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Last updated June 15, 2021

For most cat parents, providing their cat with a long, happy, and healthy life is a top priority. To achieve this goal, it’s absolutely crucial that they keep these kitties mentally and physically stimulated as often as possible.

While keeping tabs on a cat’s day-to-day activities may sound rather meticulous at first (after all, it’s likely that most pet parents aren’t dictating their cats’ every move 24/7!), it’s actually quite easy. All cat parents have to do is play with them more!

That’s right. Playing­­ or, more specifically, interactive play, where the cat’s parent directs a toy, is one of the healthiest exercises for kitties!

For many cat parents with less easily amused or senior cats, this advice may sound easier said than done. It’s important to remember, however, that when it comes to cats’ health, it’s crucial to never give up on getting their hearts and minds jogging.

The benefits of cat play

Here are some of the most valuable benefits cats can gain from playing with their parents:

Promotes exercise

Considering how cats spend about 67% of their lives sleeping, many cats have been assigned the false stereotype of being couch potatoes by choice, which is extremely unfortunate! Cats who lead sedentary lifestyles during their waking hours increase their risk of health problems, like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity down the road.

By encouraging cats to leap for wand toys or bunny-kick crinkle kickers, cat parents minimize these health risks and give their kitties a great workout!

Eliminates boredom

Cats are naturally curious and crave, at the very least, some degree of adventure within their environment. Without any stimuli to satisfy that craving, depression and lethargy can overwhelm a cat’s mood and behavior.

A great way for people to combat boredom in their cats is to switch up the routine and toys they use to play with them. Subscribing to a monthly cat subscription box, like KitNipBox, is a great solution for this. Subscription boxes for cats provide cat families with a variety of fresh, new toys every month, so cats (and their humans) always have something fun to look forward to.

Relieves stress and anxiety

Stress and anxiety are just as bad for cats as they are for humans! Cats can experience these emotions when dealing with a variety of unfamiliar situations, like being introduced to a new fur sibling or moving from one home to another. Playtime can distract cats from this type of discomfort and help them feel more confident in their shifting environment.

Promotes bonding

As mentioned earlier, some cats can feel uneasy when meeting a new member of their inner circle, furry or human. Sometimes, the tension can build up to an unpleasant point of hissing and even scratching! By swapping around cat toys for both parties to engage with, cats can not only overcome their suspicions about the “new guys,” but also bond with them by getting used to their smell via the toys prior to cohabitating. After all, who wouldn’t feel a sense of comradery with someone after drooling over a catnip toy together?

Builds confidence

Some cats, especially new foster cats or kitties that were just adopted, can be a little extra timid, which can hold them back from socializing with their parents and (if they have them) fur siblings. To counteract this, it’s recommended that cat parents play with their shy kitty in a quiet room for about fifteen minutes every day. Of course, cats should not be forced to play with their toys; rather, the cat will, eventually, let their genuine inner curiosity shine instead. Over time, the instinct to play will come out and the cat’s sense of “yes, I can totally get that fishy toy!” will take over.­­­­­­­­­­

Please note: before playing with their cats, it’s crucial that cat parents make sure that the cat goodies or toys used are perfectly safe for them to engage with!

Content provided by KitNipBox. KitNipBox is the #1 subscription box for cats! Every month, KitNipBox ships a box of fun toys and treats to happy cats (and their humans, who open the box with their thumbs) across the globe.