A Tampa, FL Veterinarian Answers FAQS About Playing With Your Cat

Kitties are without a doubt one of the most entertaining pets we have. Your furry companion may be quite small, but she has a huge personality. Fluffy has been making us laugh for years with her cute quirks, charming facial expressions and playful antics. As it turns out, taking time to play with your feline buddy every day is one of the best things you can do for her! Read on as a local vet discusses playing with your feline friend.

What Should I Not Do When Playing With My Cat?

Playing with cats isn’t rocket science, but there are a few things you should know. The biggest don’t would be don’t play rough. Your furry pal may have fun ‘kick-scratching’ your arm, but aside from that, you would run the risk of scaring or even injuring your kitty. 

Next, avoid using any unsafe items or toys. Cats don’t know what is and isn’t safe for them. (Some of them actually seem to be automatically drawn to unsafe things, though that’s another topic.) Anything small or sharp is a hazard. Stringed objects are also very dangerous: these are choking hazards, and can cause very serious internal injuries if ingested. Wand toys are generally fine, but be sure to put them away once playtime has ended. You don’t want your kitty getting tangled up!

Don’t play with Fluffy around potential hazards. That includes things like stairs, pools, and fireplaces. choose a spot with a soft surface, such as a thick rug.

Last but not least, if you have more than one cat, don’t play favorites. Show them both equal attention during playtime. Otherwise, your pets may get quite jealous of each other! 

Is My Cat Trying To Play With Me? Or Is She Attacking Me?

Cats can be a bit confusing. It’s sometimes hard to tell if your furry pal is being playful or if she’s actually angry. Watch her body language and behavior. If she’s feeling frisky, she may get a bit zoomy. She may lose interest in her ‘attack’ and start licking you instead. Playful cats may also ‘ambush’ their humans, perhaps by hiding behind the sofa and running out as you walk past. A polite, well-behaved kitty also won’t bite or scratch very hard.

Angry cats, on the other hand, may lash their tails, hiss, or growl, and they won’t hold back when biting or scratching.

Of course, cats can change gears quickly, and may move back and forth between the two with little or no warning, but that’s just part of the fun and mystique of these charming furballs.

Is It OK To Play With My Cat?

It’s not only okay to play with your feline buddy: it’s actually really good for her! We all know that kitties enjoy batting little balls around or pouncing on a toy mouse. What many people don’t realize is how beneficial these things are for them.

Here are a few reasons that playing is ‘pawesome’ for your furry friend: 

Stimulation: You may have noticed that Kittiesseem to really enjoy doing as little as possible. your furry can sleep up to 20 hours a day. (That seems a bit excessive, but we’ll discuss that another time.) When your kitty is awake, she needs something to do other than stare at the walls. That mental stimulation Fluffy gets from playing is great for her mind. Your tiny lion has to really focus to time those pounces and jumps. This not only helps keep her happy and entertained, it may even help keep her brain healthy as she grows older.

Bonding: When you grab that laser pointer or wand toy, your feline friend will know that you’re doing something for her benefit. That can go a long way towards helping her feel loved and safe! 

Ease Anxiety: Just like people, our feline friends can feel scared, lonely, or depressed. A vigorous play session is a purrfect chance for Fluffy to blow off some steam. Think of it as a kitty version of sweating off a bad day by going for a run. 

Build Confidence: Our feline friends all have their own individual purrsonalities. Some cats are bold and fearless. Others? Not so much. If your pet falls into the latter category, playing may help her feel more confident. Nailing that tricky pounce can be a big deal for kitties, just like scoring a goal can be for kids.

Exercise: Kitties are very frisky and active when they are young. However, as they age, they run out of steam. It’s just as important for your furry to keep fit as it is for us. Running, jumping, and pouncing all make great kitty workouts. This can keep your furball strong and healthy as she ages. Ask your Tampa, FL vet for specific advice.

Making Friends: Playing can also help kitties bond with each other. If you’ve recently adopted a new cat, dual play sessions can help your furballs form positive associations with each other. Just be sure not to play favorites.

Natural Instincts: Cats may be cute, but they are actually extremely efficient hunters. Your furry relies on her hunting skills to survive in the wild. While mastering the use of those sharp claws and teeth is fun for Fluffy, it’s also just very instinctive. Playing gives your cute pet the chance to unleash her inner lion. Or tiger. Or panther.

It’s Adorable: These charming and charismatic little furballs are extra adorable when they’re feeling silly. watching a frisky kitty hard at play will likely put a smile on your face as well.

Do KittiesLike When You Play With Them?

Kitties are all very unique. There likely are some furballs out there who just aren’t purrticularly interested in play. However, that would be the exception, rather than the rule. 

How Much Should I Play With My Cat?

We would recommend playing with your feline friend daily, even if for just a few minutes, though it’s really up to you and Fluffy. One thing you don’t have to worry about is overexerting your pet. This is one area where our feline and canine friends are very, very different. A dog will drive himself to the point of exhaustion to please his humans. Kitties, on the other hand, just don’t care what we want. If Fluffy loses interest or gets tired, she’ll just walk away and turn her attention to her next nap. 

That all said, this will also depend on how young and active Fluffy is. A kitten is going to be much more playful than a senior. 

What Is The Best Way To Play With Cats ?

Use something that you can control from a distance, such as a laser pointer, wand toy, or even a remote-controlled toy. playing will be more fun and more challenging for your feline buddy if she can’t anticipate what her ‘prey’ is going to do next. It’s also just better petiquette, and can help instill good manners. It may be cute to let your furry pal pounce on your toes or fingers, but that can send mixed signals. You don’t want your pet thinking that it’s okay for her to attack you! This can lead to dangerous behavior down the road.

Do you have questions about caring or playing with your feline buddy? Contact us, your Tampa, FL pet hospital, anytime!

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