Q: I have heard that Persians are not that playful. Is this true?
A: To be honest I have found the opposite to be true.
I care for a beautiful and regal white Persian named Prince. Whenever I enter the home, he always shoots me a look that politely suggests “Peel me a grape.” He also gives me the impression that playing and chasing toys would be beneath him. I actually wondered if he was bored, so one day I decided to find out. Willing to give anything a try, I crumpled a piece of aluminum foil into a ball and tossed it across the floor. Well, he took after it like a bat out of hell, slipping and sliding to a halt on the polished wooden floor right by the ball. He looked at me, looked back to the ball and up at me again as if to say “Your turn.”
Prince and I developed our own special game from this. I threw a toy, he would chase it, come to a slippery stop right next to it and then I would go over and throw it again. Every few chases he would stop and vigorously clean himself — it’s not easy being gorgeous. I have to admit I enjoyed our game as much as he did. When I told his owner, she was surprised Prince was so playful and she said she would make an effort to play with him from then on.
Prince is no different from any other cat — longhaired, shorthaired and those in between. Given the chance, most enjoy playing. As a cat sitter, I can make time for playing and it is an important part of what I do for the cats I care for. However, I know it is hard for many to find the time these days with our very busy schedules. I suggest getting a fishing pole toy or a penlight. This way you can sit down in a cozy chair and your cats will do all the work.
Also, our senior kitties should still show an interest in playing, though you may have to convince them to get moving. Try a little catnip to get them started.
As always I welcome your comments and stories.