How long should you play with your cat each day?

Contrary to popular belief, cats rarely play alone. Like dogs, the presence of their human is an essential condition to stimulate their instinct for play. In fact, playing every day with his cat is not an option but a duty that all cat owners must respect for the well-being of his feline.

Why do cats need to play?

As with children, cats need to play. This contributes significantly to reduce their anxiety, to externalize their energy, to fight against obesity but also and above all to fight against boredom. Indeed, the fact is that many domestic cats spend their days alone, most often sleeping, without the possibility of going out.

And for good reason, more and more cats live in urban areas, especially in apartments. However, the latter have no no other distraction in their day than the long-awaited return of their human home.

Not being able to go outside for walks in search of activities doesn’t necessarily make these cats unhappy. However, it is mandatory to compensate for this lack of activity with more frequent playing time.

Please note that this does not mean that cats that go out do not need to play with their human. However, let’s say that they need it less viscerally than apartment cats.

cat plays
Credits: iStock / Konstantin Aksenov

Note that playing time is not only a means of entertain our feline friends and stimulate their hunting instincts (which is, by the way, essential to their mental health).

Indeed, it is also an important moment which allows to create links then, thereafter, to strengthen the relationship between cat and human. It is therefore for all these reasons that it is essential to devote a little time to your cat every day.

How much playing time per day?

A heavy play session of an hour a day might seem ideal for a cat. In fact, most felines prefer shorter but more frequent sessions, spread if possible throughout the day. Thus, it is recommended to play with your cat 10 to 15 minutes, four to five times a day.

This period of time will keep him focused, prevent him from getting tired and above all stimulate it throughout the day. Maybe he’ll even let you sleep at night! However, it all depends on the age and state of health of your cat. In effect, a kitten will need to play more often than an older cat. Likewise, if your cat is sick or overweight, take it slowly.

Also, as you know, cats love rituals. It is therefore advisable to play with your feline at the same times each day.

Finally, remember to vary the toys each day of the week. The rest of the time, keep them in a drawer to prevent your cat from having access to them. In this way, he will be more careful when you take them out to play and won’t get tired of them. This little trick will save you from buying toys every week to try to interest your furry friend!

Good to know : the time of each game session is to be adapted according to the personality and desires of your cat. For example, if he tends to scatter after 5 minutes, decrease the playing time but increase the frequency. Conversely, if you feel he needs to tire himself out a bit, increase the playing time.