This article started with questions submitted on the website where a visitor asked if a cat not playing was a bad thing.
The e-mail went on to explain that this particular feline has never engaged in any kind of playful activities.
At times she seems interested, but has never made the jump from watching to actually interacting with other members of the family.I did a little research on the subject as I have never experienced this myself. All of our family cats even the crazy ones would engage in some kind of playtime activities so for me I thought a cat not playing was unusual.
Although this may not be common it’s not completely unheard of as I later found out. After doing some research and reading a lot of articles on the subject I think I have a better understanding on this issue. In addition, I sat down with my veterinarian during a scheduled yearly exam for Thomas and discussed the situation before writing this article.
In addition, I sat down with my veterinarian during a scheduled yearly exam for Thomas and discussed the situation before writing this article.
He’s a strong believer that pets not only want to, but need to play to be healthy. Teaching your cat to play effectively can improve their social skills and their fitness level.
From the physical point of view playtime can help support heart health and keep joints limber and muscles strong. For indoor cats that never go outside this essential activity and prevent obesity and all of the other health conditions that come along with that condition.
The Power of a Cats Playtime
Hunting is a strong natural instinct and playtime can exercise these skills along with survival skills like play fighting. When humans get involved with playtime it can actually strengthen the bond that you have with your feline friend.
Kittens learn how to be adult cats through copious amounts of playtime with their Moms. The playing can be broken down into two main groups social and object oriented. Social play involves other cats or family members.
Object play involves moving toys or items to mimic prey. It hones the cat’s paw to eye coordination and manual dexterity. This is practiced in the wild to keep hunting skills sharp.This is why most cats are born with a strong instinctual urge to perform in this valuable activity. Often when you have a cat not playing at all it can be due to trauma that was suffered early in life that disrupted the normal progression of maturity.
It will take a little encouragement to get their natural instinct stimulated where they will feel comfortable participating in this activity.
Persistence is probably the most important factor in motivating a cat to play. Having the right tools can make this easier.
And by tools I mean fun to play with Toys and a toy collection should at least include the old favorites of catnip mice some bouncy balls, and the ever popular wand and string with an irresistible cat toy at the end of the string.
Using the wand to drag the toy across the floor should attract the attention of even the most stubborn cat and stimulate one of their most inherent instincts which is the pouncing behavior.
To stay alive and the Wildcats need to eat they have become experts at sensing movement that could be small prey. When prey is spotted the instinct is triggered for them to leap on top of it so that it can be controlled.
This skill set has been used for thousands of years by the feline. Even the most spoiled pet will stalk and chase objects that are moving in an interesting way.
Just make sure you initiate at the right time of the day. For example, you wouldn’t want to start this play time procedure at the beginning of nap time.
Once you get a stubborn cat playing note the circumstances and try again when these are duplicated. My cats like to go after pray after they eat. Although some pets might prefer before meal time.
Regardless, engage in the activity on a regular basis. You’ll have to work around their schedule even if it’s not convenient for you. I think the take away is that you need to be persistent and encouraging.
It may take some time for your cat to turn into a playful one. Be sure to praise them and make a big deal out of playtime with lots of pleasant noises so that your cat knows that this is a special time.