Play With Your Cat!: The Essential Guide to Interactive Play for a Happier, Healthier Feline (Paperback)

Play With Your Cat!: The Essential Guide to Interactive Play for a Happier, Healthier Feline By Mikel Maria Delgado, PhD Cover Image

Play With Your Cat!: The Essential Guide to Interactive Play for a Happier, Healthier Feline (Paperback)


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A fun, comprehensive guide to the key to cat happiness—play!

Millions of households in the United States have at least one cat as part of their family. Yet despite their popularity, cats continue to be misunderstood by their owners. This lack of understanding can lead to bored, frustrated, and under-stimulated cats, resulting in health and behavior problems. In Play with Your Cat!, animal behavior expert Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado shows cat parents what they may be missing: interactive play. Using an evidence-based approach and the latest scientific research, Delgado:

  • shows why cats need play and how it is essential to their well-being
  • provides readers with techniques on how to engage their cat in play
  • reveals how to use play to improve problematic cat behaviors

    Playfully written and with fun illustrations, Play with Your Cat! is an essential read for cat parents looking to understand their feline friend—and have some fun in the process.
Mikel Maria Delgado, PhD, is a certified cat behavior consultant and animal behavior scientist. She is an internationally recognized cat expert and has been interviewed by the BBC, NPR’s All Things Considered, Science Friday, the Washington Post, the New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and Scientific American. Delgado currently lives in Sacramento, California, with her boyfriend, Scott, and their three happy rescue cats: Coriander, Professor Scribbles, and Ruby.

Product Details ISBN: 9780593541333
ISBN-10: 0593541332
Publisher: TarcherPerigee
Publication Date: March 5th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English
“Whether you are living with your first cat or have lived with them your entire life, there are many revelations to be had in Dr Mikel Delgado’s Play With Your Cat. This marvelous book is equal parts education, motivation, and most importantly, an invitation to become invigorated with a deeper understanding of all cats, including those you share your home with. Trust me, Play With Your Cat is an indispensable addition to any cat lover’s library!”
--Jackson Galaxy, New York Times bestselling author and star of My Cat from Hell

