If you own a cat, you’ll notice that she’s quite happy sitting on the windowsill for long periods of time and taking regular naps. However, that doesn’t mean that cats don’t need or enjoy playtime. In fact, cats are natural born predators – always stalking prey, jumping and climbing trees in the wild. So, when not faced with enough mental and physical stimulation, indoor cats can become erratic – bouncing on furniture and running around the house for no reason. With that being said, playtime can be the perfect outlet for your pet’s pent up energy.
However, just like children, cats need toys in order to play. It’s important that the toys mimic prey, which encourages the cat to activate its natural hunting behaviour. Considering this, some of the best toys for cats are the ones that can move rapidly, just like a mouse or bird would. This includes balls, fishing rods with feathers on the end, battery-operated mice, lasers and similar things. The great thing about these moving toys is that they provide important exercise for cats, especially for the ones that are overweight or live exclusively indoors.
Another popular type of toys for cats are items with different textures that stimulate the animal’s sense of touch, like for instance fur mice and scratching toys. In fact, scratching toys are very important because they can provide your cat with a nice spot to dig its claws in, as opposed to an expensive piece of furniture. Additionally, toys that come with rattles and bells or make squeaking sounds also add to the excitement and stimulate play. Some toys can also allow for interactive play, such as fishing rods and kitten mittens, giving you more bonding time with your lovely ball of fur.
In order to keep your cat interested in play, keep the toys away unless it’s playtime. If the toys are always available, your kitty can quickly grow tired of them, like a mouse that never goes away. Once you bring the toys out, this signals to the cat that it’s playtime. Try to set aside at least 15 minutes each day for a play session. However, if your cat doesn’t seem interested in playing, don’t try to force her.
When choosing toys for your cat, it’s important to make sure they are safe. For that reason, steer away from things that have sharp edges that can harm your fur ball. And considering how cats love to nibble on things, try to stick to toys that are soft enough and do not include things like beads that the animal could accidentally swallow. Also be very careful with other things lying around your home which your cat can come in contact with, such as plastic bags, paper clips, and strings.