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Do Cats Play Fetch Like Dogs

↯ Key takeaway points

  • While cats and dogs have different approaches to playing fetch, cats can be trained to enjoy the game with positive reinforcement techniques like using treats or praise.
  • Active, energetic, and social cat breeds such as Siamese, Savannah, Burmese, and Abyssinian are more likely to take an interest in the game.
  • While not all cats may enjoy playing fetch, every cat is unique, and experimentation with different toys and games is encouraged.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Gold medalist veterinary student from UVAS Lahore writes captivating articles and is passionate about animal care.
Published on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Last updated on
Tuesday 9 May 2023
Do Cats Play Fetch Like Dogs
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If you’re a proud cat parent, you’ve probably seen your feline friend chase after a ball of yarn or a toy mouse. But have you ever wondered if cats can actually play fetch like dogs?

Well, it turns out that the answer is not as straightforward as a yes or no. So, if you’re curious whether your kitty can play fetch, keep reading.

Do Cats Play Fetch Like Dogs

While both cats and dogs may enjoy playing fetch, their approaches to the game can differ. While dogs are more likely to bring the toy back to their owner and drop it at their feet, cats may prefer to chase and bat at the toy but not necessarily bring it back. However, some cats are trainable to play fetch, similar to dogs.

Positive reinforcement techniques, like using treats or praise, are helpful in encouraging cats to chase after and bring back a toy. But remember, not all cats enjoy playing fetch, and forcing them to play can be stressful and counterproductive.

Playing fetch can be a fun way for pets to bond with their owners. Dogs may see fetching as a way to please their owner and earn praise, while cats may see it as a way to satisfy their natural hunting instincts. Regardless of the pet’s motivation, playing fetch can provide a positive and interactive experience for both pets and their owners.

According to a study published in Complementary Therapies Journal in Clinical Practice, cats enjoy pet-owner interaction in various ways, like playing fetch and using interactive toys. 

This game can provide many benefits for both cats and dogs. For instance, it offers exercise and mental stimulation to help prevent boredom and improve overall health. Playing fetch can also help reduce stress and anxiety in pets, as it provides an outlet for pent-up energy and aggression.

What Kind of Cats Play Fetch?

While no specific cat breed is famous for enjoying fetch, active, energetic, and social cat breeds are more likely to take an interest in the game. These include the Siamese, Savannah, Burmese, and Abyssinian cats.

The Siamese cats are very active and playful. They’re also highly intelligent and quickly pick up new games and tricks.

The Savannah cats are a cross between a domestic cat and a Serval, a wild African cat. So they have a high energy level and love to play, making them good candidates for playing fetch.

The Burmese cats are also very playful and curious. Plus, they enjoy interacting with their owners. In fact, they’re famous for their affectionate nature and enjoy the bonding experience that comes with playing fetch.

The Abyssinian cats are famous for being very social and active, and they love to play games that involve chasing and catching. They are also intelligent and can quickly learn new games, including fetch.

While certain cat breeds are more inclined to enjoy playing fetch, remember that cats are individuals with their own personalities, interests, and preferences. Just like humans, cats have their own unique likes and dislikes. So what one cat enjoys may not necessarily be enjoyable for another.

For example, while Siamese cats are popular for their playful and energetic nature, not all enjoy playing fetch. Some may prefer other games or activities that better suit their individual preferences.

Can I Teach My Cat How To Fetch

Yes, you can teach your cat how to fetch, but not all cats may be interested or trainable. Understanding your cat’s personality, choosing the right toys, getting your cat interested, and using basic and advanced training techniques can help teach your cat how to fetch.

Before you start training your cat to fetch, it’s important to understand its individual personality traits and preferences. It can help you tailor your training approach to what works best for your feline friend.

If you believe your cat would love playing fetch, it’s time to choose the right toys. You see, not all cat toys are equal when it comes to playing fetch. It’s preferable to consider small, lightweight toys. That said, soft balls and crinkle balls can be great toys to use when teaching your cat to fetch.

Now that you have the toys, it’s time to get your cat to fetch. Some cats may take to playing fetch right away, while others may need some coaxing.

Once your cat finds interest in playing fetch, it’s time to start basic training. It includes throwing the toy close to your cat at first, using positive reinforcement, and gradually increasing the throw distance.

You can slowly move towards advanced techniques like teaching your cat to drop the toy in your hand. Also, teach your cat to fetch on command. First, establish basic commands like “come” and “sit.” Then, add a cue word like “fetch” or “bring” to encourage your cat to bring the toy back.

That said, always end your fetch sessions on a positive note, even if your cat isn’t quite getting the hang of it. This will keep the experience fun and enjoyable for both you and your cat.

Do Cats Play Fetch Like Dogs: FAQs

Below we’ll answer the most-searched questions regarding cats playing fetch. 

Why do cats play fetch?

The reasons why cats play fetch are not fully understood, but it may be related to their natural hunting instincts. Playing fetch can provide mental and physical stimulation for cats, allowing them to engage in exercise that mimics their hunting behaviors. 

Are cats playing fetch rare?

It’s not necessarily rare for cats to play fetch, but it’s less common than it is with dogs. While many cats enjoy chasing and batting at toys, they may not always bring them back as dogs do. But some cats can be trained to play fetch and enjoy the game just as much as dogs do.

What percentage of cats play fetch?

It’s difficult to determine the exact percentage of cats that play fetch, as it varies based on individual personality and training. But less than 50% of cats are expected to play fetch, though there’s no scientific evidence to back this number. 

Can cats and dogs play fetch together?

Yes, cats and dogs can play fetch together, especially if they have grown up together and are used to each other’s presence. But it’s important to supervise them during playtime to ensure their safety, as dogs may accidentally harm cats during the game. Also, some cats may not be interested in playing fetch with dogs.

What cat breed likes to play fetch?

Some cat breeds known to enjoy playing fetch are the Siamese, Savannah, Burmese, and Abyssinian. But note that not all cats of these breeds may have the same interest in the game, as individual personality traits can vary greatly. Ultimately, it’s up to the cat’s personal preferences and training to determine if it enjoys playing fetch.

To sum up, while cats aren’t as famous for playing fetch as dogs, they can certainly learn to enjoy the game with some patience and training. But remember that every cat is unique, and not all of them are curious about chasing after toys. So, keep experimenting with different toys and games until you find what your furry friend loves the most!

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