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5 Signs Your Cat Wants More Playtime: Get to Know Your Cat!

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By Kerry-Ann Kerr

Girl playing with her cat

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Fortunately for dog owners, when dogs want to play, they make it really obvious by grabbing their favorite toy and leaving it at their owner’s feet. Most cats have a little more subtlety about them, which makes the job of a cat owner that much harder.

So, if your cat wants more playtime, what signs should you be on the lookout for? There are various ways your cat might put its point across, and how it chooses to do so depends on its personality. To make it a little easier, we’ve listed the ways your cat might hint at more playtime below.

The 5 Signs Your Cat Wants More Playtime

1. Needier Than Usual

ginger cat with the owner
Photo Credit: Yuriy Seleznev, Shutterstock

Some cats aren’t shy about their needs. So if your cat is meowing at you or lying across your laptop, you have one of the less subtle cats living in your house.

This needy behavior can be annoying, especially if you’re in the middle of something. But there is a reason behind your cat’s persistence. If you have an indoor cat, it might be worth investing in its environment.

Get a cat tree, a tunnel, or a perch to spice up your home. Scheduled playtimes are also great and give your pet the attention they crave. This means you can do whatever you need to in peace, and your cat also gets what it wants!

2. Piling on the Pounds

fat cat sitting on the grass
Photo Credit: Dennis van de Water, Shutterstock

If you’ve noticed your cat is gaining weight, you might need to replace the snacks with playtime. It’s easy to substitute food for play when your cat annoys you for attention, especially when you’re busy. The first thing to do is consult your veterinarian to develop an appropriate diet for your cat and ensure there are no underlying health conditions to be worried about.

Once your cat is in the clear, you can introduce the interactive play. Chasing after teaser sticks, running after a ball of wool, just get your kitty moving.

3. Stand-Offish

Sad Bored Cat
Photo Credit: Julita, Pixabay

If your cat is a little withdrawn or sulky, it could be bored. Of course, a cat with enough playtime or human interaction might just want to be alone, but there’s a difference between a cat that is relaxed and happy to be by itself and one that is spending increasing amounts of time alone.

You don’t want to force playtime on your cat, but you could always tempt it with a catnip-stuffed mouse or a treat puzzle to see if they need more stimulation in their lives.

4. Attacking Your Ankles

cat rubbing against owner
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

If your cat has a feisty side, you might notice it tends to attack you to get your attention. If there is not anything to entertain your kitty’s inner predator, it’s going to attack what’s available. Playtime like hide-and-seek with feather toys might appeal to its wild side and will also save your ankles! Never encourage them to pounce on your hands or ankles as this can quickly become a troubling behavior.

5. Scratching the Furniture

male domesetic cat scratching furniture with front claws
Image Credit: Melissa Sue, Shutterstock

If you find yourself skimping on the playtimes, your furniture might suffer for it. Cats can become destructive if they have too much bottled-up energy. Making time for some play will strengthen your bond and save you a lot of money on replacement furniture.

People Also Ask

Why Is Play Important?

Playtime is an excellent way to get your cat moving every day. An indoor cat will benefit mentally and physically from this. Kittens and young adults generally entertain themselves, but an older cat, especially an overweight one, will need your help.

Playtime encourages your cat to stay active and is also a form of stress relief. A stressed-out cat can develop behavioral problems like overgrooming. Playtime is a break from monotony; cats are naturally curious animals and need entertainment and a challenge to keep their minds busy, so they don’t get bored. And lastly, playtime is an excellent way to strengthen the bond with your cat.

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How Do I Play With My Cat?

There are several ways to play with your cat depending on its personality and preferences. There are numerous options for toys, and you’re sure to find something. If your cat enjoys playing solo, you can provide puzzle toys that allow them to explore and investigate. You could even give them everyday objects like paper shopping bags and cardboard boxes.

When your cat wants your attention, you can join in playtime by getting down on your cat’s level and joining in the fun. There are toys you can stuff with treats and hide so your cat can hunt them down. You can even get a laser pointer and watch your cat chase and hunt (make sure you don’t ever shine it into your cat’s eyes).

cat owner rubbing her pet cat's belly outside
Image Credit: DebraCarr, Shutterstock


It’s easy to neglect a cat’s needs when you’re overwhelmed with work and family matters, and cats aren not always very good about telling us what they want. So, it might mean picking up on small clues and changes to behavior for you to work out if your cat wants something from you.

Playtime is essential for your cat’s overall health, as it engages them mentally and physically. It is an excellent form of exercise and a fantastic way for you both to bond. So, if your cat requests playtime, plan some into your day!

Featured Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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