How Long Should You Play with Your Cat Every Day?

Nicole LaForest, LVT, BSc, MPH
By Nicole LaForest, LVT, BSc, MPH. Reviewed by Veronica Higgs, DVM on May 7, 2024
gray and white tabby cat playing with a wand toy

Bogdan Stanojevic/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

For cats, playtime is more than just a fun activity—it is an important part of their overall well-being. To stay healthy and happy, cats need regular exercise and mental stimulation.

Providing our cats with playtime is a responsibility all pet parents have. But just how much playtime do our cats need every day?

Why Playing With Your Cat Is Important

Cats need play for their physical and mental health, and routine playtime benefits them in many different ways.

How Long Should You Play with Your Cat?

In general, you should play with your cat for two or three 10- to 15-minute play sessions a day, depending on their age and energy level. A few short bursts of playtime throughout the day are better than one long session of playtime. When play sessions last too long, cats lose interest.

Factors such as age, breed, and personality can influence a cat's playtime needs. Compared to adult cats, kittens have boundless energy and require more frequent and intense play sessions. Although their energy levels may decrease as they age, cats still require regular playtime to stay active.

In general, you should play with your cat for two or three 10- to 15-minute play sessions a day, depending on their age and energy level.

Playtime needs can also vary by breed. Cat breeds with high energy levels, such as Bengals or Abyssinians, may need more playtime than breeds with a more laid-back temperament, such as Persians or Ragdolls.

A cat’s playtime needs are also affected by their personalities. While some cats love solo play, others enjoy interactive play with their humans.

The Best Toys for Playing with Your Cat

Playtime with the right toys will keep your cat entertained and engaged. Wand toys and feather teasers make excellent interactive play toys. Your cat's natural instincts can be engaged with these toys by simulating hunting scenarios.

When you're not available for play, you can keep your cat entertained with puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys.

A simple object such as a catnip-filled toy or a crinkly ball can also entertain cats for hours.

Signs That Your Cat is Getting Enough Playtime (or Not)

A cat that receives enough playtime will be content and satisfied, and destructive behavior and signs of stress or anxiety will be less likely to occur.

Alternatively, cats that aren’t receiving enough playtime may display signs of boredom or frustration. They may become more vocal, groom excessively, or exhibit destructive behaviors. Your cat may need more playtime and mental stimulation if you notice any of these signs.

Nicole LaForest, LVT, BSc, MPH


Nicole LaForest, LVT, BSc, MPH

Veterinarian Technician

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