There’s probably nothing cuter than watching kittens play with each other. What you may not know is that kitten play is more than just fun and games. When kittens play with their litter mates or other kittens, they’re learning valuable skills that’ll help them grow into happier and healthier cats. Here are 6 important life skills kittens learn as they run and tumble with their friends.
#1 – How to hunt
Kitten play is full of stalking, chasing, and tackling to the ground. While kittens certainly don’t think of each other as actual prey, their playtime often mimics aspects of hunting and prepares them to be sneaky hunters as they grow older.
#2 – Good social skills
In order to grow into social, emotionally-healthy cats, kittens need to be socialized. Most people know that kittens need to spend time around humans while they’re young in order to trust them as they get older, but they need to spend time around kittens and other cats too. Plus, having other kittens around helps them burn off some of their frenetic kitten energy.
#3 – Coordination
Young kittens are exceptionally adorable to watch play because they haven’t quite gotten comfortable in their bodies yet. Playing helps kittens improve their paw/eye coordination and helps them feel more confident about running, jumping, and climbing.
#4 – Communication
Playing helps kittens begin to learn and understand cat communication cues. Learning the basics of what it means when a playmate’s tail or ears are in a certain position will help a kitten understand and safely interact with other cats as it gets older.
#5 – Confidence
A shy kitten can build confidence by playing with other kittens. Each time she successfully tackles another kitten to the ground she’ll feel stronger, bolder, and in better control of her body.
#6 – Boundaries
Kittens who grow up without other kittens often don’t understand boundaries and may be prone to biting or scratching hard while playing. Kittens who get to play with other kittens, however, learn quickly what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to biting and clawing.
Thinking of adopting a kitten? Consider adopting two instead! Not only will a kitten be happier and healthier with a playmate in your home, but they’ll grow up to be best friends for life!