Cats have an innate play and hunting instinct, which in most cases will last a lifetime. Especially young cats train themselves in the cat game, which benefit them in the adult age with the hunt. In the following lines you can read which game types are distinguished in cats and how you distinguish between fun and seriousness.
Playing is healthy, as tension can be reduced during cat play. If a cat is physically and mentally underemployed, then it can often come to problems in living together with us humans, but also with other animals. In addition, not only the cat heart enjoys, the human-animal relationship is strengthened by common interactions. However, there are different types of cat games. Cat owners often believe that their pets are more lazy about gambling if they don’t chase the plush mouse they just threw at them. In addition you must know that there are two play types with cats and/or the mixed form from both types.
Hunters versus ambush predator
The first type of cat chases after the prey, jumps, runs and absolutely wants to catch the prey. That would be the type of game that would most likely chase after the plush mouse. The second type is the one who lies in wait and watches. The mixed form enjoys both. Cats in the wild often sit very, very long in front of a mouse hole and observe it. After hours, as soon as e.g. a mouse shows up, they strike. Both forms of play are right and important.
To which type your cat belongs and which cat games your favourite prefers, also depends on the nature of your cat. Also the games varies very strongly with cats. Some are more “bird catchers”, the other cats more “mouse hunters”, so more interested in prey that crawls on the ground and scurries around. Also the right choice of the cat toy contributes substantially to the success of the play and the health of your cat.
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Cat game or fight?
How do I now distinguish between fun and seriousness, how can I tell whether my cats are playing or fighting? This question is often asked by cat owners and the answer is relatively simple. If the cat hiss or growl, it’s not a cat game anymore. But often a cat is simply hunted (stalked) without the affected cat defending itself or sending loud signals. Here the body language of the cat gives information. At this point TOBALIE recommends all cat owners to deal with the body language of their cat, because nothing is so often misinterpreted as the body language of the cat. In addition to the speech you can also tell from the ear and tail posture whether your lovely friend is currently in the mood to play or not. Likewise, whether the cat looks for eye contact or avoids this rather betrays much about her feelings.