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Now more than ever, rest and play are important for our mental and physical well-being. Cats have known this all along, they didn’t need a pandemic to remind us!
Most of us know that we need to make sure we get enough rest and sleep during stressful times, but we tend to not think of play as a stress reliever. And yet, play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain function and memory, and stimulate creativity. It stands to reason that play is an important part our our “pandemic coping toolbox.” And most importantly, it’s fun.
The importance of play for cats has been well documented. Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting, or teaching their young to hunt. And play is nothing more than channelling your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct into play.
We’re all spending so much time at home now, there’s no excuse to not make time for more playtime for your cats. Set everything else aside and spend 15 to 20 minutes, at least once or twice a day, playing with your cats. You’ll both benefit: your cats will be happy, and for at least a little while, you’ll be able to shut off any thoughts of all the distressing and scary world out there.
Beyond playing with your cats, try to channel the need to play in other ways. Even in this physically distanced world we live in, there are plenty of opportunities for play. How about a virtual game night with friends? How about a jigsaw puzzle? Better yet, a cat jigsaw puzzle? How about a cat coloring book?
Are you making time for play to help you manage your stress?
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