Play is often considered an indicator and promotor of animal welfare

Play is often considered an indicator and promotor of animal welfare. Image: Mariia Boiko /

 Playing with your cat may also nurture closer cat-human bonds.

In a new study, scientists have investigated these links by applying in-depth empirical methods to analyse data gathered from around the world.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide created an online survey in consultation with veterinarians, animal behaviourists, and cat guardians, to investigate play-related factors associated with the welfare of cats. The outcome measures include cat quality of life, cat-guardian relationship quality, problem behaviour prevalence, and behavioural changes.

“Our survey results, based on responses from 591 cat guardians from 55 countries, indicated greater cat playfulness and more types of games played were significantly associated with better cat quality of life,” said the University of Adelaide’s Julia Henning, a PhD Candidate, who led the study.

“Also, longer amounts of daily play, greater number of games, both cat and guardian initiating play, and heightened guardian playfulness were also associated with better quality cat-guardian relationships.”

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.