Do Cats Ask to Play?

Those who have cats understand their felines can be a bit of a mystery. Cats are smoother in their approach to things than dogs and you have to look at subtle cues to know if they want to play. 

Do cats ask to be played with? Yes, cats ask to play but tend to do it differently than asking directly. They may swap at a pen if you’re writing or climb across your computer if you’re working. These annoying habits are ways cats ask for attention. 

The article below gives you information about how to know when your cat wants to plan and how to play in a way that stimulates their minds. 

It’s Play Time

Carole Wilbourn, a New York author, and cat behaviorist, said cats “appreciate the subtleties in life” and you will need to figure out when they want to play. There are some big clues if you’re paying attention. 

One sure clue is persistent, needy behavior. They will get up in your lap or face until you pay attention. They will disrupt whatever you’re doing. Some will try to make playtime out of your current tasks, like chasing a mop or grabbing at a handtowel.

Cats are thought to be rather lazy but they need hard play as much as any dog. They need mental and physical stimulation and want you to interact with them. 

Some cats are highly vocal about getting attention. They can even change their tones to get a certain reaction.

Read: Bengal Cat Colors: Every Color & Pattern Combo You Should See

Scratching Furniture

Cats that scratch furniture are longing for exercise and that is how they attempt to get it. Most people think they are sharpening their claws but a cat scratching on furniture is just trying to stretch and move. 

Cats who don’t get enough play can be aggressive and destructive. They have energy with no outlet. A tired cat is a good cat. 

Read: Why You Shouldn’t Own a Bengal Cat?

The Wildness

Cats that long for play may get wild around the house. He may start jumping from chair to chair, get up on shelves, jump on counters and suddenly take off running with no apparent reason. 

Felines that have a wild hair with no escape hatch may also attack your ankles, try to climb up your pant legs, and even try to jump on your shoulder. This is all because they are entertaining their hunting instinct. 

Read: Is My Bengal Cat Depressed?

How to Play?

All forms of play for cats are a form of hunting. Hunting is what cats know and that is their mindset whether they are swatting at a feather toy, pounding on a stuffed toy, or wrestling with a toy. 

No Hands

There are some things you shouldn’t do when you play with your cat. You should never use your fingers or hands as toys. Cats will bite during play and using your hands teaches them that’s okay. 

Don’t Wrestle

Don’t pin down your cat or wrestle with it. This makes the cat feel this isn’t play but is a battle and they will see you as an enemy. They don’t understand wrestling to the ground and will become defensive, with you getting bitten or scratched. 

Let Them Win

Everyone wants to win sometimes and that includes your cat. You can make them work for it but let them catch whatever you have after a few tries. Don’t use a laser pointer either. Cats can’t ever actually catch it and it frustrates them. 

Cats that get frustrated, tired, or bored will suddenly walk away dejected. Don’t try to force them into play. Your cat may need to be alone for a while. 

Read: Are Bengal Cats Active?

He Wants Food More Than Play

This is usually a learned behavior. Some cat owners aren’t willing to play at times so they give their cats some treats or food to keep them busy and make up for the missed playtime. 

After a while of this unhealthy habit, a cat will go to his food dish to get your attention rather than ask for play. 

If you have a fat cat, you need to consult a vet before changing his diet or going into serious weight-losing playtime. Then, you can start injecting interactive play into your cat’s routine. One great way to start is to use treat-filled toys and puzzles. 

Read: Why Do Cats Stare at You While You Sleep?

FAQs

Is it normal for a cat to want to play all the time?

Some cats are more active than others. Their activity level depends on the breed and the age.

Kittens are going to need more playtime over older cats. It’s more than play though. Your cat wants to spend time with you. Failure to spend time with them will cause them to get lonely, stressed, and bored. That can lead to either depression or destructive behavior.

Do cats get sad if you don’t play with them?

Yes, cats can get sad and depressed. This is caused by stress and that can be caused by a cat not being allowed to do things they love like hunt, play, climb, and claw. A cat needs to be a cat so you need to make time to do the things they like.

Can I hurt my cat’s feelings?

Yes, cats have feelings on different emotional levels and are emotionally hurt by your actions. Some things that can hurt your cat’s feelings are to ignore them, brush them away, or raise your voice to them. 

How do I know my cat is happy?

Your cat will tell you they’re happy with their vocal sounds. They will purr and some will chirrup, which is a trilling type of sound. They may also greet you with a meow and some will even try to vocalize a conversation.

Why does my cat only play if I’m not in the room?

This is normal behavior for a cat and is called guarding. He just doesn’t want anyone else to touch his toys. 

How much playtime do cats need?

This is largely dependent on breed. Some cats have a deeper hunter instinct and need to play more to satisfy it. However, a typical domesticated cat needs one or two playtimes a day with each one lasting about 15 minutes.