Structured playtime?

lotwijnants

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Hi :)

I have a question for my 11 week old kitten and I love playing with her :)

For the last 2 weeks I have tried to follow the rythm: play - eat - groom - sleep. I also heard from a playtime video that you can really get everything out of a playing session by doing it in 3 strikes so: short playtime - second of rest -short playtime - second of rest - short playtime - second of rest. So I'm also doing that. I use different types of play: fishing, follow the snake, throw the ball, bounce the stuffed animal... and she is (like a kitten) super engaged.

In these last 2 days she is more and more trying her hunting skills... as in... when I'm working she is biting my arm or ankle. And on other moments, she just bursts with energy and she is all over the place. So now I'm wondering... when I see that she want to play, should I just initiate a spontanious playing session so she releases the playtime energy? Or should I hold on to the structure of 4 times playtime a day before feeding? For example, the ankle attack is not so great so when I play with her so she can attack the stuffed animal she does get calmer. But then, maybe it's not a good idea to just play with her so much?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Structured play is good, but I am sure no matter what you do, there will be other times she wants to play - she is a kitten!!! Start introducing her to some self-play time too. There are kicker toys that you might be able to toss her way, to distract her away from you, and see if she will entertain herself with those. You might also consider some automated toys for her to interact with on her own. Does she have cat trees/perches (preferably by windows) that she can also use to entertain herself?
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minish

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You can structure a lot of things with a kitten but not playtime. They need to and do play at least 10-15 times/day (or night). as stated above, and luckily, most of it will be solo play with toys you provide. Provide exploration spaces as well as toys, it will keep her body and brain occupied. Social play is, and will be much more important. It has many uses for your relationship. Play as much as you can, but it will be hard to match her energy before adolescence so don't expect to meet all her needs by playing together.
Play agression (the biting etc) is something you need to watch for, because as she grows, it will hurt you and by then, it will have become a habit. Redirection is key. Keep a pocket full of toy-like things and throw them away when she approaches you for attack. I kept a very long wand toy with me, tossing the string away. You can also leave the area after an "owww!!" when she bites (kitty time-out but not by locking her up, locking yourself out so she learns play will end with her agression). Yet, it takes time for a kitten to learn how to control her claws and bites (minish started tapping me with her paws instead of clawing at about 4.5 months).
 
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Roxabelle

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I tend to let my kitten lead me, so if she wants to play, I’ll play with her. If she wants to eat, I leave her to eat. If she wants to sleep, etc. etc. I’m there to look after her instead of her being there to entertain me so I don’t mind dropping what I’m doing to give her a burst of playtime! She goes to her favourite toys too, so instead of me deciding what she will play with I will play with the toys that she’s showing an interest in. I really am a slave to my cat and she’s only 10 weeks old! :blush:
 

daftcat75

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I would caution against letting her bite you as a method of extracting more play out of you. That's not a good lesson to teach her. Definitely let out some audible "yeow!" when she does that to tell her, "that hurt" and walk away from her if you can. Don't try to punish her no matter how much it hurt. That won't work anyway. I would definitely provide more self-play opportunities: catnip mice, kickers, a shoelace tied to the back of a chair, boxes, tunnels, etc. When Krista was younger (and had fewer aches and pains), she loved the Cat Dancer Deluxe. Deluxe just means it has a backing so you can stick it to a wall. Krista batted at it so much, I found it was easier to tape it to the inside of a storage bin and run the wire out the front. Even a laser pointer would be good to redirect her and burn off some excess energy when you don't have time for a structured play session.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0784VLRZV/?tag=thecatsite

I would also provide her some cat shelves so she can get up off the ground, go high, and survey her kingdom. Not always being under-foot will spare your legs and ankles too.
 
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bella.cat

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Hello! :wave2:
Kittens should have 'unlimited' (almost) play, they have a lot of energy, and it's very fun!
Like many others said, sometimes you could play with her, but she also needs to learn to play by herself.
You can buy self play toys that cat stand in the room or can get attache to the wall.
I would say that biting is normal in kittens (especially younger ones) but as they grow older you should teach them that it is not okay to just bite whenever they feel that way. Use your voice. When your kittens bites, as others also said, say 'owww' or something stern like "no, that hurt" and leave. Use words, not actions...
Hopefully this helps. 🙂 :bigeyes:
Some of my personal favourite kitten toys:
3 Level ball chaser
Cat tube
Kitty laser - I love this one but make sure to use it safely.
Kitty Stand
 

daftcat75

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Hello! :wave2:
Kittens should have 'unlimited' (almost) play, they have a lot of energy, and it's very fun!
Like many others said, sometimes you could play with her, but she also needs to learn to play by herself.
You can buy self play toys that cat stand in the room or can get attache to the wall.
I would say that biting is normal in kittens (especially younger ones) but as they grow older you should teach them that it is not okay to just bite whenever they feel that way. Use your voice. When your kittens bites, as others also said, say 'owww' or something stern like "no, that hurt" and leave. Use words, not actions...
Hopefully this helps. 🙂 :bigeyes:
Some of my personal favourite kitten toys:
3 Level ball chaser
Cat tube
Kitty laser - I love this one but make sure to use it safely.
Kitty Stand
That Kitty Stand makes me sad that I'm not a cat. That one looks like so much fun. I don't know that my sixteen year old would go for the balls or the hammock. But she still enjoys a good scratching surface. And she may go for the ground floor condo. It's a good price too. 🤔
 
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