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Reasons To Play With Your Cat
March 1, 2023

Does your kitty sometimes amuse herself by batting a bottlecap or ice cube around the kitchen? Our feline friends are always cute, but they somehow manage to become extra adorable when they’re feeling silly. As it turns out, playing with Fluffy is one of the best things that you can do for her. A local Potomac, MD vet lists some reasons why in this article.


We probably don’t have to tell you that cats are, well, pretty lazy. Fluffy is usually quite frisky when she’s young. However, she’ll run out of steam after a few years, and will become more interested in perfecting her sleeping positions than perfecting her pounces. That iconic kitty laziness is cute, and it does make our feline buddies easy keepers, but it’s not exactly great for their waistlines. A fun session of Catch The Red Dot or Pounce On The Feather Toy can make a great workout for your drowsy pet. This will help keep your kitty fit and healthy as she grows older.


We know, Fluffy seems to revel in doing as little as possible. However, even the laziest furball needs some sort of entertainment. Just like people, cats can get bored, restless, and unhappy with nothing to do! Regular play sessions provide your little buddy with the amusement and mental stimulation she needs.

Kitty Therapy

Our feline friends are very emotional, and can battle with things like stress, depression, and anxiety. Playing lets your pet take her inner kitty angst out on a toy, which can do her a world of good. It’s also great for anxious cats. Nailing that tricky run-jump-pounce-kick can be a wonderful confidence booster for a timid furball!  

Zoomie Control

Does Fluffy sometimes decide to play kitchen hockey in the middle of the night? Does your kitty pounce on your toes as you’re trying to sleep? Wear her out with a fun play session before bed. Voila!


When you take time to hold a laser pointer or feather toy for Fluffy, or toss a new catnip mouse down before her, she’ll know that you’re making an effort to keep her amused and happy. That can go a long way towards earning your furry pal’s love and trust!

Our Advice on Reasons To Play With Your Cat in 2024

What specific types of toys are most engaging and stimulating for cats?

For engaging and stimulating cat play, interactive toys such as laser pointers and feather wands are highly effective, as they mimic the movements of prey and encourage natural hunting behaviors. Puzzle toys that dispense treats can motivate cats to solve problems, keeping their minds active. Crinkle balls and motorized mice provoke curiosity and play, while catnip toys can heighten excitement and enjoyment. Rotating these toys and introducing new ones periodically can prevent boredom and maintain a cat’s interest over time.

How long and how often should play sessions with cats be?

Play sessions for cats should ideally last about 10 to 15 minutes and occur at least twice a day. This duration and frequency help maintain a cat’s interest and energy levels without overexerting them. Cats are naturally inclined to short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest, mirroring their hunting behavior in the wild. Regular play helps keep cats physically and mentally stimulated, reducing behavioral issues linked to boredom and excess energy. Adjusting the length and frequency of play sessions based on the cat’s age, health, and behavior is advisable.

How can owners create a safe and engaging play environment for their cats?

To create a safe and engaging play environment for cats, owners should ensure the space is free from potential hazards such as small ingestible objects, toxic plants, and loose wires. Use toys that are durable and cat-safe, avoiding those with small detachable parts. Incorporating various types of toys, such as climbing structures, scratching posts, and hiding spots, can stimulate different forms of play and exercise. Regularly rotating toys keeps the environment fresh and interesting. Additionally, providing a window perch can offer visual stimulation and a favored resting spot post-play.

What are some ways to encourage play and exercise for cats who are overweight or have mobility issues?

For overweight or mobility-challenged cats, encouraging play and exercise requires gentle yet engaging activities. Interactive toys that can be moved slowly, such as laser pointers or feather wands, allow these cats to engage without high-impact movements. Treat-dispensing puzzle toys can also motivate them to move by appealing to their problem-solving instincts and reward-driven behaviors. Setting up multiple short play sessions throughout the day helps manage energy levels without overexertion. Additionally, placing toys on various levels encourages gentle climbing and stretching, which are beneficial for keeping joints mobile.

How can owners use play sessions to reinforce positive behaviors and discourage unwanted ones?

Owners can use play sessions to reinforce positive behaviors by rewarding their cats with playtime immediately following good behavior. This positive reinforcement helps the cat associate the behavior with enjoyable outcomes. For example, if a cat uses its scratching post instead of furniture, promptly initiating a play session can strengthen this habit. To discourage unwanted behaviors, avoid giving attention during or immediately after these actions. Instead, redirect the behavior by engaging the cat with toys during moments they typically misbehave, thus providing a positive outlet for their energy and instincts.

Is your furry buddy due for an exam? Contact us, your local Gaithersburg, MD animal clinic, anytime. We are always happy to help!