CAT PERSONALITIES: HOW TO PLAY WITH YOUR CAT
Cats love three things (in this order): Napping, eating and playing. Whether you're a new cat owner hoping to strengthen your bond or a seasoned cat professional looking to spice things up, play can be a great way to connect with your pet. Just like every cat has a preferred lounge area, play can (and should) be catered to them as an individual. Let's learn how to play with your cat based on their personality.
First, you'll need to identify your cat's personality (we've made an easy guide to help). You might say to yourself, "But my divine feline fits into several of these cat-egories!" Listen, darling, every cat contains multitudes. Give a variety of types of play a shot to see what they like. Let the games begin!
The sly stalker
Humans have always speculated that cats like to play mind games, and Sly Stalkers are the closest we have to proof. They're truly in it for the thrill. They love fast-paced, unpredictable play, like brightly colored wands and motorized toys that bring out their hunter instincts. They love a good chase and relish the opportunity to pounce. Watch your back, though (and your ankles!); you never know when these mischievous hecklers may strike.
No cat tree too high, no box left unexplored: Adventurers are curious by nature and love a challenge. Consider setting up a cardboard box maze with treats hidden throughout or playing a classic game of hide-and-seek. Cats like this love variety, so maybe switch up dinnertime, too!
The snuggle bug
Snuggle Bugs are sweet and cuddly, often preferring low-key hangouts on the couch over high-octane cat play. Oftentimes senior cats who were once feisty and full of energy transition into Snuggle Bugs over time, so be sure to adjust to their changing needs. In lieu of busy play, maybe wrap up your cat in a purr-ito using a cozy blanket, or put on a hooded sweatshirt backward and let them lounge in the hood while you watch TV or work from home.
The cool cat
The Cool Cat is the most chill of all the cat personalities — some might even say "hard to read." These coy cats may show no interest in playing at all, or may bat at a toy half-heartedly just to appease you. Try putting on some "cat TV" or interactive cat games on your phone or tablet that they can paw at their leisure.
Queen of their jungle
Queens of Their Jungle have a certain ... air about them. They just can't help but walk around like they own the place. Cats like this will love play that makes them feel like the winner almost immediately, such as a mouse toy that can easily be tackled and hidden or a wand toy dangled over the edge of the couch and captured like prey. Whatever the game, these queens love to win.
What are some common cat toys for all personality types?
Excellent question, darling. First, let us say that not every toy needs to be a fancy, expensive trinket. You might look around and ask yourself, "What household items can be used as cat toys?" Really, anything can be used for cat play: cardboard boxes, plastic bags, an old sock, a bell on a string ... anything that makes noise or that your cat can dynamically play with is perfect.
This then begs the question: "What household items should not be used as cat toys?" Even though it's a classic, a ball of yarn is a no-go, as well as (obviously) anything sharp or too small. Always supervise play, and when in doubt, call your vet.
How much play does my cat need?
Cat owners know their cats better than anyone, so we often say to trust your gut. While every cat needs mental and physical stimulation through interactive play, each cat's preferences are different. Try to squeeze in a few five- to ten-minute play sessions each day as a start.
Some cats like to play rough, while others prefer a more civilized play. If you have more than one cat, this difference in styles may be even more apparent. Remember: If your fantastic feline doesn't love a certain type of play, don't fret. We've got a plethora of creative ways to play with your cat. You're bound to find some games that are your cat's meow. Enjoy!