The Importance of Interactive Play with Cats

Caitlin, our Bedminster Store Manager and her feline friend Gadget, have written an article on the importance of cat play.

There is a common misconception that cats are low maintenance pets needing little attention, play or exercise. All you have to do is feed a cat and clean the litter box, right? Wrong! This is the kind of misguided information that can lead pet parents in the wrong direction and encourages cats to be the common stereotype of unfriendly, aloof and even nasty in some cases. Cats are actually very complex animals and need just as much tender love and care as other pets do. You already know that they need to be fed and cleaned, but one important cat care factor which is often left out, is interactive play.

Cats are naturally curious creatures
Cats are easily bored if there is nothing to challenge them on a daily basis. Boredom leads to depression and bad behavior such as marking and unwanted scratching. To avoid these behaviors, interactive play is key. One great and simple way to instigate interactive play is to purchase a cat teaser toy with a lot of feathers or ribbons and dangle it around for your feline friend. Catnip infused teasers are also great if you have a cat that is resistant to play.

Cats need exercise too 
Cats are natural hunters. In the wild they have plenty of time to burn off their last meal by hunting the next one. Our domestic furry friends, however, don't always have that opportunity, aside from the occasional bug. Playing with your cat and getting them to run and jump is essential to keeping them healthy. Cat towers, scratchers and tunnels are good furniture to purchase that will encourage climbing and jumping. You can bring that teaser back into play as well by having your cat chase it up the tower and through the tunnel.

Cats get anxiety
Maybe you just moved, got a new pet, work long hours or even recently had a baby. All of these things can stress your cat. Interactive play is especially important during these times to release anxiety and reduce stress. Playing with your cat for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night can help keep them happy. It can even use up some of their extra energy so they spend their down-time sleeping instead of scratching on your new sofa.

Cats are part of our family.
What better reason to play with your cat than to create a lasting special bond? Interactive play creates special bonds between us and our furry feline friends leading to a happier you and a happier kitty.