Thursdays Cat – Why An Adult Cat Needs Interactive Play

I think I’ll reserve Tuesdays for all things feline. It may come as a surprise, but we junkies do more than just use drugs.

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Taken of the kittens born 6 weeks ago at my place. They are simply adorable.

Bear (gray & white playing with Twisted Sister (silver tabby/tiger cat) and Little Sister in the background. Howwver me thinks Little Sister may now be Big Brother. I’m not completely sure, but the kitten in the background was the smallest of the litter, 6 weeks later she/he is now the biggest.

If you have, or have had older indoor cats, then you know finding ways for them to exercise and keep fit can require some imagination. Not all of us have the time or patience to help them get it either. Although in truth, it’s not all that time consuming and can greatly improve not only their quality of life, but  help extend that life as well.

Here’s an article that provides ideas and reasons as to why it’s a wonderful idea to toss a ball with your cat.

Interactive play sessions are beneficial to an adult cat.

These sessions help to:

  • build trust
  • build confidence
  • strengthen the bond you share with one another
  • reduce fear
  • provide exercise for an overweight or sedentary cat
  • encourage a normal and healthy appetite
  • ease tension in a house with multiple cats
  • build confidence in a nervous or shy cat
  • diffuse aggression
  • correct inappropriate biting and scratching
  • ease reactions to traumatic events
  • ease discomfort of a new environment
  • provide beneficial stimulation for depressed cats
  • accelerate acceptance of new family members
  • allow you to interact with an unpredictable cat without the risk of being injured

When owning an indoor only cat, the cat must be provided with opportunities for exercise and encouraged often to play games. Some welcome diversions you may offer to your cat are large, strong cardboard boxes, (be sure they never contained any hazardous material), corrurgated paper and tubes of cardboard. You may also wish to purchase an indoor ‘climbing tree’ from your local pet store. To remind a cat of its hunting skills, catnip mice and other similar toys will do nicely. Be sure to also provide some kind of a scratching post as it is essential.

I’ve aso found rolled up balls of paper (newspaper, foil etc.) have been some of my cats fav toys to chase, just throw them or flick the with your finger.

How to tell if your cats are playing or fighting:

It can be difficult to tell the difference sometimes between cat play or fighting. The following are a few general guidelines to help you determine which is which:

  • When cats are playing, they may each hiss once or twice, but if your cats hiss several times, most likely they are fighting.
  • Cats who play with one another tend to take turns in the offensive and defensive postures. While engaged in fighting, there’s usually no role reversal.
  • No yowling or screaming should be present in play.
  • Cats should not get hurt during play, unless it’s by accident. Cats fighting may give or receive a bite or scratch wound.
  • When your cats are done playing they should act normal with each other, not avoid each other. After fighting, one or both of the cats will tend to stay out of each other’s way.
  • If you have cats who don’t tend to get along with each other and they look like they’re playing, they may actually be fighting. If you are not sure, try to distract them with a positive noise, like the can opener or shaking the treat box. Be sure to keep it positive however. You don’t want to discourage a possible friendship if they really are playing.

Written by Laurie Buckley, a longtime cat lover and owner of currently five cats.

 

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2 Comments »

  1. mary_bc Said:

    Each and every one except for my Stewie, I found him and the vet said he was way too old to be fixed..but he was never a sprayer thank the cat powers that be..and his pee, believe it or not..smelled normal.

  2. Ilene Said:

    Are all your kitties neutered/spayed?


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