Why play is important: Cats may seem sedentary, but that doesn’t mean cats don’t need or enjoy playing with their owners.
Play is a huge part of keeping your cat stimulated both mentally and physically. Vet Street has an excellent article on the benefits of play and why play is important:
When it comes to cats, however, play isn’t just about fun and games. For cats in the wild, the act of play is actually a serious business that helps kittens learn important survival skills like stalking, chasing and trapping prey. Even if your cat never ventures outside your home, this basic instinct to hunt can remain strong, which is why it is important to give our feline family members the opportunity to express this natural behavior through play.
Along with satisfying your cat’s natural instincts, play is important to helping keep your pet healthy and happy. Play provides important exercise for cats, especially those that live exclusively indoors. Regular play can help keep your kitty active and help her maintain a healthy weight. Interactive play between you and your cat may also help prevent some behavior problems that can arise from boredom. Finally, play is simply a great way to interact and bond with your cat.
Many cats enjoy a simple game of hide-and-seek, or find pleasure simply playing with a cardboard box. However toys and games can help stimulate your cat mentally and create an environment that entertains and encourages them to explore.