Do you schedule daily play sessions with your cat? An article on thepurrcompany.com site discusses the benefits of daily play sessions with your cat.
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Reinforces Bond Between You and Your Cat
First of all, playing reinforces the bond between you and your cat. Why should your cat just see you as the one who provides food, water and shelter? Engaging in regular play with your cat will have him greeting you happily at the door when you come home, ready to play!
Rule of thumb: Don’t let your cat assume your hands are play things. If he thinks he can bite or scratch your hands, then you will have a difficult time breaking him of that habit.
Helps Weight Management
When you play with your cat, you are helping him keep off excess pounds. Sure, it is important to feed him a balanced diet, but, just like with humans, exercise is an integral part of the equation in keeping your cat healthy. If your cat is an indoor cat, then playtime is vitally important, as it is the only opportunity for him to exert himself and stay trim.
Rule of thumb: Limit your play time to roughly 15 minutes. You don’t want your cat to overdo it!
Boosts Your Cat’s Confidence
Regular play time with your cat will instill a sense of confidence in him. In fact, kittens learn to relate to their siblings and to other cats through play. It is how they learn their place in the world and understand social education.
Rule of thumb: Continue consistent play with your cat so he becomes accustomed to human interaction and will be less likely to retreat into hiding when visitors arrive.
Hones Natural Hunting Skills
Daily play sessions will enhance your cat’s hunting prowess. Cats are natural-born hunters, but if your cat stays indoors and has little opportunity to express this instinct, interactive play with him is essential.
Give him a catnip mouse on the end of a cord and encourage him to chase the toy mouse as he goes in for the “kill.”
To make the most of daily play sessions, limit the use of a laser light. Part of the fun for cats is catching their prey, playing with a laser light doesn’t give that opportunity.
Rule of thumb: Maintain a fun selection of cat toys but only use a couple during one play session so the next time your cat can look forward to a new and different toy.
Helps Manage Aggression
If your cat is feeling somewhat aggressive on occasion, it can actually be a sign of boredom. Playtime will alleviate this sense of aggression.
Rule of thumb: Teach your cat not to scratch or bite during your play sessions. This is not a time for him to attack. Instead, offer praise and encouragement and whenever he shows signs of aggression, terminate the play session.
And if you don’t already realize this, playing with your cat is FUN!!!!