As I teased in the last post, today we’re going to look at the way that our feline friends play. Chances are if you’re on this site then you’ve played with a cat. But have you ever stopped and thought about what you were doing? Why you were using that particular toy? Why the cat is playing in that particular way? Well that’s what we’re going to explore today.
Cats are predators and much of their play stems from that fact. From a young age kittens will practice their “kill blows” on each other just how Sheldon and Pekoe are doing in this picture, feigning towards each others necks, chasing each other around and just fighting in general. This is normal behaviour as it’s them practicing for the hunt and honing their coordination, speed and other abilities. Don’t get alarmed even if they sound like blood murder, working at the Cat Cuddle Cafe you understand that noise does not always equal a problem. Fundamentally Feline have a great video on this topic here if you’re curious about seeing this behaviour in action. If they do not have a social partner they may look to engage with you in this behaviour so it may be a good idea to adopt kittens in groups of 2 or more as that is when this type of play is most prevalent.
Cats like to play with toys as well for similar reasons. You will probably have noticed that a cat will chase a toy when it acts unexpectedly or tries to hide, that is because these toys are acting similar to how prey would act in a hunt scenario. A great toy that the Cuddle Stars love is the Robotic Insect Toy as it does a fantastic job of acting alive and the kitties can’t get enough of that. If you’re curious about that product you can find it here.
Let’s take a look at why cats play a little bit more and the benefits that are involved. And there are many benefits indeed. Younger kittens can learn about the world through play. Yes they learn to hunt prey, but even more than that, they can learn, for example, that if they hit a ball it will bounce away and through that play they can understand how kinetic energy and force works, at least on a surface level. Adult cats can stay in shape and improve their paw-eye coordination by participating in play. Play has helped Marvin work towards his dream of being a professional basketball player. You can also use play to form a bond with your fur baby as you can reinforce that you are a creator of fun, the fish on the stick doesn’t move in interesting ways unless the hooman is there to move it.
Of course we’ll never know exactly what goes through a cat’s head but this is what we’ve been able to work out so far. Hopefully you’ve learned something more about how kitties like to play. Feel free to share stories about how your cat likes to play and why not leave a comment about what you want to learn about next?