If you, like me, spend hours of your time watching cat videos on Youtube, you might know that they really seem to enjoy pushing things off of tables, and it usually looks like they’re doing it on purpose… for fun.
As a popular household pet, our feline friends are known to be especially playful, especially when a laser pointer or a tiny jingling mouse is involved.
But is it just us laughing, or are the cats enjoying themselves too?
We’ve done plenty of reading up on cats and their strange, often hard to understand behavior, collating everything we’ve learned here.
Get ready to understand your furry companion even better than you do already!
Defining Humor in Cats – a Quick Note to Start
Okay, so maybe cats can’t physically laugh like humans to display that they are amused, but consistently playing with their toys, teasing their owners, and pouncing out at them from seemingly out of nowhere has to have a purpose, right?
We’re not talking about sitting your kitty down and telling them your favorite joke here. Humor has many forms: it doesn’t have to mean funny directly, and can also refer to playfulness, a good mood, even simply enjoying an activity.
When we’re asking ‘do cats have a sense of humor’, we’re not wondering if they’ll understand a punchline, we’re hypothesizing about their ability to have fun and enjoy themselves. Let’s get into it!
Do Cats Like Playtime? Yes, Yes They Do!
Cats are fickle creatures, and they absolutely don’t do anything they don’t want to, as you will know if you’ve ever hung out with one. Try to force a feline into playing a game it doesn’t like and you’ll be on the receiving end of its super sharp claws.
The sheer fact that they are humoring you, as their owner, by engaging in whatever activity you’re encouraging, suggests to us that they must be enjoying themselves – where a dog might wag its tail to indicate this, a cat simply… doesn’t walk away.
Again, if you’ve ever laughed at one of those videos of an unsuspecting owner taking a cat to the head (or another sensitive body part) after it has dived out at them from a hidden corner, it’s pretty obvious that cats have a sense of humor!
Though they might seem way more low maintenance than their canine counterparts, providing your cat with regular, consistent playtime is important to their health and wellbeing, and they benefit from it just as much as humans and dogs.
They might be naturally curious creatures, but your cat will quickly become bored (and then lazy, and mischievous) if you don’t stimulate them with entertainment, which quickly results in naughty and destructive misbehavior.
Even though you might not get the same validation as you would from a dog, playing with your cat is just as important, and will increase the bond between you, so make sure to schedule in regular playtime every single day!
Kittens, or cats with a more playful demeanour, will typically take it upon themselves to get you to play and interact, where older or more demure kitties might have to be lured in and encouraged to keep playing.
Best Ways to Amuse and Entertain Your Cat
Of course, as I already mentioned, cats will literally find a way to make a toy out of anything – especially the stuff they definitely should not be playing with! – but there are plenty of ways you can stimulate their sense of humor successfully.
As natural hunters, setting up pretend prey for them to simulate pouncing on is not only a great way to encourage their playfulness but ensure they’re getting exercise too! Battery operated or become control, motorized toys are brilliant for this.
Laser pointers, feathers on strings, and other similar toys you can move around quickly for your cat to chase will encourage them to stalk and pounce, whilst also getting you and the other members of your household involved as well.
To make sure they can have fun and stay occupied when you’re gone, ensuring your kitty has plenty of balls, little toys, and noisemakers to bat around and race after is a great idea, just expect to pull a whole bunch from under the sofa pretty often!
Interactive treat holders that cats must puzzle out in order to receive a delicious snack are also another easy way to keep your cat entertained and engage their brains, so their minds are just as stimulated as their bodies!
If they live inside permanently, you could even leash your cat up (safely and as recommended by your vet) and take them for a walk, letting them explore the outdoors safely and under your careful supervision!
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy amusements for your cat – just finding something to throw around with them, even just a pair of socks, will provide hours of enjoyment, and they’ll absolutely love you for it.
Signs Your Cat is Bored
Whilst we’ve explored that cats can certainly have a sense of humor, they can also just as easily become bored and lethargic. Signals of boredom may not be as obvious as destroying furniture or scratching at you! They could also…
Seem down in the dumps, slinking around the house looking all sad and sorry for themselves – though of course, this could also indicate illness or something more sinister, so if engaging in play doesn’t cheer them up, definitely consult your vet.
Fight, attack or annoy your other pets, in an attempt to relieve their stress and have some fun. If you don’t engage and stimulate your cat, they’ll take it out on everyone else in your house, furry or otherwise!
Be disinterested in usually enjoyable activities, like ignoring any attempts to play with them and instead choosing to comfort eat or continuously snooze, suggests your cat might be especially bored, and tired of trying to rectify it!Continuously or repetitively groom themselves, bite or pick at their fur, or even pull it out – this is a real problem, as the pain and irritation caused by this can lead cats to continue fussing at the sore spot, entering a vicious cycle.