Why Cats Need Play

How to maintain your feline pal occupied with play as she grows from kittenhood into an grownup cat.

Watching a kitten taking part in with a furry mouse by no means will get outdated. She tosses it within the air, bites it, and assaults it with vigorous bunny kicks. Play is an integral a part of kittenhood, as any cat mother or father is aware of. The problem is to take care of that diploma of curiosity in play as she strikes from kittenhood to maturity.

The Art of Play 

Kittens be taught the artwork of play from their siblings. There’s nothing cuter than a litter of kittens tumbling round with one another. Beyond the cuteness, although, they’re studying necessary abilities, which incorporates setting boundaries with regards to biting and kicking. Play additionally helps with their coordination and helps strengthen their rising our bodies.

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Cats additionally sleep wherever from 12 to 16 hours a day, and as kittens develop into adults, they might change into bored extra simply, which suggests they spend extra time snoozing. While it might be straightforward to “let sleeping cats lie,” an absence of play means an absence of train, which might result in weight acquire and well being issues. So it’s necessary to encourage play in grownup cats. The query is, how?

Short Bursts of Energy

In the wild, cats function on brief bursts of vitality. This will be seen in our personal cats after they expertise episodes of the “zoomies.” Well-known “cat daddy” Jackson Galaxy takes these bursts of vitality into consideration when he recommends the “Boil and Simmer” method to taking part in along with your cat.

This entails taking part in along with your cat for a brief time period, letting her “simmer” down, then bringing her to a “boil” once more, and so forth. “Cats are motivated by their primal instincts to hunt, catch, kill and eat,” Jackson says, including that undesirable behaviors could happen if that vitality is just not launched.

Selecting Cat Toys

When it involves cat toys, the alternatives are limitless. Pet provide shops are chock stuffed with fishing poles with each possible toy dangling off the ends; catnip-stuffed toys in any form or dimension; balls with bells and feathers; colourful plastic springs; crinkle balls; and even motorized units. But it’s usually the only issues that seize your cat’s consideration. An empty bathroom paper roll, a wadded-up piece of paper, or an empty field will be made much more inviting with a sprinkling of catnip.

You could must experiment and provide your cat quite a lot of toys earlier than you discover the right match (and even then, her preferences could change). Chances are, you possibly can’t go mistaken with a fishing pole. One of Sofiya’s favorites as a kitten was a sq. of fake lamb’s wool on a rawhide string hooked up to a stick. She would drag it in all places till it defied restore and the material on the tip was unrecognizable.

Hint: If you’re fortunate, your kitty could be taught to play fetch; usually, that is one thing cats choose up on their very own. 

It’s All About Timing

Set apart a selected time for play every day – your cat will stay up for it and even begin to remind you. According to Jackson Galaxy, cats function on a “hunt-catch-kill” routine, bracketed on both finish by sleep. A interval of play earlier than meals can finish with dinner as a satisfying “catch,” whereas a session earlier than bedtime, adopted by a meal or deal with, may also help reduce the 4 a.m. crazies or 6 a.m. breakfast calls for.

Hint: Rotate your cat’s toys. Try storing them in a plastic bag with catnip so as to add to the enticement whenever you get them out once more.

Keep It Safe

When selecting toys on your cat, be careful for items that may be bitten off and ingested – googly eyes, buttons, items of yarn. Shiny Mylar strips hooked up to a stick are nice enjoyable, however they need to be put away between play periods to keep away from ingestion.

Laser toys are controversial. Cats love chasing that pink dot, however there’s no satisfaction of “catching prey” on the finish of the “hunt.” You can get round this by tossing her some treats towards the tip of the session to “end the job.”

Hint: It goes with out saying that the laser beam ought to by no means be pointed instantly into the cat’s eyes.   

Ensuring that your cat has loads of play in her life gives a number of advantages. It helps preserve her bodily match and mentally stimulated – and it additionally enhances the bond you share along with her.

The put up Why Cats Need Play appeared first on Animal Wellness Magazine.

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