How to Choose the Right Cat Toys
Cat toys are extremely important in keeping cats healthy and happy. They help to maintain their behavior, and they also provide a great form of exercise for them!
They’re essential for indoor cats, because they provide much-needed stimulation to help them stay active. With hundreds of options available, it can be tricky to figure out what toys are best for your cat.
The tips below will help to keep your pet feline in good health and safety.
- How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Cat
- Why Do Cats Need Toys
- What Toys are Best for My Cat
- Cat Toys to Consider – Balls
- Cat Toys to Consider – Hunting Toys
- Cat Toys to Consider – Feather Teaser Toys
- Cat Toys to Consider – Laser Pointer
- Cat Toys to Consider – Interactive Feeding Toys
- Cat Toys to Consider – Climbing
- Cat Toys to Consider – Scratching
- Cat Toys to Consider – Catnip
- Cat Toys to Consider – Cardboard Boxes
- Cat Toys You Should Avoid
- How to Play With Your Cat
- How Not to Play With Your Cat
- Remove Damaged Toys ASAP
Why Do Cats Need Toys
Just like human beings, cats need both physical and mental exercise to stay healthy, strong and happy.
It’s important for cats to get enough physical stimulation and mental enrichment. They’ll then be less likely to develop bad behaviors, such as scratching furniture or eating other items.
Cats with hyperactivity can turn to disruptive behaviors, such as play aggression, scratching, and other types of destructive behavior.
Playing is good for your relationship with your cat. Whenever you play, you’re building trust and affection, plus you’re providing entertainment when you can’t be there.
What Toys are Best for My Cat
Your cat’s favorite toys will vary depending on their likes and dislikes.
Most cat toys are designed to appeal to your cat’s natural instincts, such as playing, chasing, pouncing, scratching, and climbing.
While it’s important to find out if your cat has any food allergies, it’s also crucial to note that they may have one favorite type of food.
Don’t purchase too many toys until you know your cat’s likes and dislikes, otherwise you’ll end up spending a lot of money and your cat will be none the wiser.
Cat Toys to Consider – Balls
Some cats love to chase balls, bat them, and throw them. You can try a regular ball, one with a bell inside, a motorized ball, or even a crumpled paper ball. Catnip, the smell that cats love, is the key to this toy’s success.
Cat Toys to Consider – Hunting Toys
Toys for cats include toy mice and other hunting toys. They help keep cats occupied for hours, which makes them less likely to fight with their owners. With this motorized toy, it’s easy to teach your cat how to use his instincts to hunt and kill prey.
Cat Toys to Consider – Feather Teaser Toys
Wands, fishing poles, feather toys are toys that encourage leaping, pouncing, and stalking. Toys are helpful to encourage your dog to leap, pounce, and stalk.
It’s a great idea to make sure any toys that include strings are only played with by children under your supervision, and are safely stored away from your cat after playtime.
Cat Toys to Consider – Laser Pointer
There’s no doubt that cat love lasers! YouTube is filled with videos where cats go crazy for laser. For cats, treadmills can be both inexpensive and effortless. Just make sure that it’s safe for pets and not harmful for animals.
Cat Toys to Consider – Interactive Feeding Toys
The indoor hunting feeders are a great option if you want to entertain your cat when you are not around.
Cat Toys to Consider – Climbing
Climbing toys are great for cats. They let them exercise, climb, and rest when you’re not home. Cats love to climb on things that are higher than they are, such as high shelves.
Cat Toys to Consider – Scratching
Scratching posts are fun for your cat, but you may want to use a scratching post if your cat is destructive.
A scratching post that encourages cats to scratch where you want them to is a great investment. You can help your cat’s nails grow longer by trimming them, too.
At least one scratching post is recommended for each cat to avoid territorial problems.
While vertical scratching posts are most common, some cats prefer horizontal surfaces for scratching, such as a jute door mat or corrugated cardboard scratcher.
Cat Toys to Consider – Catnip
Catnip toys are irresistible to felines. There are several catnip alternatives that are less dangerous for them and can be bought online. It’s fairly easy to find catnip-infused toys for kids, like these catnip-infused mice.
Cat Toys to Consider – Cardboard Boxes
Cats find cardboard boxes and other hiding places great fun. They love having enclosed, dark places to hide and observe the world around them. Boxes are good because they’re safe, even if you don’t have a ton of them.
Cats are curious animals and they love exploring dark areas. They are naturally drawn to the texture of cardboard and cardboard is the perfect material for scratching. A cardboard box offers hours of entertainment for a cat, as it can be filled with toys, food, or other interesting items to hide behind. If you hide your cat’s food inside a box and have them fetch it when they want their treats, you can also tap into their predatory instincts.
You can also connect multiple boxes together to create an obstacle course or maze for your cat. Shipping boxes are easy to find, they’re often discarded by shippers as a means of packing their items, and you can easily create some unique gifts from them!
Make sure to put some cat nip inside the box for your cats to get a taste of it, and take any tape off to make it more enticing to your kitty. The best cat toys engage their natural instincts – playing, jumping, scratching, and climbing. They’re shaped to maximize your cats’ play time and increase their chances of finding them irresistible.
Cat Toys You Should Avoid
It’s important for you to know that not all toys are safe for cats. Cats should never be allowed to play with balls of yarn or string. Your cat may ingest a piece of string or ribbon, and if it gets stuck in his or her digestive tract, it can cause serious damage. There are ways to remove this material if necessary.
If you don’t take steps to prevent plastic from causing damage to your cat’s intestines, you may end up with permanent intestinal damage. If your cat destroys a toy, whether it’s a soft toy with string or a stuffed toy with dangerous material, don’t keep it around! Dispose of it immediately.
How to Play With Your Cat
Cats like to play when there are toys to focus on. They enjoy interacting with each other in a safe environment. Put a toy out of reach, and then you can observe their play through your own eyes.
You might also throw some toys around or roll a ball past them. It might take some time for a cat to get used to being without an object they desire so they can’t reach it.
When you try something new, write down what works and what doesn’t.
How Not to Play With Your Cat
Playing with other cats that aren’t your littermate is a natural part of a cat’s socialization process, and if you don’t have a littermate to play with, most cats will turn to their human companions.
We know playing-fighting kittens can be cute, but when play-fighting becomes rough, and you start engaging in play-fighting behaviors yourself with your kitten or cat, you’re going to have trouble breaking the habit. So, instead of playing-fighting or play-fighting in your home, divert your kitten’s play energy to something more appropriate like a toy.
Cats should be kept in a house where you can keep an eye on them and watch over them at all times. You should also make sure that there is a scratching post or a safe place for them to hang out when they are not being groomed.
Remove Damaged Toys ASAP
You should take your cat’s toys away immediately if you notice any sort of damage on them, like a torn toy or a piece breaking off. Small pieces can pose a choking hazard, but even tiny toys can cause intestinal punctures or blockages.
If you have any questions about the safety of your cat’s toys, talk to your vet. They can provide further recommendations for how to keep your cat stimulated, healthy, and safe.
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