Play With Your Cat is one of the most important cat behavior books written in recent years. Every cat parent, no matter how experienced, will learn something new and come away with new ideas on how to make playtime more satisfying for both cat and human. After all, the point of play is not just to keep our cats happy, it's also a wonderful way to deepen the bond between cat and human.”
--Ingrid King, founder and publisher of Purrs of Wisdom, and author of Buckley’s Story: Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher
Play With Your Cat provides a fun and truly fascinating deep dive into the science behind how and why cats play, leaving readers with easy, actionable tools for more meaningful connection and playtime. This is essential reading for those wanting to strengthen their bond with their cat!”
--Hannah Shaw, author of the New York Times best seller, Tiny but Mighty
“Cats love to play: here is THE book that shows you how to join in! And your cat will thank you for it.”
--Dr John Bradshaw, author of A First Guide To Cats
Play With Your Cat is a must have for every cat lover! Dr. Delgado's guide to cat play and behavior will give you new insights into tapping into your cat's inner hunter - in a fun, engaging way. Just like the love of our companion animals improves our lives, we can improve theirs by making sure we provide them with regular play and enrichment. This book is a great way to have a more positive relationship with your cat!”
--Dr. Marty Becker, “America's Veterinarian,” author, and founder of Fear Free Pets
“In Play With Your Cat! feline researcher and cat behavior consultant Mikel Delgado offers an innovative, research-based approach to playing with cats. A delight to read, this book is loaded with practical tips ranging from the best cat toys to when, where, and how playing with cats can satisfy their natural desires. Whether you live with an indoor or outdoor cat, a kitten or an aging cat, or a cat with significant handicaps, this book is guaranteed to enhance the quality of life of your feline friends and your relationships with them.  Every cat owner should read this book and have fun with their cat!”    
--Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard To Think Straight About Animals
“Your cat sitting on her cat tree, silently gazing at you? She wants you to read this book. If you've never played with your cat, you are about to enter a new dimension of cat-keeping. Cats love to play, it's fun to play with cats, and...I really can't see any reason not to find out how in this engaging book by Mikel Delgado, with ridiculously cute illustrations by Lili Chin. Dr. Delgado walks the cat walk and mines the cat research to help cat people imagine their cat's perspective, and how to mimic the lizards, mice, and birds they might like to play with. If you don't think your cat is interested in play, you're about to find yourself cat-schooled.”
--Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog and The Year of the Puppy
“Many, if not most cats love to play because it helps them develop social skills and learn rules of social engagement, it exercises their senses and at the same time gives them physical activity, it provides cognitive enrichment, it trains them for unexpected situations, and because it's fun--it inspires them and makes them happy and it feels good. Playing is good for cats of all ages in many different ways and it's important for their individual well-being, a point made extremely clear by Mikel Delgado in her fascinating and important book Play with Your Cat. Your cat will thank you for taking Delgado's sage advice into account and it's also likely that you will come to appreciate your cat even more as they wrestle and zoom around here and there and share their excitement and freedom with you. What's good for them is good for you. Cats, like many other animals, just want to have fun--why wouldn't they? So, let them be free to enjoy themselves in feline-like ways.”
--Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., author of Dogs Demystified: An A-to-Z Guide to All Things Canine and The Emotional Lives of Animals
“This book is a must read for all cat lovers. It’s even more so for any of you who think your cat
doesn’t like to play as it teaches people how cats like to play and be played with. Play prevents
and helps manage behavior problems and increases your cat’s well-being. Dr. Delgado goes
beyond play to help you understand cats better, no matter how long you have been owned by
cats! Does your cat wake you too early, not get along with other cats, or is he or she overweight
or has arthritis? These, too, are reasons to read Play With Your Cat.”
--Ilona Rodan, DVM and author of Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare
“This must-have book gives cat guardians a thorough understanding of how and why cats play. It's the best book I’ve ever read on this important aspect of environmental enrichment. Packed with useful tips and practical advice!”
--Kate Benjamin, founder of Hauspanther and co-author of Catification and Catify to Satisfy
“As a leading expert in cat play, Delgado has created the go-to guide to connecting with your cat’s inner hunter through play. Delgado’s entertaining, informative, and beautifully illustrated book unravels the myths and realities of cat play. From practical play-related solutions to insightful discussions of the science behind cat play behavior, this book has something enriching for cats and humans alike. This is the resource you and your cat have been looking for!”
--Kristyn Vitale, PhD, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Award-Winning Researcher in Cat Behavior

"This book is a must-have for any cat owner. Delgado marries science with practical advice perfectly, leading to a brilliant book, packed full of tips and tricks to individualize play for cats of all ages and abilities. After reading this book, you will be left knowing that play for cats isn't frivolous, it's essential, and you will have the skills to make even the laziest of cats show off its amazing play prowess."
--Dr Sarah Ellis, feline behavior specialist and co-author of The Trainable Cat
"This is an informative, thoughtful and well-written book on the nuances of cat play behavior from one of the leading feline behavior experts, Dr. Mikel Delgado. The book is easy to read and not weighed down with heavy scientific jargon. I find myself so engrossed that I read faster so that I can get to the next chapter. Each chapter contains a wealth of information on cat behavior and a treasure trove of tips and tricks to help owners understand their cats better and learn to match their cats’ play style. Readers will see their cats through a different set of lenses after reading this book and will be better cat parents. Their cats will love them so much more for following the recommendations outlined in this book. This is definitely a must read for all cat lovers.”
--Wailani Sung, MS, PhD, DVM, DACVB
“In Play With Your Cat, Mikel Maria Delgado PhD explains why play is essential for cats’ wellbeing and how you can make playtime even better. This entertaining book is packed with tips on toys and play styles and is delightfully illustrated by Lili Chin. Everything you need to enrich your cat’s life (and have fun in the process) is here.”
--Zazie Todd PhD, author of Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy