While most people set up play dates for our kids, some pet owners want to do the same thing for their fur babies. But is setting up a play date for your cat a good idea?
You can absolutely set up a play date for your cat — as long as you do it the right way. We break it all down for you here, so you can set up the perfect play date for your cat the first time without making any rookie mistakes.
Can Cats Have Play Dates?
Yes! Cats love hanging out with other cats, and there’s no reason that you can’t set up a kitty play date. All you need to do is get them together!
Just keep in mind that it’s up to you to set up a kitty play date with someone you know, since there’s not a big market out there for setting up cat play dates with other people.
Is It a Good Idea for Cats to Have Play Dates?
Yes! Cats need to socialize, and it’s a great idea to put them around other cats to help with this. It’s a great way to get your cat to behave better around other animals, and it helps with their social needs.
Cats are social creatures and crave attention from other cats. So, not only is it a good idea from a behavioral standpoint but also when you consider your cat’s overall health and happiness!
Finding the Perfect Playmate for Your Cat
While it’s a great idea to have a play date for your cat, that doesn’t mean you can just find any cat out there and hope that it works. Just like there are people whom you get along with better than others, there are cats that your cat will enjoy being around more than others.
Ideally, you’re looking for complementary behaviors. Perhaps one cat is a little bolder, while the other has a shy streak. Try to match energy levels, though, so one cat isn’t constantly pestering the other when they don’t want to play.
Just remember when you do get the cats together for the first time, they’ll likely need a warming-up period. Don’t force them together; let them figure it out on their own. Cats are social creatures, and they know how to read and get to know each other.
Be patient, even if nothing happens on the first visit. With enough time and patience, they’ll get comfortable with each other.
Tips for Socializing Your Cat
There are a few things that you should stay on top of when you’re socializing your cat, whether on a play date or otherwise, and we highlighted the most important ones for you here.
The sooner you can do it, the better. The older a cat gets, the more set in their ways they get and the less likely they are to socialize properly. Younger cats tend to learn a bit faster. It’s never too late, but don’t put off socializing your cat any more than you have to!
Find the Right Playmate
While finding the right playmate can be a great opportunity for your cat, picking the wrong one can leave them anxious around other cats and set them up for future socialization struggles.
Do your best to get to know the other cat, and if they’re overly aggressive, energetic, or just don’t do well around other cats, don’t put them near your cat. It’s more likely that your cat will pick up the bad behaviors rather than teach the other cat the right way to act.
If you want to get the most out of your cat’s play dates, you need to keep setting them up. Just one or two visits won’t cut it. Try to get them together at least once a month, especially in the beginning.
The more they get together, the more comfortable they’ll be with each other. The more comfortable they are, the more likely they’ll play with each other, which is the whole point of socializing them to begin with!
Everyone needs time with their friends and your cat is no exception! So, find the right companion for them, set up a play date, and then watch your cat have fun in a social setting.
Not only will your cat get enjoyment out of it, but you might also find that you make a great friend in the process!
Featured Image Credit: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock