How to play with your cat?
The game is present in all the life of the cat. It brings him well-being and soothes him to the point of sometimes being used in therapy. Even if an adult cat spends much less time playing than a kitten, he will always take great pleasure in it.
Play with kittens
Kittens will be able to start playing from 3 or 4 weeks of age. These games will first of all allow them to discover their environment through improvised hunting games, but they will also learn to control their movements as well as their emotions.
It is a training which is practised in solitary for the first attempts. The kitten will try to catch everything that moves: your foot, a fallen pen, a thread on the ground, his mother’s tail, a laser point …. to constitute an enemy to attack.
This game develops the powerful instinct of predation, later, the mother will teach her young to hunt in the wild, and this is where the play sessions will prove very useful.
Contrary to the previous one, this activity is practiced in group, normally with the brothers and sisters if all goes well. We can be afraid sometimes of how the game will turn out because the kittens give the impression of fighting each other: they bite, they cry, and they jump all the time. But there is no need to intervene, the mother will take care of it when she feels that these fights become too violent. She will teach her kittens, by doing this, where the behavioral limits are not to be exceeded. Thus, she socializes them.
As we repeat in many articles, this phase of play is very important because it contributes to the weaning, and thus to the mental health of the cat as he grows up.
Adult cat play
You should know that in the wild, it is said that adult cats do not play. It seems that they can’t relax enough to enjoy themselves. Also, at their stage, hunting is a survival activity, so it’s not to be taken lightly.
Play is an activity that only a well-fed cat can do. It is sometimes said that neutering promotes this juvenile behavior, but nothing has been proven.
t is possible to observe a little more agitation for play from cats, even those living in apartments, around sunrise and after sunset. In nature, these times correspond to the presence of birds in the morning and rodents in the evening.
If your cat lives in an enclosed area (without access to the outdoors), it is essential that you provide him with some toys to keep him sane. If your cat is not sufficiently stimulated, it could become depressed, anxious and/or aggressive.
This tool has launched some small controversy because used wrongly, the laser would be frustrating for cats because they never get a booty. It is therefore necessary to be careful to use it with moderation, especially in kittens. End the hunting session at the kibble dish to reduce the frustration of not getting the prey. The cat will eat after the hunt and be satisfied.
At veterinarians, you can find automatic lasers that do not require your presence to trigger. This makes it impossible to bring food to compensate for the prey. In talking with veterinarians who sell this item, I learned that even they know this toy is not healthy for cats. I do not recommend it. If your cat has toys available to him while you are away, he will be happy with them, and it is your duty to play with him when you are present.
If your cat is usually anxious, or afraid… Play is an excellent escape from these feelings. You should try to stimulate your cat to the point where he can let himselfplay. Eventually, he will come to see play as fun, as a way to relax. However, it is very important that you participate in these games, as a simple ball on the ground is not necessarily very stimulating for a cat with problems… You must be involved.
A cat that doesn’t respond to your suggestions, if ever, is probably depressed. Take your cat to a veterinarian so that he or she can determine whether or not your cat needs treatment.
The most expensive toys are not necessarily the ones that interest your cat the most. Here is a small list of examples:
- Cat trees, you can have small balls hanging with bells.
- The “plush” balls. Personally, my cat doesn’t care about balls with bells, and that’s good!
- Toys that hang from the end of a stick. The cat loves to see his target move according to your wishes.