How Much Play Time Do Cats Really Need? | Kittio

How Much Play Time Do Cats Really Need?

Exercise is one of the most essential factors that helps promote long-term happiness and health for cats. Simply put, playtime is the best way to get cats exercising. 

Play is a vital element in your cat’s life.

“One hour of play increases a cat’s healthy lifespan by four hours. It often improves cats’ mental health too, lessening anxiety and destructive behavior.” says Dr. Carol Osborne, DVM of Chagrin Falls Veterinary Center & Pet Clinic in Ohio.

According to various experts, the minimum you should be playing with your cats is two 10-15 minutes play sessions per day with different toys to rotate. Ideally, you should get them moving for 30 minutes to one hour a day.

The Robo Mouse, our top-rated interactive cat toy.
Designed for long autonomous play sessions!

Beyond exercise, why do cats need play?

Cats need to play just like human children do. Play sessions helps them deal with boredom, stimulates their brain, and builds a bond between the cat and owner.

Aside from all these benefits, there is one crucial reason why it is important: play is a part of a cat's biology. Playing engages the natural hunting instincts in cats, which helps them stay mentally fit and stimulated.

The Frisky Feather toy is perfect for engaging hunting instincts.

The majority of behavioral problems that owners experience with cats stem from the cats not getting enough playtime. As Dr. Truitt from The Vet Set, New York, puts it: “in most cases of behavioral problems with cats, the owners are not actively engaging in playtime with their cats."

Evidently, playtime and health go hand and hand with with each other. But how can we prevent cats from getting bored of playing?

The simple answer is to have more toys! Cats need a variety of different kinds of toys. Toys that you can just throw (plushes), toys to play tug-a-war with (rods/wands), interactive toys where the owner isn't there, and many more.

The 'Busy Butterfly', one our best-selling interactive cat toys, and a cat favorite!
The Busy Butterfly, one of our best-selling interactive toys.

Different types of toys stimulate cats in different ways. It also can depend on what types of toys your cat prefers. Experts suggest to try out different types and keep them on rotations for play (in order to keep things fresh, exciting, and new). Toys that reward "a hunt" have been shown as a fun and effective way to keep your cat healthy. 

We may be biased, but we think truly Kittio toys are a great option. All of our toys are designed with cats in mind to provide them with the exercise and mental stimulation they need.

Browse Kittio Cat Toys →

Our last tip for play is to schedule out the play sessions daily, at the same time. The play sessions being at the same time everyday will help your cat if they are stubborn. They will get used to playing around certain times of the day, and will expect you to stay consistent!