How much playtime do indoor cats need? If you have an indoor cat, you may have observed that after boredom can creep in. Cats can become bored and lazy without good entertainment and enrichment and can become sad. But how much time should you spend with them?

In total indoor cats will need roughly one hour of playtime every day to ensure that they are getting the stimulation, love, and exercise that they need and are not getting from being inside all of the time.

Let’s see what you can do to increase your cat playtime and keep them healthy, interested, and in good shape.

How much playtime do indoor cats need?


Depending on your cat’s age and personality, you should play with him for between 30 minutes to one hour. You can also play with your cat two or three times a day for shorter times. For example, 10-15 minutes for each session.

If you have an indoor cat, either by choice or because you do not have access to a garden, then you will need to think about how this affects your cat. Cats can be very active creatures even though they appear to sleep most of the time. 

They are not supposed to be locked up all of the time, so you will need to make the extra effort to ensure that your cat is stimulated mentally and physically by playing with them. This will give them the outlet they need for their energy and help stop them from getting bored.

There is no one set way that you can play with your cat, and you should consider what your cat likes to play, when they are most active, as well as things like their health and age. For example, do not play any game that requires a lot of running or jumping if your cat is old or has arthritis. 


On average, you should begin by playing with your indoor cat for approximately 20 minutes twice a day. You can then increase this to a total of one hour a day. You should keep the sessions short as your cat will quickly become exhausted or no longer interested. 

It would be best to judge how long you think your cat needs by seeing how energetic they are throughout the day. This will give you a rough indication of how much extra energy they need to expend. For example, one of my cats is very active in the morning. She can run for 1 to 2 hours, with breaks in between.

She sleeps through the afternoon, and she likes to run around again in the evening. So, in this case, I could play with her for 30 minutes in the morning and do another session in the evening for 20-30 minutes.

Study your cat and see the best time for him to run around. If your cat has become bored, you will have to stimulate him and get him out of his boredom using his favorite toys and all the tricks you know.


You should tailor the playtime to your cat, in particular, noting which toys they like to play with, how energetic they are, and just how much love they need. For example, a laser is a widespread game that people play with their cats, but it is much better suited to younger cats with a lot of energy. 

Alternatively, a feather on a string will give your cat the same effect from play but will require much less energy from them as they will not need to run around after the toy.

If you notice that your cat does not want to play a particular game or toy, do not force them as they will become uninterested and irritable, which is good for neither you nor your cat.

Also, do not force your cat to play too much if they are tired, as this can lead to injuries. Finally, remember that their energy levels can vary from day to day, so it is best that you simply judge the day as it comes and tweak your playtime routine to how your cat is feeling that day.

Here are some examples of toys you can use to play with your cat:

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It is possible to play with your cat too much. Cats usually run for 10-20 minutes intensively and then rest for a while. After it, they resume their play or the hunting session. If you have played with your cat often, you have observed them running away or becoming disinterested pretty fast.

If you see they are not interested anymore or walk away, it is the signal that you have reached their limit. They may come back for more after a bit of time. If you try to enforce play on them when they do not want to continue, you will upset them.

You can stress your cat if you run behind him or throw toys at him. Just be patient, and you will figure out when to resume playing. Take into consideration that cats are most active at dawn and dusk, so that you can expect their cooperation in playing sessions around those times.


You can understand that your cat wants to play if he tries to grab your feet or your hands during the day. Or you can spot your cat running back and forth the house in search of something to play with. In some cases, cats are very direct. For example, they may bring you a ball in the hope you throw it for them to fetch.

You can spot your cat becoming too lazy or sleeping more than usual in some other cases. For example, you could see him becoming disinterested in toys and even in you. In this case, he may not realize that he needs to play, but you know for sure that your cat needs more activity.

Some cats may feel lonely, so you have to start interacting with them and stimulating their play interest. If worse comes to worst, you could consider even getting a second cat. Another cat can help your first cat to become more active and play.


You can also run into a cat that wants to play all the time. Again, it is valid for kittens and young cats. When cats become older, they usually calm down quite a lot. But, it is common for particular cats to be very playful for the first one or two years.

In this case, cats will try to chase you and your body part at every moment they are awake. If you have such an energetic cat, playing with him for one or two hours a day may not be enough. You have to set up your house with cat trees, so the cat can release some energy climbing and get numerous toys.

Get the following things for your cat to help him release energy:

  • Cat trees
  • Staffed toys
  • Cats shelves
  • Lots of balls
  • Cats puzzles
  • Try automatic toys (mice, lasers, etc.)

If nothing else works, adopt another cat that can play with your first cat. Cats like to chance each other and play fighting. They both will become tired in no time.


Each cat is different and may need a different amount of attention, but cats do need attention. You can’t adopt a cat and leave him alone all day long. In addition, if you are at home, you have to pay attention and interact with your cat.

They become sad and stressed if they do not get any attention from you. In general, if you spend at least one hour with your cat, between playtime and just giving him affection, such as cuddles, scratches, and kisses, your cat will be fine.

But you may have a needy cat. In this case, you have to spend a bit more time with your cat. Despite cats seeming to enjoy their “alone time,” it is just a pretense. They want to be loved and want company.

Cats let you know if you are not giving them too much attention because they may start behaving funny. For example, they begin misusing the litter box, eating too much or too little, can knock things down, or otherwise behaving destructively.

Pay attention to what your cat does to understand if you are caring for him correctly or not.


How long should I play with my cat before bed?

Before bed, you should play with your cat for 20-30 minutes. Cats get tired after an intense play, even if short. At this point, you can go to bed knowing that your cat will rest too.

How much playtime does a 1-year-old cat need?

Typically, a one-year-old cat needs at least 30 minutes to one hour a day of playtime. However, you may have to divide the playtime into a short session of 10-15 minutes because cats get tired soon after an intense play session.

Do 1-year-old cats play?

Typically, 1-year-old cats play. Some cast may play more and some others less, but at that young age, cats are still great players and very active.

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