will find their use in this sporting challenge. Remember to adapt the level of difficulty to their age and state of health;
  • A treasure hunt consists of hiding some kibble in various places of the house in order to encourage him to look for food. This activity will also stimulate his hunting instinct as well as his gluttony;
  • In the same vein, the intelligence games with treats will also arouse his interest. These products come in many forms: food labyrinth, sniffing mat, kibble dispenser ball, etc.

Playing with your cat: precautions to take

Playing with your cat daily is an excellent initiative provided that the session takes place without overflow or injury. Our recommendations :

  • Banish all scratch and aggressive behavior on his part. Chewing a toy yes, your hands no. In this case, give him a firm “no”, immediately stop playing and resume play once he has calmed down. Ideally, prefer toys that do not involve the hands, such as a feather duster or a fishing rod;
  • Be careful not to exhaust your pet because very physical games can cause significant fatigue, shortness of breath, heat stroke in summer. Take extra care with kittens and senior cats. Do not wait for signs of exhaustion to interrupt the session (the animal is panting, lying on its side or lying on the ground…);
  • Select carefully the type of toys avoiding sharp or pointed objects that can hurt your cat, fragile accessories that quickly crumble, balls and strings that are too long in which they can get tangled and strangle themselves, dangerous materials (glue, for example) that ” it could ingest, small parts (cork or plastic stoppers, foil or aluminum balls) which could cause occlusions intestinal if he swallows them;
  • Throw away any toy deteriorated or worn out so that it does not break down and ends up in your cat’s stomach;
  • It might sound like a no-brainer, but… don’t wake your cat up to play! Even if this is your only moment of availability, do not pull your pet from his sleep because he risks lacking motivation and being aggressive.

Now all you have to do is pull out the feather duster, fishing rod and other mouse to entertain your cat. Be inventive in your game proposals and consider varying the pleasures so that your cat does not get bored.

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