Have you ever wondered why it’s important to play with your cat every day? Sometimes we think that giving our cats healthy food, throwing some toys on the floor, and buying a fancy pet bed we are making our cats happy. The truth is these elements are important, but one of the most important things for cats is playing on a daily basis. Why?
Because cats are not meant to be inside houses, in the wild they are predators in permanent motion, looking for preys to hunt. They enjoy and are curious about what the wildlife can offer: chasing flies, butterflies, birds, mice, and so much more.
Cats have been “domesticated” but not completely, their instincts are still calling them to hunt. If a cat doesn’t do much physical activity the feline starts accumulating energy. That’s when playing with your cat becomes one and if not the most important thing you can do for your cat because it burns all the energy that your cat would be spending in the wild.
5 Reasons Why It’s Important To Play With Your Cat
Playing with your cat is as important as walking your dog. Here there are 5 reasons why you need to play with your cat every day, at least for 15 minutes straight:
#1 Burn The Cat’s Energy which Avoids Anxiety or Stress
When a cat doesn’t do too much activity, it starts accumulating energy and anxiety. They get bored, depressed, and stressed as well.
When cats have anxiety, boredom and depression they usually start eating more, which brings an extra problem, the overweight cat. Another symptom of a bored cat is when they start tipping things over in the house, such as cups from the table, candles from the chimney mantel, and so on.
When cats suffer anxiety or stress for a long time they start to show their unhappiness through aggression, changing their habits when using the litter box, they might stop eating or hiding all day to the point that you don’t see your cat around anymore. You must observe your cat and if you notice any of these changes you must start playing with your pet daily.
#2 To Keep Your Pet at a Healthy Weight
Playing with your cat is such a good habit because even if your cat is a little bit of a glutton, you can keep your pet at a healthy weight just by playing with it daily.
It’s incredible how much a cat can exercise just with a little bit of effort from its human. For example, by dragging a teaser wand around the house you can make your cat run and jump a lot and you won’t have to move too much to accomplish this. Playing like this is such a good exercise that will make your pet burn lots of calories.
Exercising your cat on a daily basis becomes critical for your cat’s health, considering that most cat foods contain ingredients that aren’t natural in cats diet and cause them to gain weight.
#3 To Stimulate Your Cat Mentally
Not only do human beings need to be mentally stimulated, but cats also need exactly the same. In the wild cats need to figure out ways to hunt prey on a daily basis. This constant hunting activity keeps their mind occupied designing small strategies how to get the prey from a tree, getting a bug from underneath a small stone, hiding to catch a bird, chasing a mouse or blocking the exit of a potential prey, to name some.
Cats usually design a visual map before attacking their prey. The cat’s eyes don’t allow him to see what’s right in front of him and this is why they need to visualize a type of 3-D map to determine the best way to catch the prey considering all the possible ways this prey could escape.
This intellectual skill is part of the cat survival in the wild, but as indoor cats don’t need to hunt to eat this instinct doesn’t get fulfilled. We could state that indoor cats lose their sense of purpose when they become indoors and you need to fulfill this need by playing with your pet daily and making sure to provide different games periodically to keep your cat curiosity and motivation.
#4 To Develop Your Cat’s Hunting and Physical skills
When I play with my cat Sophie I can see that she has developed certain skills that I never saw before.
She loves chasing a teaser wand and in the beginning she didn’t get as good as she is today. Every time I play with her I am impressed how high she can jump and how fast she gets to the teaser. She now turns around in the air just to swat at the toy, it is really unbelievable! I never thought that playing with my cat could make her develop such a great ability to hunt. Her legs are stronger and her swatting much faster which means she is a much better hunter.
As I play with her I try different challenges throughout the game so I make her jump higher or I make her jump over obstacles and land in one exact spot. When cats have stronger legs and much better abilities to jump and land they are less prone to failed jumps which in some cases could get the cat hurt.
VIDEO OF MY CAT SOPHIE PLAYING
(you’ll see how worn-out her favorite toy is :-) )
#5 To Strengthen Your Bond With Your Cat
The last but not the least is that every time you play with your cat, you create a very special bond that will make your pet love you more and more. In reality, when you play with your cat you are like its brother or sister and you become a very important part of its life. If you want your cat to follow you and love you wherever you go, this is the best way to accomplish this.
If you recently got a cat this is the best way to bond with your pet. Make sure to play with it daily and the longer you play, the more you will bond with your pet.
Now for example that I am writing this article, she is right next to me and she was never like that before. She was kind of a distant “queen”, but now she follows me wherever I go and the most important thing: she trusts me much more now, to the point that I can clean her ears or eyes once in a while without any hesitation from her. This is trust and it’s love.
I hope my article helped you to understand the importance of playing with your feline friend. You will make it so much happier.
See you soon!