When cats play throughout the day or night, it's a sign they're feeling good on the inside and getting the nutrition they need for each life stage.
It's not always easy to tell when cats are feeling social or ready to play. But there are some cues you can look for. Cats that feel friendly and playful might have bursts of running around the house or "acting silly," or they might show more subtle signs they're ready to play, like rolling belly-up or standing with their tails curled, flicking it side-to-side. Some cats might also blink their eyes slowly or meow as a way to interact with you.
Signs of Healthy Play
- Initiates play, such as starting a chase
- Accepts play invitation from you or another family member (it could even be the dog!)
- Has one or more play styles, such as social play or playing solo with a toy
- Plays in "bursts" throughout the day
- Healthy energy
Signs of Potential Problem
- Turns down invitation to play when normally she would be receptive
- Noticeable changes in type, intensity or duration of play
- No longer showing interest in playing with favorite toy
- Excessively vocal
- Continuously lethargic or detached
After mealtime, you might notice your cat likes to rest, and maybe even retreats to be alone under a bed or in a "safe" spot like on top of the sofa or shelf, or even will hide in a box. This can help reduce stress and help her feel secure while she is resting or sleeping. Take note of your cat's preferences when establishing your cat's behavior baseline.
Through each cat's play/rest routine is unique, a cat that feels good on the inside will often have short bursts of play behavior combined with short bursts of sleep.
Look for these signs of healthy resting patterns in your cat.
Signs of Healthy Rest
- Intersperses sleep with play and eating
Signs of a Potential Problem
- Stays in same place all day
- Consistently lethargic when awake