Toys for cats
Like I stated in my past blog posts, my pets are my furkids. I love buying them toys and watching them play with the new toy(s). Although, I have to be careful with the cat toys because I don’t want my dog to eat the cat toys. Just like with dogs, cats can become destructive in the home when they get bored. Providing toys that mimic the behaviors they display out in the wild will create a happy and sedate kitty. Just like the BIG CATS of the world, your little domestic kitty may have a particular hunting style. Some cats love to hunt birds, while other prefer to hunt mice. Their hunting style (meaning the type of prey animal they would to hunt) usually determines what your cat’s favorite toy may be. I’m not saying to put your indoor kitty outside to see their hunting style – that would just freak them out. By providing a couple of different types of toys will help you to see their preferred hunting style and keep your kitty entertained.
For those that would be bird hunters, choose toys that move like a bird (floating and flying). Most varieties of cat wands provide this type of movement.
For those who would prefer mice hunting, look for toys that have hiding, peeking out or crawling on the ground. There are many different varieties of these types of toys, starting with simple design that looks like a small box with round holes that have balls inside, to motorized toys that move the “prey” toy around, and even products like the Ripple Rug. http://ripplerug.com
Scratching trees are a very practical tool to have for your cat. They provide the height that your kitty craves, some have hiding spots and hanging toys on it as well that will add to your cat returning to it.
Puzzle toys are a great enrichment toy that keeps your cat mentally stimulated and provides a little snack.
Just like with dogs, interactive play strengthens the cat/ human bond. Although, I have owned three cats that love to play fetch with me with any of their toys and crumbled up pieces of paper.
Laser pointers can help burn up that pent up energy. They are especially useful for younger cats and ones that love to run around like a crazy person in the middle of the night. Playing with them just before you are ready to go to bed will make them tired enough to chill out while you nap. However, make sure to provide a tangible toy so that they can have a physical toy to “attack”. If you don’t, they can develop anxiety and OCD disorders.
Cats seem to love tunnels. It provides them with a place to hide and pounce out of.
There is a relatively new product on the market for cats that I would love to get for my cats but they are a little too pricey for me. They are called exercise wheels – think of a hamster wheel but large enough for two cats to run in. https://www.styletails.com/2017/03/06/5-incredible-indoor-exercise-wheels-for-cats/
Catnip toys can be fun but not all cats respond to the scent of catnip. Other simple toys like toy mice and balls can be cheap and easy toys. One of the best toys that I have seen countless cats play with are crinkle balls. They love them!
I know that with any of the toys that I actually purchase for my cats, nothing compares to a cardboard box. As soon as I take an item out of a box, one of my cats are trying to crawl into it. The nice thing about cardboard boxes are that you can cut holes into it to create different areas they can play in. Also, when it gets destroyed, you can replace it for no money at all. Here is my Enzo climbing into the Comcast box as soon as I opened it.
Just like with dogs, cats should be supervised with some toys. They shouldn’t have any strings and the strings on wands should be put away when you are not there. If a cat chews on strings, they can ingest it and can cause an obstruction but unfortunately the string wouldn’t show up on X-rays.
Cats, just like kids and dogs, can become bored with their toys. Rotating their toys weekly can keep them from boredom.
If you are a fan of Pinterest, there are a lot of DIY cat toy ideas there.