Cats need to play, especially if they live in an apartment, because it is how they train their predator instinct. If they don't, some unwanted behaviour might occur.
Unlike most domestic dogs enjoying at least 2 walks a day and lot of time playing and cuddling, a lot of cats are not stimulated enough. It's important to fill your apartment with toys to make sure that your cat is not bored.
Maybe this has already happened to you : you come back home and notice that your cat has spilled your house plants, climbed on the curtains and knocked over everything that was on your desk. What happened? Well, your cat was bored! When they stay inside all day long, they don't use their predator and hunter instincts. To solve this problem, turn your apartment into a big playground where they can hunt!
Update their environment
A cat needs at least 45 minutes of "hunting activity" a day. Cats are attracted to moving objects such as rubber balls, paper balls, ping pong balls... They also like toys with feathers, laces and little bells. They are also crazy about toys stuffed with catnip.
Cats love to chase and catch their toys like they are prey, and that's why a lot of toys look like mice.
Playing increases you cat's hunting skills, make them exercise, keeps them fit and relieves their stress.
Your cat can play alone, but it is important to play with them at least 15 minutes a day. This valuable time together will also strengthen your bond. You can use a laser pointer, and your cat will try to chase it everywhere! Be careful not to point the light in your pet's or other people's eyes. You can make a paper ball and throw it, and your cat will also chase it for a while but unlike the laser pointer, once you threw it your cat is playing by themselves. You can tie a little toy or anything your cat likes to chase to a long stick and use it to entertain them. Do not give your cat a ball made of aluminium foil, it can be dangerous if they swallows any.
When you play with your cat, use jerky moves and change the speed of the toy you are playing with. Cats like to hunt when it's dark. Once in a while, you can lower the light.
Change the toys
After a while, your cat might not be attracted to their toys anymore. They get used to them and they're not willing to chase them anymore Purchase or make some new ones : different shapes, colours, noises...
Colourful and moving things can be great for visual stimulation. Fish tanks for example might be really entertaining, but fishes can be prey for cats. You can also put some bird food near your window and let your cat enjoy the view! There is also some special cat TV available in the US, but regular TV is also fine.
Your hands are not toys
Teach your cat when they're young that your hands are not toys. Never let them scratch or nip your hands, even if you are playing.
To conclude, playing with your cat is a good way to keep them happy, in good heath and strengthen your bond.