Cat Behavior

Why Do Cats Like to Play With… ?

Why Do Cats Like To Play With...? Image by filatovvlad0 via Pixabay under Pixabay License

So you've invested hundreds of dollars in ritzy cat toys. You've spent hours building DIY playthings. You've fretted over inventing the perfect game. And you're cat just wants to play with your balled up socks. At some point in every feline-lovers life, the words, “Why do cats like to play with...” are uttered, and in this little piece, we hope to help you answer that question. We'll talk about some of the most common weird things kitties like to get into, and look over the possible reasons why they're so obsessed with them.

Why Does My Cat Like to Play With Cardboard?

The image of a feline hunkering down in a cardboard box has become almost as iconic as the picture of kitten batting around a ball of yarn. But why do cats like to play with cardboard? The story of their fixation with boxes is a little more complex than one might expect. Play does feature fairly high for this particular item, as a cardboard box is unquestionably an ideal place for a small creature to hide out and plot devious sneak attacks. But more than that, these cozy little things act as perfect insulators for our warmth-loving companions. Furthermore, because they tend to be decidedly snug, our cats can – and do – use them as a sort of stress-reducing safety zone.

Why Do Kitties Go Crazy for Paper?

Whether they're using your sketch pad as a scratcher or wildly chasing after a crinkled ball of waste paper, a lot of cats kind of lose their minds over the stuff. But why do cats like to play with paper? The answer is simultaneously simple and multifarious. Some feel that it all boils down to the noise. The sound of crushed up paper can be mysterious and fascinating to our clever companions. What's more, that same noise-making capability can be harnessed to get the attention of their otherwise oblivious humans. Another possible reason is that, like cardboard, paper can be insulating, so once he's finished harassing it, you might find that he uses it as his favorite new sleeping spot. Finally, if you regularly notice your friend trying to play with paper that you're using, he might have simply decided that it belongs to him – because as we all know, our things are actually their things.

Why Do Felines Fawn Over Hair?

There are many likely answers to the question, “Why do cats like to play with hair?” It could be something fairly simple. For example, your hair smells amazing to your fuzzy little buddy. Maybe it makes an interesting swooshing sound, or falls in mesmerizing ways when it moves. Perhaps your cat just can't get enough of you. It could also be a little more complicated. One potential answer is that your hair reminds your cat of his kittenhood, which makes a lot of sense – especially if you have a head full of luxurious locks. In this case, he will not only play, but may also try to nestle into it, or even knead and nurse. It could also be a matter of hygiene and bonding. Cats will sometimes groom each other for both practical reasons – cleaning areas their pals can't reach – and as a sign of affection.

Why Do Cats Like to Play With Feet and/or Hands?

If your cat can't keep away from your appendages you might be wondering why that is. If your companion is a kitten, it's likely a matter of his untrained instincts kicking in. During the early days of his life, he doesn't know right from wrong, doesn't know what is and isn't pray – all he knows is that he has an undirected need to hunt. Your wiggly toes and gliding fingers, for all intents and purposes, look a lot like something they can and want to attack, wrestle, nibble, and generally manhandle. This might seem cute, but it can be problematic later on. If your adult kitty likes to play with your extremities, then it really boils down to the same two things: instincts and bad habits. Your mature feline may have never learned house rules, and now he thinks that your hands and feet are fair game.

Why Can't My Cat Get Enough of Plastic?

Imagine walking into a cafe. They're playing your favorite music, the chairs are made up of delightfully soft velvet, and in the air you detect the scent of buttery cookies baking in the oven. That's what plastic is to cats – a true sensorial experience. So maybe that was a touch of hyperbole, but your kitty's passion for plastic really does come down to his senses. For one thing, that grocery bag you caught him wrestling with contains substances like salty acids, cornstarch, and animal byproducts like gelatin. Furthermore, they may contain the residue of whatever was in them – for instance, your package of ground beef might have sprung a tiny leak. Finally, the sound and physical sensations might just remind him of prey, which will obviously make him a little frisky.

Why Do Cats Like to Play With My Clothing?

This can depend on a lot, and there are some things that you will need to consider in order to get your answer. What sort of clothing is he playing with? Is it clean or dirty? Is it just your clothing, or can the clothes in question belong to anyone?

We'll start at the first question. While most synthetic materials will not be all that enticing, certain natural fibers can be really attractive to cats. For instance, those delightfully soft wool socks that both you and your cat just love? They likely contain lanolin, which many felines simply cannot resist.

Next, if your pal has a preference for dirty laundry, it's likely that he is attracted to the scents secreted by apocrine sweat glands – namely, fats and protein, which cats are pretty crazy about. On the other hand, if they are equally happy with the clean stuff, they probably just find them cozy.

Finally, if your cat has a preference for your clothing, chances are he simply likes the way you smell, so fiddling with your stuff seems like a fun idea. If any clothing will do, then he probably either simply likes the texture, or he's claiming the item for himself.


“Why do cats like to play with that?” A question that will echo through history because, let's face it, our kitties are an enigma. Although we'll likely never get a clear answer to our question, we have some pretty solid guesses, and I hope that this article has helped you understand your feline's unique playtime choices.

So what strange things do your cats like to play with? Tell us in the comments!

Feature image by filatovvlad0 via Pixabay under Pixabay License

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site! Protection Status © 2018-Today Cats Will Play