Playtime is fun for both you and your cat, but many cat parents don’t take the time to do it very often. That’s because many people think of playtime as an optional perk that can be neglected when they’re too busy. To the contrary, playtime is an important part of keeping indoor cats happy and healthy. Here are six great reasons to make sure to play with your cat more often.
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#1 – Socialization
Socialization is critical if you’re raising a kitten. In fact, kittens who aren’t properly socialized to humans by the time they’re 4 months old risk living lives full of fear and anxiety. Socialization is important for adult cats too. Having a consistent play routine can help your cat be less shy and more confident, and will ultimately teach her that humans are trustworthy and fun.
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#2 – Exercise
Without regular play and exercise, indoor cats are prone to obesity. Overweight cats are at a significantly higher risk for painful or life threatening conditions such as osteoarthritis, feline diabetes, and heart stress. Regular play sessions with your cat may even increase her chances of being more active when you aren’t around to play.
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#3 – Bonding
Sharing mutually-fun moments with your cat is a great way to bond and connect! She’ll love the extra time and attention from her favorite person.
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#4 – Brain Stimulation
In the wild, cats stay mentally stimulated by all of the sounds, smells, and prey of the great outdoors. Your indoor-cat’s environment is lacking in this regard unless you’re supplementing it with stimulating games and toys. Playing games that spark your cat’s hunting instincts will help stimulate her mind and body.
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#5 – Happiness
Just like us, cats can become sad and depressed sometimes. Cats who stay active and mentally stimulated, though, are less likely to become depressed. If you’re not sure if your cat is exhibiting signs of feline depression, read more about it in our article Is Your Cat Depressed? Look For These 6 Signs!
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#6 – Reduce Behavioral Problems
Behavioral problems like spraying and scratching the couch are simply your cat’s way of communicating with you that something is wrong with their environment. It can take a bit of detective work to get to the bottom of what’s going on, but many behavioral problems stem from an environment that isn’t stimulating enough. Playing with your cat more just might put an end to some undesirable behavior!