The 5 main benefits of why you should be playing with your cat are less bad behavior, less killing of birds and other natural wildlife (in case of outdoor cat), better cat health, less chance for obesity and a cat that sleeps when you sleep.
Indoor or Outdoor Cat
Indoor or outdoor cat, it shouldn’t really matter, because you can play with both. All it requires is a bit of dedicated time from you. Indoor cats nee
d generally more stimulation, because there is no outdoors for them with continuous stimulation and motion.
Outdoor cats usually do not need our intervention, for there are mice, birds and insects to hunt, wind to get crazy in the head of and a lot of different things to explore, smell, (taste?) and so on. Nonetheless, you might want to interfere with their play a bit, as to reduce other behaviour, such as killing a lot of prey.
If you keep your cat indoors, your cat needs a lot more stimulation and exercise. If this is not your daily thing, you should consider having a second cat, so that your indoor cat has someone else to play around with when you are not around for it.
A good bunch of toys they can play themselves with is also an excellent way to stimulate movement indoors. As such it can be great to install a cat tree or have one or multiple cat tunnels in your house.
5 Main Benefits
I see at least 5 benefits of why you should be playing with your cat and I will go deeper into them below:
- Less Bad Behaviour
- Less Killing of Birds and Rodents (outdoor cats mostly)
- Better Cat Health
- Less Obesity
- Sleepy Cat When You Want To Sleep
Less Bad Behaviour
A cat is like a human that it needs a good portion of stimulation and exercise. Exercise is important for the bodily functions and keeps things like hormones in check. A lazy kitty can easily become a nuisance kitty through behavioral problems such as scratching on the wrong places, spraying/marking and meowing during the night.
Less Killing of Birds and Rodents
While you can have rodents in your house, the bigger problem is the killing of birds for outdoor cats. Not for the cat, but usually it is a problem for the bird count in the neighbourhood. A lot of kitties kill birds, not just because they need food, but just beca
use they need to stimulate themselves. Most domestic cats get a balanced diet at home and do not even need to eat the bird, but just catch it anyway for play.
Perhaps not everybody sees this as a problem, but it has actually caused extinction of certain species of birds around the globe.
All the cat really is asking for is some fun and play, so instead of letting them have a go at the bird population, you could try to play with them using branches from a tree, long grass or a rope-stick toy from a shop. Your cat will generally want to run after the object, while you move it over the ground behind you.
Better Cat Health
A cat that doesn’t get enough physical stimulation to move and hunt and play, will not have an optimal mental and physical state. This will directly and indirectly impact the cat’s overall health. Cats do get their daily food and drinks and so if they don’t move at all, you will more easily have an obese cat on your hands.
Switching to diet foods in these cases, usually means that the cat has even less energy to do something and will slow down even more. Alternatively they could get stressed up easier and show bad behaviour as a result of it.
Obesity is something that happens to cats that eat their food plus more. Obesity can also occur to cats that eat more energy than they use on physical activity. It is no different with cats as it is with us humans, calories in vs calories out. If you eat more than that you burn, you will gain weight.
An active cat will generally burn more energy and not become obese from eating too much food and moving too little.
Sleepy Cat When You Want To Sleep
A really great function of daily activity for your cat is that they will be silent during the night. Cats are by nature nocturnal creatures that hunt and play at night and are sleepy during the day. By changing this rhythm around by playing with them during the daytime, you will have a tired and sleepy cat on the nighttime, when you also are trying to shut your eyes.
Nothing is more annoying than a cat that keeps you awake during the night or starts meowing way too early for your sleeping habit taste.
Are There Multiple?
I am quite sure there are multiple benefits of playing with your cat. To name one, playing with your cat will create a stronger bond between you and your cat.
Cats are also like therapy to those that need some distraction, are ill and need a play mate or feel depressed. Now it is not any longer about the health of your cat, but also about the health of you. You will feel better when you play with your cat.
Not only are cats good at healing you or putting your mind on different thoughts, playing with a cat does also something with our brains. There is a chance you get a smile on your face from the funny way cats act or a chance for creating positive hormones in our own body and brain when we are putting our love and attention on a different person or creature.
Funny experiences you are definitely going to get. Cats really love to play and hunt. Reward your cat with one or two tasty treats, preferably of the healthy type, after playing with your cat for quite some time. Don’t give them too many though as treats are the number one reason for obesity in cats.
I am pretty sure there are EVEN more benefits of you playing with your cat. Do you know one?
Care to share them with us? Please share your experience or knowledge in the comments below.