Selecting Cat Toys

Cat with Toy

Playing with your cat is part of providing a stimulating environment, which makes for a happy and healthy cat. Play gives them an outlet for their energy, mental and physical stimulation, the opportunity to satisfy their instinctive hunting drive and a chance to bond with you.

Cats really enjoy toys such as balls, with or without bells inside, felt or sisal-wrapped toys, which they can dig their claws into, or teaser toys consisting of a long flexible items that let you move an enticing lure at the end.

Keep any toys that could be harmful to your cat out of reach when you can't supervise its play. This includes items with ribbons, feathers, strings, tinsel, eyes or other small decorations. Basically, anything that your cat could chew off and swallow. Also, avoid rigid toys that could trap a claw.

Catnip

Catnip is a member of the mint family and contains a chemical that attracts cats. When  dried, it gives off an odor that has a powerful effect on some (though not all) cats.

Catnip is safe, and your cat won't get addicted to it. Keep a plastic container of dried catnip on hand to give to your kitty, or you could even grow some.

Unsafe Toys

Only let your cat play with toys or other objects that are safe. Cat-proof the house by hiding these things:

  • String, yarn, ribbon and dental floss
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic bags (especially drycleaner bags—she could suffocate)
  • Anything else that your cat might chew
  • Paper clips
  • Pins and needles

Getting the most out of your cat's toys

Your cat can become bored with their toys. Rotate your cat's toys regularly, making a small selection available at a time. If your cat has a favourite you might want to leave that one out all the time.

Provide toys that offer a variety of uses—at least one toy to carry, one to wrestle with, one to roll and one to "baby."

Many of your cat's toys should be interactive. This kind of play is important for your cat, because she needs active "people time"—and such play strengthens the bond between you and your cat.

February 27, 2016 by Sheldon White
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