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7 Typical Signs Your Cat Wants You to Play With Them

Cats love to play, just like dogs. Although it may seem vastly different from dogs, cats can show us certain signs letting us know they want to play.

Knowing how to read your cat’s body language is an excellent way to determine if your cat wants you to play with them1. Some owners may be oblivious to their cat wanting playtime, but after reading this article, we hope you’ll be able to spot the typical signs.

Read on to learn the seven typical signs that show your cat wants you to play with them.

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The 7 Common Sings Cats Show When They Want to Play With You


woman owner petting and playing with her cat at home
Image Credit: Stokkete, Shutterstock

Meowing could mean a few things, such as your cat being hungry or wanting the litter box cleaned. If both of those things are already taken care of, then your cat could be telling you it’s time for play. If the tail is erected while meowing, then that’s a good indicator your cat wants to play. A sudden burst of energy that accompanies meowing also could mean that your cat wants to play.


Every cat owner has experienced their cat rubbing its head against them or pawing at their hand. Pouncing is a way cats stalk their prey, but it could be a sign of wanting playtime if they pounce on your hand or a toy.

Cats like to bat at objects, especially toys if they’re in the mood to play. If your cat does this to your hand, that almost always means they want to play with you.

3.Showing Distracting Behavior

Image Credit: Billion Photos, Shutterstock

Cats have no problem getting your attention when they’re in the mood to play. We’re guessing that just about all cat owners reading this article can relate to their cat lying on the keyboard while trying to work or the cat knocking an object off the desk or counter to get attention.

If you see your cat trying to distract you in this manner, go ahead and grab your cat’s favorite toy and play for a few minutes. The little break will do you good!

4.Your Cat Is Staring at You

A long stare could mean your cat wants playtime. You should feel privileged that your cat is staring at you because that means your cat trusts you. It also means you have a bond with your cat, both of which are positive signs.

Staring is one of many ways cats get our attention, and staring could mean your cat wants to play. Staring may seem rude in our world, but in a pet’s world, it means they want your attention.

5.Following You

cat ruubing head on his owner's leg
Image Credit: Gordana Sermek, Shutterstock

Another possible indicator of your cat wanting to play is if they are following you from room to room. Following you could mean they are displeased with their dirty litter box, or perhaps your cat is hungry.

If neither of those two things needs addressing, then playtime just may be in order. Wide eyes with dilated pupils mean your cat is 100% focused on you, and they want you to know it.

6.Showing Its Belly

A cat that rolls over and shows its belly means it wants to interact with you; it also means your cat trusts you. Beware, though, that just because your cat is showing its belly does not mean you should rub its belly.

Unlike dogs, cats are not fond of belly rubs and will probably show their displeasure by attacking your hand. This can be painful and can even draw blood if your cat has claws, so avoid ribbing that belly, no matter how much you want to. Instead, grab your cat’s favorite toy and start playing.

7.Your Cat Brings You a Toy

cat playing with a toy
Image Credit: Darkmoon_Art, Pixabay

You can’t get any more obvious than this one. If your cat brings you its favorite toy and starts batting and pouncing on it, your cat most definitely wants to play. Your cat may also get a sudden burst of energy and zoom around the house.

A sudden burst of energy means your cat is in a playful mood, and you should take advantage of the playtime, as playing with your cat creates a strong bond between the two of you.

Playing is an important part of keeping your cat mentally and physically engaged, and a great toy will make it much easier. We like Hepper’s Catnip Stick Toys because they’re sturdy enough to handle intense play and completely filled with organic catnip. You’ll love the fun range of pastel colors and your cat will enjoy the prey-like shape!

Hepper Catnip Stick Toy

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Signs Your Cat Needs More Playtime

Cats can be reclusive, but they still look for fun and exciting things to do. If your cat is becoming needy, grab a toy, such as a feather teaser, and spend some quality time with your cat.

Cats need mental stimulation, just like dogs, and interactive toys are a great way to provide stimulation to your cat. Mental stimulation keeps their minds sharp and gives them something to do.

Snobbish behavior is another potential sign your cat is not happy and may need more playtime. Of course, cats can be reclusive, but if your cat is not the reclusive type, grab your cat’s favorite toy and engage in a game of fetch.

The last sign is if your cat has become a bit chunkier than normal. In this case, your cat needs to burn more energy, and playing with your cat will help your cat to lose unwanted weight.



You know your cat the best, and if you suspect your cat is not feeling well, be sure to take your cat to your vet for an examination to rule out any possible medical conditions that may be causing the behavior. When no medical issue is found, you can sum up all these behaviors mentioned in this article to your cat just wanting to play with you. Take advantage of your cat’s desire to play and feel privileged that your cat wants to play with you!

Now that we’ve established the seven signs showing your cat wants to play, signs exist that your cat may need more playtime. One sign is if your cat becomes more needy than normal.

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About the Author

Rachel Giordano is a Pensacola, Florida-based musician and writer. She lives with her partner and their two dogs, Sophie, a Boston Terrier, and Aero, a Border Collie/Sheltie mix. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication and loves writing about all types of cat breeds. When she’s not writing about cats, she loves to write suspense/thriller novels. A musician by night and writer by day, she enjoys sharing her knowledge of the needs and requirements of our furry friends.