Yes, your cat playing fetch is unusual. However, cats playing fetch is not as unusual as you might think.
Fetch is usually a game played with a dog. That said, there are instances in which cats will bring back a thrown item like a stuffed mouse or ball. Some pet owners train their cats to play fetch, while certain cat breeds are naturally drawn to a game of fetch – much like a dog.
If you’re wondering why your cat loves to play fetch, read on to hear the reasons why a feline might love this game as much as a dog, and which kind of cats are more likely to play. It turns out, cats playing fetch is more common than you think!
Why Cats Play Fetch
Certain cats love to play fetch, but why? Whether a cat is in the wild or domesticated, they possess a natural instinct to hunt. They also need a reward for their hunting, which is why home cats typically leave their half-eaten or played with prey by the front door – or somewhere accessible to him.
Research shows that approximately 20% of cats are able to play fetch. While it might sound unusual, most cats love being active and utilizing their hunting skills. Some may instinctively love fetch, while others can be trained to play fetch.
Playful Kittens Play Fetch
Your lazy old feline might not be fussed about fetch, but your playful new kitten might be. Kittens have tons of energy, and they’ll use it on all sorts of activities, including fetch. This won’t come natural in all kittens, but some will love bringing their toy back to you to keep the game going.
Cats, at heart, are hunters. Even your fluffy little kitty is a hunter, deep down inside. In the same way that dogs go after what is thrown, some cats do the same in a bid to hunt down their “prey” – even if it is just a ball or stuffed mouse.
Active Cats Play Fetch
If you have an active cat that loves playing, they too may love a game of fetch. Or maybe you already have a cat obsessed with fetch, and you’re curious why. Playing fetch might be considered a dog’s game, but cats have natural hunting instincts of watching and pouncing, making it an excellent game for felines. While cats aren’t known for following commands, they do love chasing a moving object. Sure, they may not always bring it back to you, but they will pounce on it.
Lonely Cats Play Fetch
Lonely house cats probably miss the thrill of companionship and outdoor hunting. They can, however, get some of that thrill from a game of fetch.
Some experts believe that cats are better at fetching things and bringing them back to you than dogs. If you’ve ever had an outdoor cat, you should know that better than anyone when you come home from work to find a half-eaten present by your door. In the wild, cats track down their prey and bring it back to the den. It’s perfectly natural behavior for cats.
You can give your lonely cat the feeling of being out in the wild by playing a game of fetch with him or her. After all, fetch mimics a hunt – and cats love nothing more than a hunt.
Certain Cat Breeds Are More Likely to Play Fetch
It’s true that some cat breeds are more likely to play fetch than others. Siamese cats, for instance, are a cat breed known for loving a game of fetch. That’s because Siamese cats are incredibly intelligent, and excellent candidates for learning the game. They’re also playful, so it’s unlikely they’d turn down a game of fetch.
The Maine Coone is another breed of cat obsessed with fetch. Or at least, they can be trained to love it. Known for being an active and intelligent cat, the Maine Coone will almost always be enticed to play a game of fetch with you – provided he’s in the mood to, that is.
Another fetch-loving feline is the Abyssinian, a loyal, social, and active breed that loves playing fetch and splashing around in the water.
Some other cat breeds that are more likely to play fetch include the Manx, the Turkish Angora, the Burmese, and the American Curl.
However, your common tabby cat may just be a fetcher also. See this house cat fetch a ball below and stride back coolly.