I've a 16-year-old cat who loved to play fetch when he was a kitten, and a kitten who presently loves to play fetch with his spring toys--how unusual it for a cat to play fetch? I'd never heard of it before these two--thought it was limited to dogs--and whenever I've told people about it, they've never heard of it too, and even sometimes appear to doubt the verisimilitude of my story. Either I got really lucky or it's more common than most people realize.
Uncommon, but not rare. Chase-and-pounce is, of course, a widespread cat game; "retrieving" is the more complicated behavior.
Some cats figure out on their own that humans can be trained to throw a toy repeatedly if it's brought to them. One of mine does this. (Though it only works around a corner, since if she can see me she seems to get distracted and forget why she's carrying the toy.)
Cats can be actively trained to retrieve, but as with all cat training it takes a bit more patience and bribery to convince the cat that it wants to learn what you're trying to explain than it would a dog. That varies by breed and by cat, though; meezers, for example, tend to care more about human approval than most cats, which makes them better students.
I have had two cats in my life that "fetch" the first I learned by accident. I wadded up a piece of paper and threw it away and she brought it back to me. Her reward was a belly rub. She loved them. My current female cat starting playing fetch with me a few months ago. She brought the toy to me. I thanked her, threw it and brought it back (several times lol) she had kittens a few weeks ago and they are about weaned and now she's is initiating the fetch game again. We are the lucky ones to have such special kitties
I have 2 cats, Patches and Pepper. Patches has been retrieving these new toys I bought a grew weeks ago. She even brings them to me when I'm not playing . Funniest thing ever. Never knew cats to do that. Now Pepper is doing it as well. So it's true that tuxedo cats are super smart and other cats around them will get smarter as well.
Yes my kitten who’s now nearly 8-months old enjoys playing fetch & I believe with the same toy that you described a (Bed Spring) shaped plastic toy that he all of a sudden out of no where started bringing to me & giving to me waiting in excited anticipation for me to throw it so that he could chase after it & bring it right back over & ovet again.
My cat, female, white with light brown highlights on face, back and tail, age one and a quarter loves to play fetch. We did not train her, she just demands with happy meows for us to get her toy she drops in front of us to throw it for her, over and over again. It is actually a top from a champagne bottle, the threaded metal that she can easily grab and retrieve. Happy fetching!