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Reasons To Play With Your Cat

May 16 2023

Does your feline pal sometimes pounce on your shoelaces, or smack your water bottle off the coffee table? Fluffy is nothing if not mischievous! As it turns out, one of the best things you can do for your little buddy is to play with her regularly. A local Martinez, CA vet lists some reasons why in this article. 


Cats are very energetic when they’re young. However, as they grow older, they tend to slow down … way down. It’s important to keep your feline friend active! This can become challenging with senior kitties, as older pets tend to be much more interested in napping than in playing. Play, of course, is Fluffy’s favorite workout. 


When you hold a laser pointer or feather pointer for your kitty, or roll a ball across the floor for her to chase after, she’ll know that you’re doing something specifically for her benefit. That will make her feel safe and loved. Don’t be surprised if Fluffy jumps onto your lap after her play session is over!


Just like people, cats can suffer from things like fear, depression, loneliness, and anxiety. If something is bothering Fluffy—whether it’s that annoying kitty from across the street walking through Her yard, or the squirrel taunting her from the tree outside—playing will help her work off her anger in a healthy way. 

Inner Lion 

Did you know that kitties share most of their DNA with their larger cousins? Fluffy actually does see herself as a lion! Those big cat hunting instincts are very deeply ingrained into your pet’s psyche. It’s good for your tiny buddy to let her inner huntress out. 


Nailing that tricky run/jump/pounce/roll/meow combination can be great for your kitty’s self esteem. This can be particularly helpful for scaredy-cats, just as scoring a goal can help a timid child gain self-esteem.

Mental Stimulation 

Kitties have to really focus to time those tricky jumps and pounces just right. That mental stimulation is actually very good for Fluffy’s mind. Think of it as the kitty version of solving a puzzle. 

It’s Cute 

Our feline buddies are adorable to watch when they are hard at play. Playing with Fluffy will probably put a smile on your face as well!

Our Advice on Reasons To Play With Your Cat

Why is regular play important for a cat’s physical health?

Regular play is vital for a cat’s physical health as it provides essential exercise, helping to maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related issues like diabetes and joint problems. Play stimulates cardiovascular activity, enhances muscle tone, and promotes agility and coordination. For indoor cats especially, play is a crucial way to mimic natural behaviors and maintain physical fitness. It also helps in digestive health by encouraging movement. Consistent playtime is an enjoyable and effective method to keep cats physically active, healthy, and engaged in their environment.

Can playtime help alleviate a cat’s emotional issues like anxiety or depression?

Yes, playtime can significantly help alleviate a cat’s emotional issues like anxiety or depression. Playing provides mental stimulation, reduces boredom, and can decrease stress levels. It allows cats to express their natural hunting instincts, offering an outlet for pent-up energy and frustration. Playtime also strengthens the bond between cats and their owners, fostering a sense of security and well-being. Regular interactive play sessions can improve a cat’s mood, increase their confidence, and provide a sense of routine, all beneficial for their emotional health.

How does play improve a cat’s confidence, especially in timid cats?

Play improves a cat’s confidence, particularly in timid cats, by allowing them to exercise control and succeed in mock hunting scenarios. Playing helps build trust and provides a safe environment for shy cats to express natural behaviors. Successfully catching a toy mouse or pouncing on a feather wand boosts their confidence and sense of achievement. This sense of mastery in a controlled setting can translate to increased confidence in other areas of their life. Regular, positive play experiences help timid cats become more comfortable with their surroundings and interactions, gradually reducing their fearfulness and building self-assurance.

What are some practical ways to engage your cat in play?

Effective ways to engage your cat in play include using interactive toys like feather wands, laser pointers, and toy mice, which mimic natural prey movements. Rotating toys regularly keeps things interesting. Incorporating climbing structures and scratching posts adds variety. Puzzle feeders stimulate their minds and mimic foraging behavior. Each cat has unique preferences; some may enjoy chasing, while others prefer pouncing or batting objects. Playing in short, frequent sessions aligns with a cat’s natural hunting rhythms. Observing your cat’s response and adapting the play to suit their style will enrich playtime.

Who can cat owners contact for their pet’s health and care advice?

Cat owners should contact a licensed veterinarian for their pet’s health and care advice. Veterinarians are equipped to provide comprehensive guidance on various aspects of feline health, including nutrition, behavior, preventive care, and medical issues. They can conduct health check-ups, diagnose and treat illnesses, and offer personalized recommendations based on the cat’s age, breed, and health status. Visiting a veterinary clinic or animal hospital for specific concerns or emergencies is best. Regular veterinary consultations are essential for maintaining a cat’s health and promptly addressing concerns.

Do you have questions about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local Martinez, CA veterinarians, today! 

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